One of the many roads where there was major damage reported after the Halloween rain storm was Crane Pond Road in Schroon, part of which is not technically a road but still has been used by many to get to Crane Pond.
The section of the road in Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area was the subject of an infamous dispute between local residents, environmental groups and the state nearly 30 years ago, when the state sought to close it. Former Warrensburg Supervisor Maynard Baker slugged a protestor, and the road's name became a rallying cry for property rights in the Adirondacks.
Crane Pond Road has existed as a road in name only since then, with no official maintenance. But those who have high-clearance vehicles able to drive all the way to the pond, through deep ruts and a flooded section.
Some local residents have done some basic maintenance over the years, but they will have their work cut out for them next spring thanks to the Oct. 31 storm that brought 5 inches of rain to parts of the Adirondacks in less than 12 hours.
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We hiked in to Goose Pond on Sunday, and found the road in the worst shape I have seen it in 20-plus years. There were numerous major washouts, culverts destroyed and exposed and trees down. Several streams have been re-routed across the road.
It is going to take heavy equipment to get that road in shape for anything other than four-wheelers and UTVs.
Even the official state parking lot is a mess, which I found out the hard way by driving through a frozen stream that is literally coursing through the lot.
The southern Adirondacks got a solid 4 or 5 inches of snow Saturday night, when the Glens Falls region got rain. The result was a beautiful walk in snow-covered trees, though there are some scrambles over and around downed and ice-covered trees on the road.
Come spring, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the damaged sections of the road. Will more unofficial repairs make it passable again? Or has Mother Nature reclaimed a road that the state wanted closed decades ago?
-- Don Lehman
Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org