NY Route 28: Central Adirondack Trail: Old Forge - Thendara
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NY Route 28: Central Adirondack Trail
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The East-West Site of NYRoutes.com from February, 2003
From the Adirondack Northway, I-87 to the New York State Thruway, I-90
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Old Forge & Thendara

McCauley Mountain Ski Center
McCauley Mountain Ski Center

The twin hamlets of Old Forge & Thendara lie alongside the Middle Branch of the Moose River, on the west end of the Fulton Lake Chain, in northern Herkimer County. They are both in the Town of Webb. Old Forge is the more settled eastern part of the strip to the Middle Branch of the Moose River and Thendara is the western part, the 40 mph zone, where the railroad station is. For the Adirondacks, they are large resort towns, but are small compared to the more southern parts of the state in the Catskills. The Town of Webb maintains 100 of miles of groomed snowmobile trails but charges $80/season ($65 before November 15th) or $45 for a week, for trail use. The snow is excellent here and it is a mecca for the sledders. The Town of Webb also operates a ski area at McCauley Mountain ( vertical drop: 633', 1 double chair, 2 tows, 1 T-bar ). In the summer, it is very family resort like, with the Enchanted Forest Water Safari waterslide park, 5 screen movie theater, numerous lakeside inns, good public library and other activities for all tastes and budgets. There's the DEC campground at Nick's Lake too, near McCauley Mountain. Plus, as in most places, a good free public beach is there for you to cool off. It's full time population is less than 1800 folks, but it grows to 20 to 30,000 during the summer peak. This is also a year round, locally owned movie theater with four screens, a movie/film museum and great prices, it's a must! For all the crowds, it is still remote enough for the purists; most of the development is concentrated on the lakes and NY 28. The surrounding country side is typical remote Adirondack wilderness. If you like deer, the town is literally over-run with them, you can see them everywhere, even in the business and residential neighborhoods.

From April to November, the Adirondack Railroad operates excursion scenic train rides from Utica Union Station to Thendara. The tickets are reasonably priced and the ride through the remote wilderness is priceless. The train will even make flag stops to any remote wilderness clearing for some real backwoods camping, fishing or hunting. The service is pretty good in season and it offers the car-less traveler a great way to explore the 'Daks, since Utica is served regularly by Amtrak mainline trains. Unfortunately, as of now, there is no regular service from Thendara north-east to Tupper - Saranac - Lake Placid (Tri-Lakes) region as the line goes through boggy, swampy countryside. In the winter of course, the RR serves as the main snowmobile trail through the 'Daks, taking you all the way to Lake Placid via Tupper and Saranac Lakes.

ridge or hills on NY 28 between Old Forge and Eagle Bay
NY 28 is a little rough east of Old Forge to Eagle Bay, hilly with a few bends. Though it is an improvement over the older grade and was finished off in 2007. In the middle of Old Forge there is a sharp bend to the right as you climb the hill heading west. In season, there are a lot of pedestrians so be careful. They also rebuilt the road around the Adirondack Railroad Overpass in Thendara. West of the overpass, the road is wide and straight all the way to the Moose River. Next to Lake Placid, Old Forge is the busiest place in the Adirondack Parks. Finally, it features the best 24 gas and food store in the Adirondack Park, and the only in this area, right in the Old Forge, 30 mph zone side, of the Moose River.
Deer on Joy Tract Road
NOTICE SLEDDERS! The Towns of Webb and Inlet, including Eagle Bay, Moose Lake, Old Forge and Thendara, and all the Chain lakes, require a trail permit for sledding on the two towns' trails. Also, your sled must be registered in New York State for use anywhere in the state. The Adirondack RR and Moose River Road, in Inlet, are free though.
Sleds in Old Forge by town beach

snowmobiles on covered bridge

Useful Links:
Town of Webb's Official Site
Town of Webb Historical Association, Museum
"I Love Old Forge" calendar of local events

Participating Establishments
Old Forge: 13420, Thendara: 13472 Zip 315 Area Code

Webmeister Recommended Strand Movie Theater NY Route 28, Main St., just west and uphill from the bends in downtown Old Forge
5 feature films, all year, all week long, great memorabilia and decor
See movies here and save $3 or more over mall prices with real atmosphere & hospitality
Go to website for this week's movies! Phone: 315-369-6703
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