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Challis Pond Trail

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. 

Getting there

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.

Hiking

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.

Fishing

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.

Paddling

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.

Oliver Pond

Oliver Pond is a quiet body of water where the fish are plentiful and the wildlife is abundant! 

How to get there

South of Schroon Lake on Route 9, turn right onto Hoffman Road (County Road 24). Follow this for 8-miles to parking on the right.

Paddling

There is a short carry to the water, but once there, you'll find perfect flatwater for paddling. It's only 44.50 acres, so get ready for small pond paddling and solitude. There are also two campsites accessible via a short paddle.

Fishing

Fishing from a canoe or kayak is the best option here. The pond contains brook trout. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.

Wolf Pond

Wolf Pond is a gorgeous, 59-acre pond with a lean-to and shoreline views that include some of the High Peaks. The trail follows Wolf Pond Brook all the way to Wolf Pond, but since it steers clear of the marshy woods that line the stream’s western bank the brook is out of sight for more than half the trail.

How to get there

The trail to Wolf Pond starts on Blue Ridge Road, about 10 miles west of Exit 29 (Route I-87) and about 14 miles east of Newcomb. The large parking area is on the right if you’re coming from the highway.

By the numbers

It’s 2.3 miles to the pond with minimal elevation gain

Hiking

Leaving the parking area, the trail follows Wolf Pond Brook and soon crosses it on a wooden bridge. The trail gains a little elevation and continues to follow the brook, sometimes at a distance and sometimes along the bank, before finally swinging left and away from it to avoid the marshy area. Some ups and downs follow with the path gaining some elevation in spots, but those sections are brief and things never get too steep. Wolf Pond comes into view on the left at the 2.3 mile mark. There’s a lean-to that’s set back from the shore and a trail that follows the pond’s shore for stunning views of the mountains.

Fishing

This pond is stocked with native strain brook trout.

Camping

There is a new lean-to along the trail, near the pond.

Boreas Ponds Tract

Views of the High Peaks dominate the scene from the shore of Boreas Ponds, the 320-acre waterbody for which this region is named. LaBier Flow, Boreas River, LeClaire Brook, Casey Brook, Slide Brook, and White Lily Brook can also be found on this tract.

This tract is a new addition to the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve and the Department of Environmental Conservation is in the process of adding new features, such as trails, campsites, and maintaining roads. Please check their website for the most up-to-date information.

Getting there

Gulf Brook Road is the main route to Boreas Ponds. It's located off Blue Ridge Road, about 16.5 miles east of Newcomb and about 7 miles west of Exit 29 on I-87. Visitors are permitted to drive on Gulf Brook Road as far as the fourth parking area, after which it's an easy 3.5 mile walk or bike ride to the pond.

Hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing

Gulf Brook Road is currently the main route to Boreas Ponds, but a number of other trails are in the works that will lead to ponds, mountains, and existing trails in the High Peaks Wilderness.

Hikers can park at the first lot to walk the entire 6.7 mile Gulf Brook Road to reach Boreas Ponds, or they can park at one of the other three lots along the road to shorten the trip. From the fourth lot, it's about 3.5 miles to the pond. The road travels through a dense, young forest for most of its length and doesn't really get scenic until it reaches LaBier Flow, a mile or so from Boreas Ponds. Shortly after that is a four-way intersection — take a right to pass by a cabin and another view of LaBier Flow before reaching the shore of Boreas Ponds.

Paddling

The views from the ponds themselves make for a fine distraction while padding. Venture onto the Boreas Ponds themselves or head into LaBier Flow for a quick paddle.

Cycling

Bicycling is permitted along Gulf Brook Road, from Blue Ridge Road to Boreas Ponds Dam. Bikes are not allowed past the dam.

Fishing, hunting, and trapping

The Boreas Pond Tract is open to fishing, hunting, and trapping.

Fishing Brook

The well-named Fishing Brook is in a lovely area which is mostly wild. The brook trout fishing is so good you might want to keep it a secret.

How to get there

Start at the three corners in Long Lake drive toward Newcomb on Route 28N. Continue to where Fishing Brook goes under the road and immediately look for a dirt drive on the right, after you cross. There is a bridge and dam here creating a small pond upstream.

Fishing

Shoreline fishing is very good here, up and downstream. The small pond that has been created upstream from the small dam makes for some fantastic brook trout fishing. Heading downstream the fish are much smaller and harder to catch, but that doesn't stop it from being a popular spot.

Anglers can fish here but must stay within 33-feet of the Public Fishing Rights corridor. See map here.

From the DEC website: "Paddling is allowed on Fishing Brook and County Line Flow. Launch onto Fishing Brook at the Pickwickett Pond Road Hand Launch and paddle 0.9 mile downstream to County Line Flow. Canoes and kayaks may be launched or retrieved at the hand launch on County Line Flow. Traveling upstream on Fishing Brook is not advisable in low water. NOTE: Fishing Brook and County Line Flow are on Township 20 Easement Lands. The lands are privately owned with limited public access rights. The public is permitted to access the banks of Fishing Brook but not the shoreline of County Line Flow. Please respect private property. Do not trespass on private lands or camps."

Rich Lake and Lake Harris

Loons, mink, pine marten, otter, moose, beaver, deer, and red fox are just some of the wildlife that you may encounter at the lake. Lake Harris and Rich Lake is beautiful gems in the Adirondack Hub!

How to get there

To get to Lake Harris launch from Overlook Park in Newcomb, head west on Route 28N toward Long Lake. After 2.5 miles, turn right onto Beach Road and the launch is on the right.

Paddling

Lake Harris does have motorboats, but it's an absolutely beautiful lake to paddle. Connecting to Lake Harris is Rich Lake, on Adirondack Interpretive Center property. Belden Lake separates Lake Harris and Rich Lake. Paddling from one lake to the other requires portages, but all are less than 300 yards. Along the way you'll see many historical landmarks!

Fishing

Popular fish species here are: smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, brown bullhead, and pumpkinseed.

Ice Fishing

Lake Harris now supports a self-sustaining population of walleye after being experimentally stocked from 2004 until 2008. Also known for its quality panfishing.

Species: Northern pike, yellow perch, walleye.

Blue Ledges

This is a remarkable hike in a truly unique area!

Getting there

To get here from the intersection of Route 9 and Hoffman Road in Schroon Lake, follow Hoffman Road (CR24). Continue on CR24, which eventually turns into Irishtown Road. Take a right onto O’Neill Road just over 11 miles from Route 9 and a left onto Longs Hill Road (CR24A). This will bring you to Route 28N in Minerva in roughly 2 miles. Take a right onto Route 28N for 2.5 miles to Northwoods Club Road on the left. Follow Northwoods Club Road for 6.5 miles to the Blue Ridge Trailhead parking on the right. 

Hiking

Blue Ledges extends 2.1 miles from the trailhead to the rock ledges on the northern rim of the Hudson Gorge. Follow the trail around the east end of Huntley Pond. Look for the blue DEC markers. At the river there is a small sandy place for wading and viewing. At the end of the trail are cliffs known as the Blue Ledges. There are many boulders at this right angle bend which put on a fine show, depending on water levels.

Snowshoeing

This is an easy, well-marked trail and recommended for snowshoeing! It is a wonderful snowshoe destination, mainly because it freezes up the wet early stages of the trail as you pass by Huntley Pond. You won’t have to worry about any major icy conditions on this one, as the trail never gets too steep. The ice formations on the cliffs and in the Hudson River are quite interesting. Be sure to bring your camera along for the ride. As a reminder: snowshoeing is a beloved winter pasttime; it can provide access to areas not seen by most in the summer. Since the Hudson is a swift moving river, we do not recommend that you step onto the ice that forms on the river. It is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies.

Fishing

At this location the Hudson River will require an easy to moderate hike of 2.5 miles each way to reach it. Once at the river, the fishing is quite good and you can work your way up and down the beach areas to access eddies, flat calm waters, and rapids. The shore is lined and dotted with boulders that work perfectly as platforms to fish from. This is also a great area for fly fishing. The pool at the base of the ledges is quite deep, allowing you to fish the cooler waters as well.  

Fish species types: brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout 

Special regulations: always follow state fishing regulations and be sure to pick up a NYS Freshwater Fishing Guide at your local outfitters or regional NYSDEC office. 

Horseshoe Pond

Horseshoe Pond is easy access and not far from the road, making it a great destination for little fishermen and women!

Getting there

Shoreline fishing is accessible off Horseshoe Pond Road.

Fishing

It's not a far walk from your vehicle, which is nice for youngsters fishing from shore. Yellow perch and pumpkinseed are the "big catches" here.

Courtney and Shingletree Ponds

Courtney and Shingletree ponds are two small bodies of water in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest. You won't miss Courtney Pond; it sits right on the edge of the road. It is very scenic with lily pads and abundant wildlife. 

Getting there

The trailhead is located on Route 9, 0.2 miles south of the Sharp Bridge Campground. Courtney Pond is located right beside the road, so it is not easily missed. Park at a small roadside lot next to Courtney Pond.

Hiking and snowshoeing

This end-to-end hike, only 1.1 miles one way, runs from from Courtney Pond to Shingletree Pond along a trail with minor elevation changes. It is full of lovely terrain, and features a tunnel that runs under the Northway. The narrow path goes from the Hammond Pond Wild Forest to the Dix Mountain Wilderness. It ends at Shingletree Pond.

This path gets little use, so take care to stay on the trail.

In winter, this path would make a nice snowshoe to stretch your legs.

Paddling

Both ponds are small, but offer classic Adirondack scenery. These are good choices for days when it might be windier on larger bodies of water. There is a hand launch at Courtney Pond. Shingletree is surrounded by dead and down trees and may be harder to access with no official launch.

Fishing

Courtney and Shingletree ponds are reclaimed trout ponds, so the use of fish as bait is illegal. Shingletree mat be fished easier from shore than a boat, due to access. Courtney, however, has a nice hand launch and is easily accessible.

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