There is a slight incline to this hike but it's very pretty and a relaxing hike. The pond gets its name from an early pioneer named Timothy Challis.
From Exit 29 off of Interstate 87, follow Blue Ridge Road toward North Hudson and take a left onto Route 9 and to follow it north. Continue for 2.5 miles and turn right on Caza Turn Road, then take the next right onto Ensign Pond Road. Follow Ensign Pond Road for around 2.5 miles to the trailhead on the right. There is limited parking and a fairly obscure trail, with only a small sign marking it.
By the numbers
The Challis Pond Trail is an easy, 1.2 mile loop.
The trail traverses a fine hemlock and cedar forest. This is a very enjoyable just over half-mile hike to a pond; it's easy to fall in love with. With minimal effort and only a slight climb, the trail passes a small, attractive waterfall before it reaches the north end of Challis Pond. A nice family picnic might be in order here.
Challis Pond offers early-season anglers brook trout. Reclaimed in 1992, the Little Tupper Lake Strain of brook trout were then stocked in this 15-acre pond. Remember that trout fishing is best when the water temperatures are cool – ice out to mid-May and then again in mid-September until the close of the season. Because this is a reclaimed pond, the use or possession of baitfish is prohibited here.
The hardest part of this paddle destination is reaching it, and that isn’t all that difficult with a lightweight boat. The portage to the pond is slightly uphill but the footing is pretty good in reaching this small backcountry jewel. It will be a 0.6 mile carry to the pond. The water is calm and well protected. There is no official launch but anywhere along the shore can be used.