Adirondack Explorer

A winter trail too far

Diana Niland is an experienced outdoorswoman. She has hiked the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail, the 483-mile Colorado Trail, the 210-mile John Muir Trail, and climbed all the peaks with summits over 4,000 feet in elevation that make up the Northeast 111.

Even so, she couldn’t meet the demands of through-hiking the Northville-Placid Trail in an Adirondack winter.

“I have a respectable hiking resume, and this is the first thing I’ve set out to do and was simply not successful,” she said.

The 138-mile trail, often called the NP Trail, runs from Northville to Lake Placid, through some of the most remote sections of the Adirondacks. In summer, hikers may be beset by black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies, and find themselves wading through mud or steams.

But in winter, the trail takes on added challenges, including frigid temperatures and deep snow. New York State Forest Ranger Jason Scott, who is based in Blue Mountain Lake in Hamilton County, said hikers planning to take on the trip need to treat it like an Arctic expedition. They

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