Schroon's Big Pond

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Enjoy this easy hike to Big Pond.

From The DEC:

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. 

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Trailhead: 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.  

Elevation: 1,281 feet

Ascent: 75 feet

Distance: 1.5 miles to the pondMore Information

Hoffman Rd, Schroon Lake, NY, 12870

The DEC: (518) 532-7675

ADK Releases 5th Edition of Eastern Trails

The Adirondack Mountain Club has released the fifth edition of its popular trail guide, Eastern Trails, which is part of a substantial reconfiguration and revision of the Forest Preserve Series of their books.

Eastern Trails highlights some of the most popular and widely used trails in the region and provides the most updated information about entirely new trails, particularly on new Lake George Land Conservancy preserves. Eastern Trails was last issued in a new edition in 2012.

Adirondack Mountain Club Eastern Trails is 304 pages, 5″ x 7″, and includes trail descriptions and detailed directions, as well as distances to shelters, other trails and points of interest. It is organized into nine geographical sections including Northern Lake George and Southern Lake Champlain, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness and Schroon Lake, and Southwestern Lake George and Warrensburg, among others.

It is available in softcover for $19.95 ($15.96 members) and $26.95 for the book-and-map pack ($21.56 members) at book and outdoor supply stores, at ADK stores in Lake George and Lake Placid, through mail order by calling (800) 395-8080, and online at

Eastern Trails is edited by David Thomas-Train of Keene Valley, New York. A lifelong educator and avid hiker, Thomas-Train has led canoeing, hiking and skiing excursions in the Adirondacks for numerous organizations including ADK, Champlain Nature Trails, Adirondack Nature Conservancy and others. He has served as chair and coordinator of the Keene Valley Chapter of ADK for more than twenty years and he has volunteered for numerous Adirondack scientific and advocacy groups.

Like others in ADK’s Forest Preserve Series, this guide includes grid coordinates that correspond to a National Geographic trail map. Trails Illustrated Map 743: Lake George/Great Sacandaga, a large-format, two-sided, waterproof map created in partnership with the Adirondack Mountain Club, shows each trail described in the guide. Thomas-Train has also given descriptions of potential winter uses of trails for skiing and snow-shoeing where appropriate.

“Eastern Trails comprises a unique mix of trails on Wilderness, Wild Forest, preserve, and municipal lands,” says Neil Woodworth, ADK Executive Director and an experienced hiker. “Many are that much more appealing owing to proximity to water bodies such as Lakes George and Champlain, as well as many smaller gems.”
The Forest Preserve series covers hiking opportunities in the approximately 2.6 million acres of public land within the Adirondack Park and nearly 300,000 acres in the Catskill Park.

The Eastern Trails region of the Adirondack Park is distinguished by the singular bodies of water that serve as borders in all directions. To the east are the vistas of Vermont’s Blue Mountains, standing majestically over Lake Champlain. Also east is Lake George, and to the north and south, respectively, are Schroon Lake and the Great Sacandaga Reservoir.

The region is characterized by rolling hills, scenic vistas and isolated locations with hidden ponds and rugged terrain. The guide serves as a means to access some of the lesser known and less frequently traversed trails, offering the twofold benefit of guiding hikers away from overused trails and affording them the opportunity to experience some of the most isolated, wild and beautiful terrain as any found in the Adirondacks.

The public lands that make up the Forest Preserve are unique among all other nature preserves in the United States because of their constitutionally protected status. Unlike many other public lands, some of which are currently being reduced in size by changes to laws governing them, the Forest Preserve cannot be sold or developed.

The Beginners Guide to Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

 By Shaun Kittle 

Senior Content Developer, ROOST



The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area is a gorgeous, 46,283-acre region that’s chock full of trails, lakes, mountains, and wildlife. It can be accessed from 11 parking areas, so there are lots of options available. That’s great for people who like to explore, but it can make it difficult for first-time visitors to decide where to go. Read on for three of our favorite Pharaoh Lake adventures!

This is a relatively easy 1.7-mile hike to a lovely pond, and there’s plenty to see along the way. The first part of the path is actually a dirt road, and while some people do try to drive it this is not recommended because the road is not maintained. That’s OK though, because the views of the ravine and waterfalls on Alder Creek are worth walking for.

The first 1.2 miles rises about 160 feet. Shortly after that it levels off and skirts Alder Pond. Take a right at the three-way intersection and Crane Pond will appear in a few minutes. If you’re the camping type, explore the shore to find several designated campsites.


Crane Pond parking area: Follow Route 9 north from downtown Schroon Lake and turn right on Alder Meadow Road. After about 2 miles continue straight onto Crane Pond Road and follow that for 1.4 miles to the end.

There are two pharaohs in this wilderness area — Pharaoh Lake and Pharaoh Mountain. We’ll get to the lake in a minute, but first let’s talk about the mountain. At 2,556 feet in elevation Pharaoh is certainly not the biggest or the hardest hike in the Adirondacks, but the view from its mostly open summit is phenomenal.

Like any destination in this area, there are several directions this peak can be approached from. A favorite is to set up camp at Crane Pond, then ascend 1,405 feet over 2.6 miles from there. Alternately, the mountain can be approached from the south via the Pharaoh Lake trail. It’s more than 4 miles to the Pharaoh Mountain trail, and from there it’s a 1,355 foot elevation gain in 1.2 miles to the top, but there are lots of campsites around the lake to choose from so you don't have to worry about rushing back to beat the setting sun.

Crane Pond Parking Area: See directions above.

Pharaoh Lake Road parking area: From downtown Schroon Lake, follow Route 9 north, turn right on Alder Meadow Road, then take another right on Adirondack Road. Follow that for about 8.5 miles and turn left on Johnson Road, which is also County Route 15. Follow that for a little over 2 miles, then take a slight left on Beaver Pond Road and follow that for about 3 miles to Pharaoh Road. Turn left and follow that for about a half mile to the parking area.

Not only is this 441-acre water body an excellent place to camp, it’s also the centerpiece of a fantastic 6-mile loop. Follow the Pharaoh Lake trail for 3.3 miles to the outlet for the lake, then pick a direction and have fun exploring the shore. There are 14 designated campsites, some of which are on little peninsulas, that make great way points for the journey. Go on a clear night — there’s nothing like seeing the Milky Way over the water.

See directions for the Pharaoh Lake Road parking area above.

Fort Ti's Kings Garden Cafe


From Garden to Table Starting in May!

Vegetables and edible flowers grown in the King’s Garden are served daily at Fort Ticonderoga’s America’s Fort Café.  King’s Garden vegetables are also included in the Soldier’s Dinner program presented each mid-day by interpretive staff.

About the King’s Garden

The walled colonial revival King’s Garden was originally designed in 1921 by leading landscape architect Marian Coffin.  The formal elements – a reflecting pool, manicured lawn and hedges, and brick walls and walkways – are softened by a profusion of annuals and perennials, carefully arranged by color and form.  Heirloom flowers and modern cultivars are used to recreate the historic planting scheme. Guest’s favorites include the lavender border, towering hollyhocks, bearded irises, dinner plate dahlias and many types of phlox.

Outside of the nine-foot brick walls of the Colonial Revival King’s Garden, the Discovery Gardens include a children’s garden, an interactive 18th-century American Garrison Garden, and Three Sisters Garden. The restored Lord and Burnham greenhouse, charming gazebo, sweeping lawns and shady picnic spots invite visitors to explore the landscape at one of America’s oldest gardens dating to the French occupation of the Fort in the mid-18th century.

More from Fort Ti:

Located on Lake Champlain in the beautiful 6 million acre Adirondack Park, Fort Ticonderoga is an independent not-for-profit educational organization, historic site, and museum that ensures that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. Serving the public since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga engages 70,000 visitors annually and is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Fort Ticonderoga’s history.  Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May 10 through November 2, 2014. The 2014 season features the Fort’s newest exhibit Founding Fashion: The Diversity of Regularity in 18th-Century Military Clothing which brings together for the first time the museum's wide variety of important 18th-century clothing, related artwork, and archeological fragments to illustrate the diversity of clothing worn by the armies who served at Fort Ticonderoga during the French & Indian War and Revolution. Visit for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821.