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Dead Creek Trail- Wanakena NY

Posted by Bill Hill,
North Country explorer from Edwards NY
January 16, 1966

Dead Creek Trail – Wanakena
The Dead Creek Trail is one of my “go-to” trails that I visit every once in a while. I prefer it in the winter. It’s easy to think you’re in Alaska or the wild north of Canada. Of course, you’re not. You are actually a couple of miles from Wanakena on the old railroad grade from the logging days the ended well over a century ago.
The weekend’s weather has been all over the place. The temperatures sunk to -20 (or more) over the previous two nights. Monday has winter storm “Izzy” on the forecast for a major snowfall. So that left a sunny Sunday with a temperature of 20 degrees- perfect for the first snowshoe trek of the year. Our destination was the picturesque campsite #37. This is 0.25-miles NW of Janack’s Landing, as the crow flies. If you were to stay on the trail, the landing is over a mile away.
Our route hadn’t seen much traffic, but there had been some skiers, and we tried to stay off of their trail as much as possible. We ran into a group of snowshoers on our return. One of the group had lost a hearing aid. We kept our eyes open, and my wife spied it laying in the snow. A quick back-track and we were able to return it to its owner.
Our day totaled 4.2-miles round trip and 167’ of elevation gain. The red-marked trailhead is on the South Shore Road (Wanakena), 0.5-mile from the bridge. Parking is on the right. Note- there are two parking areas close to the other. You want the second one. This trail leads into the Five Ponds Wilderness area. Popular destinations are Janack’s Landing, Cat Mountain, High Falls, and many others. It’s a perfect, easy trail to enjoy the great outdoors and is best (in my opinion) in the winter.