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Handicapped Accessible Walking Paths
When the forecast called for an Indian summer day in the Lake George Area we decided to explore the Dean Farm Heritage Trail in Stony Creek. The Dean Farm Heritage Trail is a handicapped accessible trail system. It features several miles of flat, stone pathways, as well as wooded, traditional hiking trails.
The drive to the trail was short and sweet. Stony Creek is about 20 minutes off of Northway exit 23. We followed long, winding roads covered with the yellow and red of autumn’s fallen leaves. The trail head is marked by a small sign in a gravel parking area.
Be sure to check out the trail map after you park, as there are two distinctly different areas to explore. The parking lot side of the Dean Farm Heritage Trail is where you’ll find the majority of the handicapped accessible area. Crossing the road brings you to more challenging terrain.
We walked the more accessible side of the trail first. All of the paths are stone, and the majority of them are level. There are a few areas with gentle inclines or declines. The stone trails are well maintained and clearly marked. There are several paths to follow, all leading walkers in a general loop.
The trails wander through fields, sparsely populated with trees. There are several spots to stop and rest, featuring wooden benches and picnic tables, as well as beautiful Adirondack views. One of the trails leads to a wide, well maintained wooden bridge that brings you through a short wetland area. Don’t miss the educational sign about the importance of wetlands to the area’s wildlife.
Traditional Wooded Hiking Trails
We finished the loop and returned to the parking area. After taking a second look at the map, we realized how much more of the Dean Farm Heritage Trail there was across the road. The other side of the trail system has similar stone pathways, and the fall foliage views are even better. The trails on this side are more of a challenge. Some of the inclines are steep so ladders and staircases have been incorporated to help along the way.
Deeper into the preserve, the meadows turn into wonderfully wooded trails. There is a shallow, slow running creek that meanders under a narrow pathway and into the woods beyond. There’s even a bench cut into a fallen tree on one side of the trail.
The trails are steeper at this point, though none of the terrain was challenging. The massive boulders, fallen trees and leaf covered trails were picture perfect. Once you enter the wooded section of the area, there isn’t a car or building to be seen. The only noise we heard was the crunching of leaves underfoot as we picked our path.
Heading back to the car, we snapped a few last pictures of the fire-red mountainside foliage and agreed that the Dean Farm Heritage Trail is a beautiful addition to Stony Creek and the Lake George Area. Be sure to check it out for yourself before all of the leaves fall!
Dean Farm Heritage Trail is located on Murray Road in Stony Creek, NY.
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