The Roosevelt Truck Trail is a perfect place for birding, cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and accessible camping. It is surrounded by boreal habitat, so you really feel like you are the in the heart of the north woods!
How to get there
There are two trailheads for the Roosevelt Truck Trail, making it possible to do a thru-trip if you have two cars available. The trail runs between Blue Ridge Road and Route 28N. A map is available here. GPS coordinates are available the DEC website and may be more helpful finding this location since there is no trailhead sign.
To access from Blue Ridge Road, travel west on Blue Ridge Road from North Hudson. Follow this road 15 miles to the location on the right. The entrance is on a curve and can be difficult to spot, but there is a a metal gate and stone wall on each side of the trail. There's room for 2 cars to park on the side of the road.
To access from Route 28N, travel east on Route 28N from Newcomb. Cross over the railroad tracks, and then in another 0.4 miles, you'll reach a road that leads north of the highway (it looks like driveway). Turn here, and park in the woods, but do not block the gate. Again, there is room for 2 cars.
By the numbers
- The trail extends 2.0 miles from end to end
This boreal habitat is perfect for finding unique birds! Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadees, and Canada Jays are present year-round, but in warmer months, there are warblers aplenty! This is one of the few known locations Cape May Warblers nest in the Adirondacks. Read more about birding here in our blog.
Hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing
The trail has minimal elevation gain, only going uphill slightly in a few places.
There are two accessible tent sites located along this trail. Access to the sites is from the Route 28N trailhead with a Motorized Access Permit for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit. This is available from the DEC. Four wheel drive pick-ups or other high clearance vehicles are recommended. The tent sites have a firm, level surface with accessible picnic tables and accessible privies.
North Hudson has a new cross-country ski trail! Located near the brand-new Frontier Town camping and day-use area, the new route travels south through the gorgeous, snowy woods of the Hammond Pond Wild Forest.
How to get there
Parking is on Route 9 near Frontier Town.
The trail is beautiful and you'll find its mellow grades peaceful as you kick and glide through the forest. Find a trail map here and start exploring!
Stony Pond Trail is part of an intricate network of pond trails in the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. The pond itself is 1.8 miles from the trailhead. There it intersects with the Hewitt Pond Trail.
A lean-to near the shore of Stony Pond provides views of Green Mountain. The trail continues for just over a mile more along the shores of Little Sherman Pond and Big Sherman Pond to the southern shore of Big Sherman Pond.
How to get there
Take Exit 29 off of Interstate 87 and follow Boreas Road west toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N, take a left and head toward Minerva. Continue for just under 10.5 miles to the trailhead on the left.
From the trailhead the path climbs slightly before descending to a new bridge overlooking a wetland. As you approach Stony Pond you will have a beautiful brook babbling to your left with small cascades that produce a wonderful sound.
To continue on to Center Pond, take a left at the picnic table and cross the outlet. The trail here continues through a lush forest over rolling terrain to an even lovelier backcountry pond. There is a 0.2-mile spur to Center Pond. Continuing straight leads to the Hewitt Pond Road trailhead, 3.1 miles away.
- Elevation gain one way: 360 feet
- Distance to the end of Big Sherman Pond: 2.8 miles
There is a lean-to and a picnic table at the pond, which offers views of Green Mountain.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
This is a good length for a pretty snowshoe that can be completed in a day. The trail continues as a designated snowmobile trail only beyond the ponds, as it crosses private lands.
This is a great trail which winds through Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. Around Stony Pond, Big and Little Sherman, and the Brook Falls Yurts.
Ungroomed, backcountry, trail.
Lean-to at Stony Pond, great lunch destination. Services in Minerva.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a mellow hike in the wilderness, it doesn't get much better than this!
From the intersection of Hoffman Road (County Route 24) and Route 9, follow Hoffman Road. Continue for 2.5 miles or so to the trailhead parking on the right. The trailhead has parking for several cars. The trail is on the left of the parking lot.
By the numbers
- Elevation: 1,281 feet
- Ascent: 75 feet
- Distance: 1.5 miles to the pond
This trail maintains an easy grade with very little change in elevation. It's mainly on a wide course through the forest but will get slightly narrower in spots.
Leaving the trailhead, the path soon drops slightly to a bridge near the outlet of a narrow pond. This narrow pond does not have a name, but it could be considered South Big Pond. The trail climbs gently from here. Big Pond is slightly off the main trail, but it can easily be seen through the trees to the left. A path will lead the 100 feet downhill to the shore, where there are outstanding vistas. The trail continues straight and connects to the Hoffman Notch Trail.
In winter ...
This trail is also perfect in winter for snowshoeing and for a more adventurous skier!
By summer, it's a beautiful golf course. By winter, it becomes a lovely place to cross-country ski and snowshoe right in town. Enjoy the gentle slopes!
Get ready to ski back in time here! The end destination is the historic Great Camp Santanoni.
How to get there
From I-87, take Exit 29 and then head west along Blue Ridge Road toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N in Newcomb and head right into the village. Pass almost entirely through the village and locate the Newcomb Lake Road on the right; there will be a DEC sign for Camp Santanoni. Drive this road to its end at the magnificent gatehouse and parking.
By the numbers
- Distance: 5 miles to the Great Camp
- Elevation gain/ loss to destination: 320 feet to height of land
From the trailhead, you will pass by the gate and start a wonderful ski over mellow terrain. This road gets a ton of winter use by skiers and snowshoers, so expect it to be a fast ski, especially on the sparse and moderate downhills. In a short amount of time, after an easy uphill ski, you will come to the milk stables and some old farm houses that are being restored. From here you will be skiing mostly uphill but on a very easy grade, at times hardly noticeable and seemingly flat.
Just prior to the crossing of the bridge at Newcomb Lake there is a slight downhill, but that is the extent of the thrills you will have in that regard. The camp itself is a wonderful place and is reach after 5.0 miles.
Find out more
Read our blog post: Ski into the Past at Great Camp Santanoni.
Avalanche Lake is beautiful and remote. It's well worth the trip for those who are prepared for the miles. Avalanche Pass is usually approached from the Adirondack Loj. But it can also be approached from the Upper Works, and when the two are combined make for an excellent through hike. Below both routes are described for those who want to hike the complete pass from Lake Placid to Newcomb or vice versa.
How to get there
Upper Works: From exit 29 on the I87, follow the Blue Ridge Road (CR84) toward Newcomb. Continue for roughly 18 miles to the Tahawus Road (CR25) on the right. Follow this road for 6.3 miles to a left at a sign for the High Peaks and then to its end at Upper Works at 9 miles.
Adirondack Loj: Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for about 3 miles to Adirondack Loj Road on the right. Follow Adirondack Loj Road to its end at Heart Lake and park in the main parking lot. A $10 parking fee will be required.
This is a 6.8 mile hike, one way to the south end of Avalanche Lake. Starting from Upper Works it is a long day to the south shore of Avalanche Lake and back, but a rewarding through hike to Adirondak Loj.
From the parking area at Upper Works. the trail starts mostly flat, but starts its climb to Flowed Lands after a junction at 1.6 miles. Flowed Lands, reached at 4.5 miles offers amazing views through the valley past Mount Colden. From Flowed Lands you will hike its perimeter along a difficult trail of many ups and downs to the dam on Lake Colden. From the dam you will pass through a heavily used camping are along the shore of Lake Colden. Past Lake Colden you will climb a bit to the south end of Avalanche Lake where the views are breathtaking.
- Elevation: 925'
- Ascent: 2,535'
This is a 5.2 mile hike, one way to the south end of Avalanche Lake. From the Loj follow the hikers' approach trail to the High Peaks that leads to Marcy Dam. From Marcy Dam, follow the trail toward Lake Colden. The first mile is a gentle climb, but the next half-mile is steeper to the new (1999) slide at the top of the pass. Passing by a couple of newer (2011) slides on the side of Mount Colden you make your way through the apex of the pass where the temperatures are typically much cooler. Vast cliffs and wet rocks loom over you as light fights to get to the ground. The trail then descends to Avalanche Lake.
The hike past the lake is a bit demanding, especially with full packs, many choose to stop here and enjoy the views of the sheer rock cliffs of Colden and Avalanche Mountain as they meet the cold, placid waters of Avalanche Lake. Past this point you will contend with boulders, ladders and a very windy trail, but the views along this section of trail are amazing and well worth the effort.
Cross-Country skiing and snowshoeing
Following the same route, winter hikers may snowshoe or ski to the lake. Note: Short winter daylight hours and a long route necessitate proper winter gear and emergency equipment. See DEC's Hike Smart NY page for more info on safe winter adventures.
Crane Pond is a beautiful gem in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.
How to get there
Take Exit 28 off of Interstate 87 and follow Route 9 south, toward Schroon Lake. In just over a half mile, take a left onto Alder Meadow Road, follow it for about 2.2 miles, then turn onto Crane Pond Road. Follow that for 1.5 miles to the large parking area at the end of the road. Crane Pond Road is typically not in very good condition so be prepared for a longer walk or ski if it is not drivable.
This dirt road is one of the major northern access points for the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The road is becoming very rough since it is NOT maintained. The road travels 2 miles to Crane Pond. Hiking is the best option for travelers to the area, since the road often becomes impassable due to mud. From the DEC: Crane Pond road "extends 1.7 miles from the Crane Pond Trailhead at the edge of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness to the western shore of Crane Pond. The trail ascends 160 feet in the first 1.2 miles to the highest point on the trail and then descends 60 feet to the end of the trail. The last 0.7 mile of the trail parallels the north shore of Alder Pond... This trail is neither designated nor maintained for motor vehicle use. DEC discourages the use of the trail by motor vehicles, however, hikers should be alert for motor vehicles on the trail."
Crane Pond is 167 acres. There is plenty of shoreline fishing available. This pond is great for bass and panfish. The road back to Crane Pond is typically not very good, so driving it is not recommended. Consider this a pond you need to portage to. The portage is 2 miles along the dirt road, upon which a cart could easily be used. No motors are allowed in this Wilderness Area. Insider tips: troll the deep portions of the lake on the west end for lake trout, use the shallows for panfish and perch, and the south side of the pond and a northwest peninsula are decent for smallmouth bass. Cast out and reel back slow to bring them out from the steep slopes. Fish species types: bullhead, lake trout, bass, perch, and panfish.
Look for lake trout, northern pike, and yellow perch. The lake trout are open season all year, with a minimum length of 15 inches and daily limit of three. Use or possession of baitfish prohibited.
Crane Pond is the most popular paddling location within the wilderness because it is the most easily accessed and has shoreline tent sites. The pond can be accessed from Crane Pond Trailhead via Crane Pond Trail. Be prepared for a portage.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
A not-oft used road leads through old growth forest to this lovely pond, offering wonderful winter scenery!
There are nine designated tent sites on the shore of Crane Pond, which can only be accessed by water.