Looking for a backcountry pond that doesn't require a lot of work to get to? If so, Cheney Pond is perfect for you! It's all peaceful wild forest and beautiful scenery. Visitors in any season can enjoy a variety of activities, including: hiking, fishing, paddling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and camping. Make Cheney Pond your destination for the day, or combine it with a longer hike for more time on the trail.

How to get there

To get here, follow Blue Ridge Road (County Road 84) toward Newcomb from Exit 29 off I-87. It is 13.4 mile to the trailhead parking area on the left. The "trail" to Cheney Pond follows an old access road, and while travel is permitted, it it not recommended. At first, the access road appears to be a fine gravel road, but soon deteriorates with washouts, ruts, and extremely muddy sections. No worries though; it's only about a half mile walk to the pond with minimal elevation change.

By the numbers

  • Round trip distance: about 1 mile
  • Elevation loss: about 150 feet 

Hiking

Follow the old access road turned into an easy trail to a camping, picnic, and launch area at the pond. The hike is quite easy and all downhill to the pond. The wide trail is colorful in wildflower season. You will pass by an intersection with the trail to Lester Dam at 0.4 miles. Turn left here and the pond is 500 feet away. 

Fishing

Trout can be easily fished from shore and the bullheads tend to bite all day. There is a shallow bay on the north side of the pond, which is a nice location for panfish and floating a bobber for brookies. Fish species include: brook trout, bullhead, panfish, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. There are plenty of grassy areas where bass are said to hide.

Paddling

This lovely little pond is part of the Lester Flow. This is a hand launch only. Canoes and kayaks will likely need to be wheeled or carried the half mile to the pond.

Snowshoeing

Since it is not that long of a trail, this makes for a great snowshoe for beginners or even an excellent place to stretch your legs before a more rigorous adventure. Snowshoeing over a frozen body of water is a winter past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said, it can be a dangerous activity to cross frozen waterbodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything, including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice. 

Cross-country skiing

From the parking to the pond, it is all downhill, so it will be an exciting ski to your destination! Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.

Camping

There is a large camping area on the pond, including a lean-to! This is a great choice for those looking to try winter camping. It's remote, yet only a little over a mile round trip to the car parked at the trailhead.

Cheney Pond is a scenic pond that feels remote, but is an easy hike.

As seen here, Cheney Pond is only the first stop in a lovely network of trails.

A small hand launch will let you explore the pond's interesting shoreline.

It's all downhill to the pond, on a slight incline. Great beginner's shoe!

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