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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.


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.

Adirondack Interpretive Center at Newcomb

The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) at Newcomb offers 236 acres of environmental education, along with over 3.5 miles of scenic, surfaced trails complemented by indoor exhibits, lectures, films, and naturalist-led guided walks. There is a picnic area located on the grounds but the benches provided at numerous overlooks along their trail system are ideal lunch spots. 

*For current hours and seasonal updates, please visit the AIC's website.

How to get there

Take Exit 29 off of Interstate 87 and turn west on to Blue Ridge Road heading toward Newcomb. After ~18 miles, turn right on Route 28N and drive through the Town of Newcomb. The AIC driveway will be on the right on the western edge of town.


The AIC trails offer a variety of terrain and habits including forest, lakeshore, and wetland. All trails begin at the AIC building and start by following the Rich Lake Trail (green markers). Rich Lake Trail is an easy 0.6-mile trail, perfect for a warm-up with views of Rich Lake and Goodnow Mountain. Two overlooks along the lake provide for photo opportunities and wildlife viewing. The Peninsula Trail (red markers) is a 0.9-mile loop which starts from the Rich Lake Trail and offers more views of Rich Lake. There are beautiful old-growth hemlocks on this trail and a long boardwalk across a marsh dominated by cranberry and button bush. The 1.0-mile Sucker Brook Trail (blue markers), also accessed from the Rich Lake Trail, follows the outlet of Rich Lake and is a great trail for spotting wildlife. This trail follows the route felled trees traversed during the Hudson River log-driving days. The R.W. Sage Jr. Memorial Trail (yellow markers) is a 1.1-mile loop which starts and ends on the Sucker Brook Trail. This trail features stands of pure hardwood forests and a boardwalk through a seasonal wetland offering visitors a true deep-woods feel. From the Sage Trail you can take the 0.5-mile Santanoni Preserve Connector Trail (DEC red markers) that leads visitors through NYS DEC lands to the Newcomb Lake Road Trail. Looking for something a little more challenging? The Goodnow Mountain trailhead is just 1.7 miles from the AIC. A 2-mile hike to the top of the mountain followed by a climb up the stairs of a fire tower will be rewarded by a spectacular view of the central Adirondacks. 

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing

In winter, the center loans snowshoes to visitors who wish to explore their snow-covered trails. A few well-marked alterations to the trails in winter provide for easy to moderate snowshoeing. Trails are also open for the use of experienced cross-country skiers; the terrain makes it a little too challenging for the novice skier. Only the Peninsula Trail is closed to skiing. Winter is an amazing time to be on the trails and creates a completely different experience. Winter trails are an excellent opportunity for discovery since animal tracks are easy to see in the snow. Extend your snowshoe or ski trip by heading over to the Camp Santanoni Preserve via the Santanoni Preserve Connector Trail. 


This complex offers a variety of habitats including old-growth hemlock, cedar swamp, conifer, and northern hardwood, as well as near lake, river, stream, and wetland environments. More than 100 species of birds have been sighted, including warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, Common Loon, and Great Blue Heron. Birds of prey include Bald Eagle, Osprey, and owls. Woodpeckers are abundant so you might hear them before you see them.


The AIC is part of the NYS Birding Trail. This trail is not a physical trail, but a "connection" between outstanding birding locations in regions across the state.

Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area

Frontier Town is one of the newest attractions in the Adirondacks! It is located on 91 acres on the shores of the scenic Schroon River and was once home of the Frontier Town theme park. Until the park closed it's doors, Frontier Town was a Wild West theme park where families from around the country could ramble through a pioneer village, watch a rodeo, and maybe even witness an outlaw or two riding through town! Today, with that theme in mind, Frontier Town has reopened as a hub of horseback riding and camping in the heart of the Adirondacks.

How to get there

Take Exit 29 off of the Northway. Make a right onto Blue Ridge Road, then make another right onto Route 9 South. Turn right onto Frontier Town Road and continue to the campground entrance.


Frontier Town has tent, RV and trailer, and equestrian camping. The campground also features a seasonal day-use area with a pavilion, playgrounds, electric vehicle charging stations and a comfort station, as well as pedestrian trails, facilities and picnic/fireplace areas that are ADA-compliant.

45 tent camping sites, including three group-camping sites, are near two shower buildings. Each tent site has parking for two vehicles, a fireplace, and 12-by-12-foot tent pad. Tent sites are not serviced by electrical power. 

13 RV and trailer camping sites include electrical hookups, fireplaces, and conveniently located water spigots. There is one shower building in this area.

Horseback Riding

33 equestrian camping sites each have an electrical hookup, hibachi-style grill, two tie stall, and water spigots within 250 feet of the campsite.

13 horse tie stalls are located next to the camping pads with a capacity to hold up to five horses, and one stud stall provides the capacity for up to 66 horses. Several trails for horseback riding are near, or on, the property.


Enjoy a network of campground trails which take visitors to lovely views for exploration and photography, with or without horses.

There are two outlooks along the Schroon River which feature an oxbow wetland.

Find out more

Read our blog about this area with A day in North Hudson.

See available horseback riding in the Schroon Lake Region.

Gero Pond Trail

Gero Pond runs alongside Ensign Pond Road for almost its entire length, but this hiking path is the only way to actually see the pond, as the shoreline is heavily wooded.

How to get there

From Exit 29 off of Interstate 87, follow Blue Ridge Road toward North Hudson, take a left onto state Route 9 and follow it north. Continue for 2.5 miles and turn right onto Caza Turn Road, then take the next right onto Ensign Pond Road. Keep watch on the right on Ensign Pond Road, as 0.3 miles down there is a small historic cemetery with a parking area.

By the numbers

  • 0.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: minimal


This is a short, flat, and easy trail except for a three foot drop at the entrance to the dam. Care, especially with small children, can easily be taken. The dam itself is a scenic structure made of quarried stones.

North Hudson Town Trails

This system of interlocked trails explores the lovely area that used to be Frontiertown, a pioneering theme park that closed in 1998. A short road begins and ends off of Route 9.

The entire system is almost 9 miles in total, with a lot of mostly level forest trails of varying width. It's great for kids!

Twentyninth Pond

Twentyninth Pond is a beautiful spot that's very close to the road.

Getting 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 Stony Pond trailhead on the left.

By the numbers

Elevation gain: minimal

Distance: 0.6 miles round trip


The trail climbs slightly from the trailhead to a high point and soon comes to an unmarked path on the right. This is the short trail down to the pond, which you can see from the main trail.


Twentyninth Pond contains brook trout and there are faint fisherman paths along the shore to explore. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.

Alder Pond

Alder Pond may not be very deep but it's a beautiful spot in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area. Alder Pond is an easy hike for kids who want to shore fish, too.

Getting there

To get here, from Schroon Lake's downtown, take U.S. 9 north for 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Alder Meadow Road for 2.1 miles. Continue straight onto Crane Pond Road for 1.4 miles, to the large parking area at the end of the road.


The pond is accessed by a 1-mile hike along Crane Pond Road. The hike is easy with minimal elevation change.


The shore fishing is OK, but the pond is super shallow and the fish are not all that big. This could be a fun fishing area for the kids to toss out a bobber and let it float. The west end of the trail is the deepest part of the lake. There is a short access trail leading to the west end of the long finger pond. Use weedless hooks or float a bobber. There is no boat access without a long portage.

Fish species: bullhead, panfish, rock bass

Goose Pond

A easy trail leads back to the beautiful Goose Pond in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. At 66-acres, Goose Pond isn't large, but it's deep waters offer anglers a chance to catch some really wild fish!

Getting there

To get there from Schroon Lake's downtown, take U.S. 9 north for 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Alder Meadow Road for 2.1 miles. Continue straight onto Crane Pond Road for 1.4 miles, to the large parking area at the end of the road.


There is a 1.5 mile hike that is required to reach Goose Pond, but it is considered easy. Start walking along Crane Pond Road, which is not drivable past the parking area. After 0.9 miles you will come to the Goose Pond Trail on the right. Now, it's a 0.6 mile hike along a foot trail, with minimal elevation change.


There are paths around part of the pond that can be used to access different fishing locations. The pond is around 100 feet deep in the middle and the best way to reach those depths, other than by canoe, is to cast from a southern peninsula, where the shelf drops off dramatically. It is possible to carry a canoe or kayak back to the pond, but no motors are allowed. Anglers will be pleased to find brook trout and rainbow trout here.

Insider tips

  • The bays seem to produce and hold the best trout. The western bay in particular is fairly wide but very deep.
  • There is also a deep rock self on the south side of the pond at the end of a wide peninsula, which is great for reaching deep waters with minimal cast. 

Gull Pond

Gull Pond is a beautiful destination for someone looking for a quick hike to stretch their legs or for families. It is less than half a mile to the pond.

Getting there

From Exit 28 on Interstate 87, take Route 9 toward Schroon Lake. In 0.6 miles, take a left onto Alder Meadow Road. Follow this for 3.8 miles to the Gull Pond Trail on the left. Park here.


This is only a 0.4 mile hike, one-way, along a marked foot trail that might have some wet spots in low areas. (But don't worry, there are bridges.) Stick to the trail to avoid causing trail erosion. You'll be at the pond before you know it!


A side trail on the left a short distance from the pond leads to a designated tent site. There is no camping allowed at the rock outcrop overlooking the pond.


It's well worth the added effort to have a pond all to yourself. Most of the shore can be used for fishing. Since there is a 0.4-mile hike to the pond, there is no boat access without a portage. That said, a canoe or kayak would be ideal to fish the deeper waters where trout tend to hang out during warmer months. A herd path may be visible around the pond, and that can be used to find different locations.

Fish species found here include: brook trout and bullhead.


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