Catlin Bay is a simple 1.1 mile hike along the Northville-Placid Trail at a scenic location along the northeast shore of Long Lake. Catlin Bay is also easily reached by canoe or kayak for an outstanding multi-day canoe camping adventure.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in the Town of Long Lake follow Route 28N toward Newcomb. Continue on 28N for about 3-miles to Tarbell Hill Road on the left. Follow Tarbell Hill Road for about 1-mile to the parking for the Northville/Placid Trail on the right. The trail is 100-feet further, just over the hill on the right.
You will be following the Northville-Placid Trail for this hike and returning via the same route. From the trailhead you will begin a rather sizable descent which will bring you a wetland area with boardwalks placed for easier travel. Once past the wet area the trail stays relatively flat with a few small rolling hills. The lean-to will soon be on your left. Head to the lean-to on a short trail and continue along on a herd-path to other camping areas and eventually Catlin Bay. This is an excellent spot to sit and relax and maybe even go for a short dip. In the summer, this bay tends to be a very busy camping destination.
Trailhead to Catlin Bay: 1.1 miles
Several camping areas are in the vicinity as well as an outstanding lean-to on the shores of Catlin Bay.
The walk through boreal wetlands takes you over raised walkways and is home to Black-backed Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and Boreal Chickadees. There is a "northern" feeling when walking through this area dominated by spruce, fir, tamarack and alders. The marsh/bog with a meandering brook is a particularly species-rich habitat.
The second half of the trail moves through mixed forest where you may see Ruby-crowned Kinglets, nesting Northern Goshawks, and up to 14 varieties of woodland warblers, including Yellow-rumped, Magnolia, and Blackburnian.
This trail takes you through a mixed forest habitat, crossing a stream where you'll see Winter Wrens, Brown Creepers, and many of the wood warblers found on the southern route. As you approach the lake at Caitlin Bay, look for many species of waterfowl, Common Loons, and Bald Eagles.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
Lack of regular ski use will be your biggest challenges on this trip, but otherwise, it's a fine outing for skis and definitely snowshoes.