In a bit of classic Adirondack irony, you are very unlikely to get lost while snowshoeing to Lost Pond. In fact, this might be one of the most well-marked trails inside the Blue Line.
Lost Pond is a beautiful little gem of a pond that is just as picturesque in winter as in summer. So when I set out from the parking area near the state’s Putnam Pond Campground on a cold but sunny February day, I was excited for the adventure.
Setting out from the parking area, I started heading roughly south, following a well-packed trail that was also marked with yellow state Department of Environmental Conservation trail markers. The trail is so well marked that in most places I could see the next two markers from where I was on the trail. This may change during the spring and summer when the leaves are out, but it’s hard to wander off this path, making the flat hike an excellent option for families.
Walking through open hardwoods, I looked at numerous sets of tracks, including winter beaver tracks, which look like a 4-inch wide path through the snow. I was surprised, thinking they wouldn’t be active, but some other clues later on confirmed that beavers were lurking in the area.
At just over a half-mile from the trailhead, there was a long, narrow, wooden bridge over a small gorge. There was still some running water under the fluffy snow, so the bridge was quite welcome and kept my snowshoes from getting gunked up with ice.
From the bridge, the trail ascends the other side and then levels out again. At 1 mile, there is a rather large beaver swamp to the left of the trail, and it’s beautiful enough in winter that the few extra steps are well worth it for the view. The trail climbs a little more, though never steeply, to Lost Pond at right about 1.35 miles. Here, a post with DEC signs on it shows the split in the trail.
It was hard to tell in winter, but going left here brings hikers to a nice place to take in the view of the pond. People looking for a shorter hike can simply turn around and head out while still getting a great workout in, but the more adventurous can continue on the lollipop loop around the pond for a longer snowshoe.
I hugged the left (east) shore of the pond, still following the yellow DEC markers, and about halfway down the pond, the land got much steeper, sloping from the left down to the shore. This area was tricky on snowshoes, with rather large boulders dotting the way, but despite worrying a bit, I was soon at the southern end of the pond, looking up the ice back to where I came from.
Continuing on around the southern end of the pond, I came to two of the three DEC-designated campsites, and no lie, it’s going to be hard not coming back in the warmer months to take advantage of this first come, first served public resource. The backcountry sites are in great places, and it would be a quick walk in with no snow on the ground.
Looping around, the trail made its way north along the western shore, where the woods were younger and thicker, but the trail never ventures far from the shore of Lost Pond. I kept going north, passing by the third campsite before reaching the spot where the trail splits. To this point, it was a quick and easy 2.6 miles, and with the sun beating down the temperature up about 25 degrees since I had started, it was hard to say goodbye to Lost Pond. But there was another stop to make before heading home.
Après ski is a French term that literally translates to “after skiing,” and refers to that great time after a day on the slopes when the boots come off and drinks and hors d'oeuvres are shared as the day’s turns are celebrated. But why limit it to skiing? I say, après ski, après snowboard, après snowshoe!
Luckily, the Adirondack Hub has plenty of places to enjoy after a day in the woods, and people venturing to Lost Pond are in luck because just up the road (Route 9 or I-87, that is) is the new Paradox Brewery.
Located near the state’s new Frontier Town campground, Paradox Brewery recently opened the doors on this location as well, and beer drinkers are in for a treat! From favorites like the Beaver Bite IPA to monthly brews corresponding with the Adirondacks’ weather, Paradox Brewery is the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day on the trails.
While beer lovers will rejoice at the wide selection, they also have drinks for everyone in the family. There’s room for the kids to run around and games to be played in the huge lodge, which overlooks the brewing operation. Snowmobilers, hikers, and skiers (anyone really!) can stop in and enjoy the warm atmosphere and friendly service. Plus, they have growlers, t-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs to take home with you.
In addition to great hikes and amazing beer, the Adirondack Hub has so much to offer. From quaint inns to quirky shops to incredible food, the Hub is the perfect place for your Adirondack vacation.
If you go: from Interstate 87 (the Northway), take Exit 28 and then state Route 74 east for 12.8 miles. Turn right onto Essex County Route 39 and go 3.2 miles to the trailhead on the left. The trail begins at the back of the parking area.
While it’s unlikely you’ll get lost exploring Lost Pond, the Adirondack Hub has so much to see and do that you’ll want to lose yourself in an Adirondack vacation. There are unique places to stay, great food to be had, and plenty of events that will keep the whole family happy and busy.