The current (2020) route is ~142 miles with 17,000' elevation gain. Prior to Daven Oskvig's 2020 run, the FKT was for the ~122 mile continuous trail section, omitting 10+ miles of roads on either end. Additional miles were added to the route in 2013 and 2015. Oskvig's FKT covered the entire 142 mile trail, including all road sections & the piece from the depot in Lake Placid to Ayersville Road.
Pre-2013 route description & FKT discussion:
According to Wikipedia: "The Northville-Lake Placid Trail, also known as the NPT, is a lightly-travelled foot trail that runs 133 mi (214 km) through the Adirondack Park in northern New York State. It was laid out by the Adirondack Mountain Club in 1922 and 1923, and is now maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation."
Though the NPT is officially 133 miles, for 10+ miles from Northville to Benson it follows paved roads, and the last 1.2 miles or so into Lake Placid are also on paved roads. Most hikers consider the "practical" end points of the NPT avoid these beginning and ending road sections, so that the trail route is about 122 miles. So far, speed runs of the NPT have also skipped these beginning and ending road sections.
Prior to Tim Seaver's 2005 run, Richard Denker held the FKT for the NPT at 40h20m, set in August 16-17, 1973, when Denker was just 18 years old. He was supported by a large group from the Boy Scouts of America.
Vermonter Tim Seaver broke Denker's record on August 6-7, 2005, running 122 miles in 37h31m, supported by his wife and a friend, and using about 44 self-cached 1/2 liter water bottles. Seaver had posted his own splits, as well as details of Denker's 1973 run, on his website, but this information seems now to have disappeared. Seaver did discuss differences between the route of the trail in 2005 and 1973 on the Adirondack Hiking Forum, but again this seems to be gone. It appears that Seaver's run was about 2 miles longer than Denker's.
Sheryl Wheeler ran the 122 mile trail section in 35h13m on June 15-16, 2011. This is the overall FKT. She also ran the entire 133-mile Northville - Lake Placid Trail in a time of 39h16m. This was a supported run, but we have no further details.
There have been a couple fairly fast unsupported trips on the NPT. Drew Haas did the full 133 (135?) miles from Northville to the Averyville Road train station in 2d12h30m on Sept. 2-5, 2009, Previously the fastest known unsupported time was 3d8h by Erik Schlimmer, in October 2008.
I am going to attempt to set the FKT on the entire Northville-Lake Placid Trail, starting in Lake Placid and ending on Main Street in Northville. My attempt will include the paved sections of road at both ends of the trail. I will be leaving Lake Placid at approximately 5am on Thursday, July 5, 2018. This will be a supported attempt. I will be using a Garmin Inreach mini to do live tracking of my attempt and will include the link here in advance. I will also include a link to a Facebook site that will include updates/pictures from support crew.
Did you start this attempt? How did it go? I am looking at attempting this route in the late fall, any information would be appreciated.
Thank you, Mike
Hey all! Starting on the morning of Monday, July 1st 2019, I'll be attempting to lower the unsupported record on the Northville-Placid Trail. Simultaneously, I'll be trying to bring down the overall FKT (Sheryl Wheeler, 39:16) in unsupported style. Of note, a significant portion of trail has been added since the previous FKTs, resulting in very little road walk and the addition of a few miles. I'll be starting in Lake Placid and ending in Northville, at the official termini of the path.
My Garmin InReach tracker link is here: https://us0-share.inreach.garmin.com/robertrives
I'll also be recording with my watch for backup/more detailed data.
If service is available, I may post updates to my Instagram story. IG link: https://www.instagram.com/rob.rives/
(For clarification, I am of no relation to the previous "RobR" who posted here.)
I ended my attempt after 61 miles due to huge amounts of blowdowns and mud, which was taking a big toll on my feet. I should have waited until autumn to let things dry out a bit.
I will start an unsupported attempt on the now 138 mile NPT starting around 8am on Tuesday August 13, 2019 at the Averyville Rd start of the trail and go SB. I do not have sleeping gear and thus plan to just go continuous. I will track the run with my watch and a rechargeable battery pack. Updates via IG @avermily and post run data can be found on Strava @Andrew Vermilyea. It has been 4 years since my unsuccessful supported attempt that I pulled out of at 100 miles. I hope this attempt will push towards Sheryl's overall, supported time, but who knows!
Andy Vermilyea, Castleton VT
Why are all the FKT attempts n-s when the trail is a s-n trail?
I will be doing recon toward an unsupported FKT in the fall, perhaps likely doing the entire route in a supported manner in the next week or two (July 28-Aug 5). I will verify specific date, direction, start / finish to be run once details are set.
Daven W. Oskvig, Amherst, NY
Publicly announcing now a supported attempt on the NPT starting on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 heading north to south.
Excited to see someone take a poke at this.
I abandoned at Wakely Damn after 16 hrs covering 65 miles which started at the Lake Placid train station. I will recon second half at some point and hope to make a go of the complete NPT as an FKT in September.
I'm going to set out from the Lake Placid train station tomorrow morning around 5am, hoping to set an unsupported FKT on the NPT southbound. I will be recording on an inreach mini and my watch. I plan to sleep for a bit somewhere south of Wakely Dam.
Jim Pergolizzi, Pittsford, New York
Bailed at Lake Durant after a clogged water filter and upset stomach. Beautiful trail. I'd like to give it another shot.
Heading NOBO on Wednesday early morning from Northville as overall supported FKT attempt (at minimum a recon of second half not covered a couple of weeks back). I will be tracking / recording on my watch.
Daven Oskvig, Amherst, NY
Hi, is the current fkt route considered to be the 122 mile route or the ~138 mile route? This pages description indicates everyone cuts out the road sections on each side, but the current unsupported fkt did the 133 mile version (possibly? not sure which of these is accurate). Anyone weighing in would be appreciated, thanks.
I am as far from a source of authority as one can get, as I guess we all are on here, but I will tell you my thinking, because I wondered the same thing and spent a fair amount of time looking into it. There is no 122 mile route any longer. According to npttrail.org, the southern end of the trail changed in a couple different ways from 2013 to 2015. First, the trail was rerouted, changing the southern terminus of the wooded section of the trail from the parking lot at the northern end of Godfrey Road, around nearby Woods Lake, to Benson Road. That eliminated 1.6 miles of road walking and added a couple miles of trail. Then, a few years later, the trail was extended from Benson Road south to Collins Gifford Valley Road, which eliminated 5.5 more miles of road walking, but added a few more miles to the whole trail. Best I can tell, the trail from the corner of Averyville and Military Roads in Lake Placid to Benson Road is about 125 miles, and the whole trail is 138.
If you're gunning for the unsupported FKT, I think you should go train station to train station. I wouldn't fault anyone for calling the northern terminus the corner of Averyville and Military Roads, as that's where the official website shows the end of the trail. But since it historically, at least from what I've read, went to the train station in Lake Placid, it's only another 0.6 miles, and the account on this site says that Drew Haas' current unsupported record was from train station to train station, there'd clearly be no questions if you go train station to train station.
For a supported attempt, from all accounts, while Sheryl Wheeler bested Tim Seaver's 122 mile (or there about) trailhead to trailhead FKT (Godfrey Road on the south), she also continued on to Northville (for a full 133 miles). Though the trail she did was different, as I mentioned above, and had over 10 miles of roads on the southern end at the time, I'd say that someone claiming the overall supported (or un, I suppose) FKT would have the best argument if she or he finished the entire trail (now 138 miles) in less than her overall time of 39 hours 16 minutes. I would be interested to see what would happen if someone bested her trailhead to trailhead time of 35:13, ending at Benson Road or even the Godfrey Spur Trail on the south, and then failed to get to Northville (just assuming, as all attempts I've see have been southbound) under her overall time.
I’ll be attempting male solo unsupported thru hike FKT of the NPT southbound from Placid train station parking lot to the northville arch across from the Stewart’s (138 miles) The intent is to improve Drew Haas’s time of 60.5 hours(understanding that his FKT was set on a 135? mile trail heading north bound). I will be recording my progress via coros/spot x Planned start:
Thursday 13 August 2020.
East Jewett NY
“Who the heck is this guy?”
Got past Cedar Creek Heading south and pulled the plug. Number of factors. Tough conditions, some minor pack issues, and foot issues that have never ever occurred before on similar terrain/distances. Walk of shame back to wakley to sit and be devoured by those GD flies while waiting for my ride.
I will attempt a male solo FKT going SOBO, starting on August 28 at 6am. My progress will be trackable via a live feed (https://share.garmin.com/MarceloArruda).
Thank you Jesse Canfield for your recent posts :o)
After running the trail in 2 halves in late-July and then mid-August, I'm making a final attempt having now seen and run the whole thing to link those halves together. I'm heading SOBO out of the old depot parking lot in Lake Placid on Saturday, September 19, 2020 @ 3 AM. I will be tracking on my garmin. This is a supported attempt hoping to set the mark for the current trail (138 miles).
We will be attempting an overall unsupported FKT starting October 2 at 6AM with the intent of improving Drew Haas's time of 60.5 hours. We will be starting at the Lake Placid train station parking lot, heading SOBO, and ending at the NPT arch in Northville. Progress will be trackable via live feed (https://share.garmin.com/KatieGhidiu).
Katie Ghidiu and Nathan Huckle
You’re killing it!!! Amazing work!
Aaack. BAIL. Found out on trail someone in my little circle turned up COVID positive. Had to get home and didn’t seem smart to push on with an exposure just in case. WTH, COVID!