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"The Flume Trail System is comprised of 10.5 miles of trails open to mountain biking,   
hiking, cross country skiing, and show shoeing in the town of Wilmington, NY.
Enjoy vistas across wetlands, and interesting brook crossings through conifer
and deciduous woods . . . [Owen, Copperas, and Winch Ponds] are located
in the Sentinel Range and offer excellent loop opportunities."
~ from two pages on the LakePlacid.com website
Today Jim and I enjoyed riding and hiking on part of the Flume Trail System located two miles south of our campground in Wilmington on NY 86. These are some very nice trails! Cody got to hike with me there for a few miles, then we drove farther south to one of the trailheads for Copperas and Winch Ponds.

Yesterday I hiked with Casey to Owen Pond. I'll begin this entry with photos from the pond trails, which are rougher, wetter, and open only for hiking and back-packing.


There is supposed to be a moderate, 3.5-mile loop trail connecting Owen, Copperas, and Winch Ponds. My intention yesterday while hiking with Casey-pup was to do that loop. I knew she'd enjoy swimming in all those lakes, and sniffing everything (and I mean everything) between them.

It was a beautiful day for hiking and I mostly enjoyed the trail segment to and beyond Owen Pond:





Casey loved swimming in the pond and creek several times.


Note the blue blaze marking the original trail in the next photo. A beaver dam has flooded this part of the trail so there's a rough re-route around it:


In fact, most of this trail segment is very rough (rocks, roots, mud).

I had trouble walking with a trekking pole in one hand and exuberant Casey on a leash with the other hand. I came close to tripping and falling several times. I can't trust her off-leash like I can with Cody.

So instead of continuing to the other two ponds, I turned around between Owen and Copperas Ponds and returned to the parking area where I began. Total distance on this hike was just 2.22 miles.


This afternoon Cody got to hike with me to these two ponds.

Instead of repeating the trail section I walked yesterday with Casey, we used a different trailhead on NY 86 that was at least a mile closer to Wilmington. This GPS track shows today's hike at the top and yesterday's to Owen Pond in green at the bottom of the map section:

The two trails connect between Copperas and Owen Pond; I just didn't do that short section on either hike.

The Copperas-Winch Trail is more difficult from the northern trailhead -- steep and rocky for the first 1/4 mile, then rooty and undulating for another 1/4 mile to the pond. However, since Cody was off-leash it was much easier for me to hike the gnarly sections than it would have been with Casey.


Above and below:  Copperas Pond


Above and below:  outlet of Copperas Pond

The forest is pretty and I really enjoyed the views around the eastern third of Copperas Pond. I sat on a stump by the shore to eat a Clif bar and could see the SE side of Whiteface Mtn. in the background:



Above and below:  view of Whiteface Mtm. from Copperas Pond

On the way back I hiked a different trail that loops over to Winch Pond, which wasn't nearly as scenic as Copperas Pond.

Half of the loop was very nice through pretty forest:


Winch Pond

The other half of this trail was rough and not as attractive but the leaves and wet area were colorful:


The last 1/4 mile down the steep, rocky section again was difficult but doable with Cody off-leash.

This hike was 2.05 miles, for a total of 4.72 miles today of mostly pleasant walking with Cody. The remainder was on Flume Trails.


This is our last full day in this part of the Adirondacks. We're sorry we didn't discover the nice Flume Trail System sooner! The main trailhead is less than two miles from our campground, the trails are great, and Jim was able to ride his bike here.

You can see a larger version of this trail map at this web link for the NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservation:

I left first with Cody this morning to hike some of the trail network. Jim planned a bike ride but wasn't sure where he'd go. When I saw how nice the trail by the river is, I called him and encouraged him to ride it. He liked it, too. And Cody had fun swimming in the river. Win-win-win.

Here's the GPS track of where I hiked out and back along the river, then a loop through the woods:

The trail along the river and the connector loop a little bit above it are mostly smooth and easy to hike and cycle:



Above and below:  view of Whiteface Mtn. from large beaver pond next to the Flume Trail









Jim rode his bike a couple miles on the highway to the trailhead, more than two miles out and back along the wide trail by the river to the Whiteface Ski Center, up another trail to help me put out a fire (!), then back to the campground on the road for a total of 7+ miles.

Since the route was fairly hilly, it was enough for him after his bike race three days ago.


About 2/10 mile from the trailhead on the connector trail I passed a tent site with a live fire still going -- and no signs that anyone was still using the campsite. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't have enough water to put out the fire and the dirt was covered with dry leaves and pine needles.

As I neared the trailhead I saw Jim coming on his bike. He knew exactly who left the fire going -- two scruffy young men and a young woman with dreadlocks who were still in the parking area, putting their camping gear in the trunk of a vehicle with NY plates.

I followed Jim as he rode his bike a short way up the hill to the campsite. We dug up enough dirt nearby to put the fire completely out. When we got back to the parking area the perps were gone.

< sign >  So many stupid, careless people in this world . . .

Next entrycamping at Fort Drum and touring western NY (Sackets Harbor, Cape Vincent, Tibbetts Bay, Thousand Islands area, etc.)

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil