The Stone Valley Trail, Colton, NY
A Cooperative Recreational Area: Brascan and ADK Laurentian Chapter
"We who enter the Stone Valley Cooperative Recreation Area owe the pleasure to LEWIS "LEW" WEEKS 1920-1999 whose energy and vision brought many of us together to build and maintain trails in this special place for the benefit of all. Knowing Lew, we dedicate this to you, the visitor. Marvel and take care." (Laurentian Chapter tribute engraved on the plaque in memory of Lew Weeks)
The Stone Valley Cooperative Recreational Area, located in the towns of Colton and Parishville, offers an unusual opportunity for hiking, cross-country skiing, nature study, and historical exploration. There are several private land parcels in the Eastern section of the area, so please respect the property of others.
The most spectacular stretch of Stone Valley is the mile between the hamlet of Colton and the Tub. Dramatic rapids in this section of the river flow over waterfalls creating gorges, rock islands, overhanging cliffs, and fascinating potholes.
When the water is high, it thunders through this section with awesome power, and is dangerously fast. During times of low water, the exposed river channel presents a completely different aspect of the river environment.
Beware, even during low-water periods, sudden unexpected, releases from the dam can cause rapidly rising water, creating dangerous situations. Stay on the trail.
The Stone Valley trail system also offers a unique variety of topography, woodlands, and tree plantations. Many different types of birds, plants, and wildlife can be viewed along this diverse trail system, which is over 12 miles long.
Informational plaques are located at various points on the trails. Riverside trails are indicated by blue tree markers, access trails by dark red, and county trails by yellow markers.
There are sections where caution should be exercised and others where trails are quite steep. For those who prefer a less rigorous hike, a fairly gentle incline will take one from the Northeast Trail Head to Cathedral Grove, a distance of one mile. O'Malley Brook flows through the Grove and tumbles down a rocky falls into the Raquette River beneath giant pine trees.
The distance between trailheads on either side of the river is exactly the same, 3.2 miles. To start at any trailhead and make the complete loop, down one side of the river and back to the trailhead of origin, is a distance of 7.5 miles.
The trails lie on lands owned by Brookfield Renewable Power, St. Lawrence County, and the Town of Colton. Brookfield Renewable Power, the Laurentian Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club and the St. Lawrence County Youth Conservation Corps maintain trails. If you have suggestions, or would like to participate in the stewardship of this area, contact Mark Simon at (315) 262-2571 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Points of Interest (Check numbers on map)
1. Northern Trailheads
2. County Parking/Trailhead
3. Cathedral Grove/O'Malley Brook
4. Lucy's Hole (the gut)
5. High Terrace
6. The Tub
7. The Narrows
8. Southern Trailheads
9. Tannery Ruins Site
10.O'Malley Brook Overlook
In the spring, the high waters make the river a spectacular continuing cascade.
For your safety, please sign the trail registers at the beginning and end of your trip. Please help keep the trail clean - If you pack it in, pack it out! "Leave No Trace"!
Stone Valley: A community resource
Keeping Stone Valley Trails Open
|© 2013 Laurentian Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. Banner photo © Carl Heilman II / www.carlheilman.com|