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SWIMMING THROUGH THREES: The Fernow Plantation Loop: A short family outing

November 28, 2019
By SPENCER MORRISSEY , Lake Placid News

The Fernow Plantation Loop hike is a gentle 1.1-mile Loop in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest. From Tupper Lake, start from the intersection of state Route 30 and Route 3 and follow Route 3/30 east toward Saranac Lake. Then where Route 3 and Route 30 split, follow Route 30 north toward Fish Creeks. Continue for just over 1.1 miles to the small trailhead on the left.

Even in late November if the snow begins to pile up, this makes for a great early season cross-country ski or family snowshoe outing as well; a great place to introduce kids to the art and experience of hiking in the winter.

The Fernow Trail was named after Bernhard Fernow one of the fathers of modern forestry and the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service. The trail register for this hike sits back off the road a bit but the trailhead sign is roadside and easy to find, be sure to sign in.

Article Photos

(Provided photo — Spencer Morrissey)

Once you start out the trail moves ever so gently through the forest with only small rolling hills to contend with, if "contend" is even an accurate depiction, the trail is lovely and gentle. About a half-mile down the trail it splits and become a lollipop loop.

I like to go counterclockwise on most of my loops, not sure why. I guess I like to go against the norm, but it's your hike and surely lovely in either direction. The loop will eventually bring you back to a private property boundary before swinging back toward the way you came in. The backside of the lollipop loop comes quickly as does the trailhead.

Now that you are warmed up, maybe a trip to Panther Mountain just down the road is in order.

 
 
 

 

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