New York

Welcome to the NCT in the Empire State!

The North Country Trail route begins at Crown Point, NY, near the bridge crossing Lake Champlain into Vermont. North Country Trail supporters have advocated for the Trail to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Vermont. Supported by the Green Mountain Club and others, the feasibility study is under way to connect two of America’s great hiking trails, something that eventually will require Congressional approval.

Moving west from Crown Point State Park, it is about 5 miles to Adirondack State Park, where the route of the North Country Trail is now in the planning stages.  Review the plans in the North Country National Scenic Trail Draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan/Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement. A temporary hiker route for the Adirondacks is coming soon. In the mean time, information on trails in the Park is available from the Adirondack Mountain Club.

West of the Adirondacks, the potential route of the trail begins to take shape at Forestport, where the Black River Feeder Canal begins and heads west to Boonville. The old towpath along the canal has always been considered as the route of the trail, though the route is open to snowmobiles, ATVs, and highway vehicles. South from Boonville, the Towpath Trail, Operated by BREIA (the Black River Environmental Improvement Association), is a well maintained cross country skiing and hiking trail extending along the towpath of the Black River Canal to beyond Pixley Falls State Park–a distance of 7 to 8 miles.

About a mile south of Pixley Falls, the towpath is no longer continuous, but local roads and Delta Lake State Park can get hikers south to the sidewalks of Rome. Trail users will find a stop at Fort Stanwix, located in the center of Rome, to be an educational experience. This completely recreated Revolutionary War era fort was the only fort that actually sustained a British siege without surrendering. There were other forts that didn’t surrender but, they were not under siege. Fort Stanwix is one of but a few sites of National Park Service land along this National Park Service Trail. Learn more about it.

More information about the area is available from the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce.

At the west edge of Rome, hikers will find Old Erie Canal Village a restored canal town. In addition to tours of the village, one can actually take a ride on an authentic canal boat. A towpath trail can be walked across the property. Just beyond the village is the eastern end of Old Erie Canal State Park. This linear park includes an existing trail that can be followed all the way to the point where the North Country Trail needs to head south to reach the Onondaga section of the Finger Lakes Trail. The Canal Path is a multiple use trail, surfaced with crushed rock. This route is scenic but does allow snowmobile use in the winter. Information on this segment can be found on the New York State Parks website.

The distance between Old Erie Canal State Park and the main Finger Lakes Trail is about 70 miles, and provides the official north- south route of the North Country Trail. Hikers will follow the NCT south (coinciding with the Link Trail for ~26-30 miles) to connect to the NCT/FLT-Onondaga Branch Trail (Blue blazed) in the Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area. Hikers may also choose another north-south side trail by following the non-NCT portion of the Link Trail (Yellow blazes), which lies east of the Onondaga Branch, mostly in Madison County.

NCT/FLT-Onondaga Branch Trail carries the user to the main branch of the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), they’ve reached the first of several long-established, well-developed trails that the NCNST overlays; the FLT is one of the best developed by private interests. From the Onondaga Trail junction, usable trail stretches southwestward nearly 460 miles. The majority of this trail is on New York’s Finger Lakes Trail System. The FLT is an east-west footpath system across the state from the Catskills in the east to the Alleganys in the west. It passes south of the Finger Lakes, and has several branches extending north of the main east-west route. The trail passes through some of the most varied and beautiful country in the east — forests, lakes, glacially sculpted hills and valleys, secluded glens and waterfalls.

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Betty September 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Could you tell me when the usual time is for fall foliage? We are planning a visit! Thank you!

Rick Sutliff January 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

It all depends on where you are. In the upper Adirondack portion the leaves start to turn as early as September. In the Central -Middle section the trees are usually at peak the first week of October. And the fingerlakes section varies from End of Sept to almost November. But if your in the state in October 10-20, you’ll see some fantastic colors…. We natives just like to point out when “PEAK” color is becuase it only lasts about 3 days.

MiddleMarlene January 22, 2012 at 8:39 am

Can you please tell me when is the best time to start hiking the NCT at its starting point in Crown Point, NY?

Mott March 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I’m giving serious thought to mid-April which any other year would probably be too early. I am having difficulty finding good information on route planning through the Adirondacks as I guess there is no actual NCT there yet.

Matt Rowbotham April 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

Recently put this together for another hiker…The route is sill in planning. If you wanted to you could follow some of the existing trail segments highlighted in the following and then connect them with roads. Use caution as this is wilderness

The following contains Mary Coffin’s data for the western part of the park and data from Norm Kuchar’s group for the eastern part of the park.

When unzipped you’ll have their raw data and note sheets in two separate directories.

You’ll also have the original NCTA maps with their data added to them. See their note sheets to decode the way points on these maps.

Eb Eberhart May 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

By all means, trek the High Peaks Wilderness–where the NCNST should go, but probably never will.

Robert Cochran August 23, 2013 at 11:48 am

On our vacation in the Adirondack Mountains we climbed Mt. Baker, St Regis Mt and Ampersand Mt. The 49 peak challenge is for the really fit climber. We are in later 70′s and brought grandchildren 10 and younger to enjoy being in natures playground. We recommend a visit to Saranac Lake, NY to climb 6 peaks, to earn the Saranac Lake SL 6er.
Saranac Lake, N.Y., is a timeless Adirondack village, nestled among pristine lakes, evergreen forests and nearby mountains.

MARY C COFFIN October 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

Hike NCT Onondaga Trail and Finger Lakes Trail in New York
July 13-19, 2014 $610
This is a day hiking trip on the 4600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. Each day we will hike a section of the NCNST on the Finger Lakes Trail’s Onondaga with day pack for 6-10 miles using vans to shuttle between campus and trail heads. Our group will stay and eat at Cazenovia College in the small picturesque village of Cazenovia on Cazenovia Lake.

The FLT/NCT Onondaga Trail travels over the glacial ridges and valleys that form the Finger Lakes. Hikers will experience gradual ups and downs through picturesque forested land with spectacular overlooks and valley views, many streams, ponds and water falls. We will also see remnants of past days; foundations, artifacts and cemeteries along the trail.

If you are interested in bagging a few miles of North Country National Scenic Trail and concurrent Finger Lakes Trail, this might be the trip for you. NCTA trips are noted for the camaraderie and lasting friendships that develop during hiking experiences.

Contact leader:, 315-687-3589

max November 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm

you should start at the end on the winter march or april, you will need more winter gear like snow shoes with crampons, winter clothing, you would be doing a lot of road walking if you start in the east so you might not need the snow shoes but strider started in the end of winter and got wet feet from the snow.