This route includes Split Rock Mountain, Webb-Royce Swamp, and Coon Mountain. Watch for Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Osprey, herons, porcupines, and endangered timber rattlesnakes.
Along with the gorgeous views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain, there are also wonderful hiking possibilities along this route. The Split Rock tract and Webb Royce Swamp are the longest undeveloped tract (4.3 miles) on Lake Champlain. Services are available in Essex and Whallonsburg.
18.5 miles, intermediate difficulty
Turn by turn directions
Start at Essex Ferry Dock, and turn south on County 9/Main St. At the 0.3 mile point turn right on School Rd, and at the 0.5 mile point the road becomes unpaved for 1.1 miles, until the 1.7 mile point, where a turn left on County 66/Middle Road leads to a right turn on Christian Road. At the 3.6 mile point this is unpaved for 0.5 mile.
At the 5.0 mile point turn right on County 55/Whallons Bay Road. Just 0.3 miles later take a left on Rt. 22 for 7.5 miles, than take a left on Merriam Forge Rd, which is unpaved. At the 7.8 mile point the road will cross the Boquet River. At the 9.0 mile point turn left on Halds Rodd. Notice the steel bridge on the right. At the 9.9 mile point the Coon Mountain Trailhead makes a nice side trip.
The 10.7 mile point is when to take a left on County 9/Lakeshore Road, and at the 12.5 mile point there's Split Rock Trail Head for another hiking opportunity. At the 15.9 mile point go straight at Whallons Bay Road. At the 18.5 mile point the loop ends back at the Essex Ferry Dock.
Enjoy lovely scenery from the shores of Lake Champlain to the rippling Boquet River, with historic steel bridges offering photo opportunities, and optional hikes.