Paddle, walk, ski or ride!
Once skiing is over there is plenty to be done besides putting the winter gear away there are leaves to rake, windows to wash, flowers to plant...but it can't be all work and no play! Trisa and I contemplated what to do, a bit too cool to paddle or bike so we decided to walk, but where was the question.
We talked about OK Slip Falls, but it was too late in the day for that outing, we checked our lists and searched the internet, maybe we could find something we hadn't done that was relatively close. I suggested Raquette Falls, it is practically in our backyards! I have paddled there numerous times and I had attempted to Cross Country ski in, but only made it to the #5 lean-to. Trisa had paddled there many times as well and had cross country skied there years ago, but never walked in.
From Tupper Lake head east on Route 3, approximately 7 miles outside the Village take a right onto Corey’s Road to the trailhead parking area. The paved road does turn into a dirt road, but only for a short distance. You will see the brown and yellow sign in a parking area on your right. This is an equestrian trail so you will see hitching rails so you can hitch your horse, if you happen to have one! Our walk began at noon, the trail was wide and well marked with the equestrian trial markers.
Water, water every where!
The Raquette River was overflowing, there was water where it normally isn't, this was evidenced by the base of many trees submerged.
Within a short distance we came to a path leading to a lean-to, not number 5, we didn't take the time for a detour as we had cross country skied to that particular lean-to this past winter. Although, it is not the prettiest time of the year in late April it is still wonderful to be out getting a little exercise enjoying the smells and visual signs of spring.
Get your rubber boots on!
Our first obstacle appeared to be a puddle, as Trisa neared it to check the depth I looked for a way around it. She soon followed me up and over a huge boulder, we were obviously not the first ones that had ventured around as I found a chewing tobacco can, which we decided would look better in the trash, so I put it in my backpack.
This hike is not for the weak, it is an 8.6 mile round trip walk with a few long steep hills and although it is a wide very well cleared trail you are not allowed to bike it. Our next obstacle was again a body of water. The 30 plus inches of snow that we were blessed with in March plus the rain had made the Raquette River more like a lake than a river, this 2nd obstacle was boat worthy! The overflow created a bay, we ventured to the left to make our way around it, as we neared the trail on the other side we heard a Barred Owl hooting one of their calls "who cooks for you." This owl is a nocturnal bird but it calls in the daytime as well as in the night, I love to hear them during the day, not so much at night when I am camping.
We saw the signage for another lean-to, which was lean-to #5, but I suggested we continue our walk on to the falls, I was anxious to relax on the rocks and eat my sandwich and my Halos’s which I had purchased at our local IGA! I suggested we could check out the lean-to on our way out, as usual Trisa was agreeable! She is agreeable, upbeat and fun, a great companion for hiking, biking and paddling!
First stop prior to the falls, was the privy! I was thankful that it was still a privy and not a thunder box! Once business was attended to we headed to the falls, just a short walk compared to what we had just walked. The rocks used to be plentiful, but today there were but a few exposed! The river was high and raging! I devoured my lunch in no time, but we lingered on the rocks enjoying the sun, view and sound of the rushing water! A perfect spot in the Adirondacks!
Back on the trail we looked at our time, it was 3:21, where did the time go! We headed back stopping at lean-to number 5, which is a distance from the falls. We decided that with the hills is a difficult ski, but on our bucket list for next ski season, but with an early start!
Cory's Road, mid way between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake is not only access to this trail, but access to the Raquette River for paddling and camping. Come visit Tupper Lake, a wonderful little village!