Thurman Maple DaysWild Winter Fun
Loon Lake Tour
Distance: 9 miles round trip
This route can be combined with the Friends Lake Tour
Park at Dynamite Hill, the Town of Chester Recreation Area. Start heading west on Route 8 (take a right from Dynamite Hill) past the Lincoln Logs facility, the original! Then you will see Mill Pond on your left. Continue on for two miles, then turn right onto White Schoolhouse Road, along which you may notice a large section of blow-downs from the 1995 wind storm that hit the Adirondacks. At Route 9 you will take a sharp left and will soon be riding along scenic Loon Lake. At the intersection of Route 9 and 8, take a left onto Route 8 and head past O.P. Fredericks, a great local restaurant and pub, then to the Loon Lake beach. There you can take a break; swim or just enjoy the view. It's only a two-mile leg back to Dynamite Hill, though there is often a bit of a head wind in this section.
Friends Lake Tour
Distance: 10 miles round trip
Park at Dynamite Hill, the Town of Chester Recreation Area. Start heading west on Route 8 (take a right from Dynamite Hill) past the Lincoln Logs facility, the original! Then you will see Mill Pond on your left. Continue on for two miles, then turn left onto Friends Lake Road. After a mile, you will see a fork in the road, stay left on Atateka Drive and soon you'll have views of Friends Lake on your right. At the Circle B Ranch, you'll start heading uphill (fairly steep but short) and then look for Friends Lake Road, a sharp right. Start to circle the lake and you will pass the famed Friends Lake Inn, a wonderful full-service lodging, with a great lunch. Continue on Friends Lake Road and turn right on Route 8 heading back toward Chestertown.
Brant Lake Tour
Distance: 21 miles round trip
Distance from Brant Lake at the Mill Pond - 15 miles round trip
Park at Dynamite Hill, the Town of Chester Recreation Area. Start heading
east on Route 8 (take a left from Dynamite Hill). After passing signs for
I-87, you will soon cross the Schroon River near the Horicon Spring, a
natural spring used by summer campers. If you wish to visit the spring, take
the first left after the bridge onto Watering Tub Road; after a short pedal,
stock up on water then backtrack to Route 8. The road then winds down to
Brant Lake (three miles).
For those who want to shorten the trip, just park at Town of Horicon
Community Center, where the route starts. The Community Center is across the
street from the Mill Pond beach, a great place to take a dip
on the return trip. As you reach the end of Brant Lake you will turn left
and follow Palisades Road to circle back around the other side of the lake,
pass the Mill Pond again, and continue back on Route 8 into Chestertown.
Of special interest along the route are an old stone library and the Town of
Horicon Museum, a 1890s farmhouse and carriage house. The route takes you
past elegant camps and beautiful mountain scenery. Spring, summer or fall,
this is a great ride.