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Hammond Pond Wild Forest

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Hammond Pond Wild Forest locator map

Hammond Pond Wild Forest consists of 45,500 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands in more than 50 parcels located in the eastern Adirondacks. The majority of the parcels are located between Lake Champlain in the east, State Route 74 in the south, the Northway in the west, and State Route 9N in the north. Some parcels are located between the Northway and US Route 9 and around the communities of Keene and Keene Valley.

The area contains many water features. Paradox Lake, Eagle Lake, Hammond Pond, Moose Mountain Pond, and many other ponded waters are located within or border the area. Portions of the East Branch Ausable River, the Schroon River and the Boquet River - including Split Rock Falls - are also located within or along the wild forest. Black Brook, Crowfoot Brook, and many more small streams and brooks can be found here.

Although mountains and peaks here do not rise to the elevations of the nearby High Peaks, there are a number of small mountains including Hail Mountain (2,640 feet), Harris Hill (2,211 feet), Peaked Hill (1,865 feet), and Bloody Mountain (1,770 feet).

Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks provides general information regarding backcountry and seasonal conditions; specific notices regarding closures and conditions of trails, roads, bridges and other infrastructure; and links to weather, state land use regulations, low impact recreation and more.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Belfry Mountain Fire Tower Trail extends 0.3 mile and climbs 120 feet on a service road to a fire tower on the 1,820-foot summit. This is the easiest hike to an Adirondack fire tower.

Crowfoot Pond Trail extends 2.5 miles and ascends 505 feet from the trailhead along an old logging road to a gate on the boundary of private land along the north shore of Crowfoot Pond.

East Mill Flow-Round Pond Trail extends 5.2 miles between Round Pond Trailhead and East Mill Flow Trailhead in the Sharp Bridge Campground. West of Round Pond the trail is known as the East Mill Flow Trail, and south of Round Pond the trail is known as the Round Pond Trail. The trail undulates gently over most of the distance, descending 295 feet in a 0.6-mile section before the last, flat 0.6 mile along Schroon Brook to the campground. Measuring from the Round Pond Trailhead the trail passes Trout Pond at 0.5 mile, Round Pond at 1.5 miles, and crosses East Mill Brook at 2.8 miles. Hikers using the East Mill Flow Trailhead are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open.

Courtney/Shingletree Ponds Trail extends 0.9 mile and ascends 70 feet from the trailhead passing along the shores Courtney Pond and Holiday Pond and under the Northway to the shore of Shingletree Pond and the Dix Mountain Wilderness.

Hammond Pond Trail extends 0.9 mile to the western shore of Hammond Pond. The trail undulates gently with only a 45-foot change in elevation from the trailhead to the pond.

Berrymill Flow Trail extends 1.4 miles and steadily ascends 145 feet from the trailhead to Berrymill Flow.

Moose Mountain Pond Trail extends 2.1 miles and ascends 245 feet from the end of the Berrymill Flow Trail to the north shore of Moose Mountain Pond and a lean-to. The trail follows old logging roads along a river with beaver activity and passes by a waterfall.

Challis Pond Trail extends 0.6 mile and steadily ascends 205 feet from the trailhead through hemlock and cedar forest to the shore of Challis Pond.

Bass Lake Trail extends 3.2 miles from the trailhead to the intersection of Berrymill Flow Trail and Moose Mountain Pond Trail passing along the southern shore of Bass Lake. The trail ascends 420 feet in the first 0.6 mile and then undulates over the next 2.1 miles before descending 170 feet in the last 0.5 mile.

Peaked Hill Trail extends 2.2 miles and ascends 1,050 feet to the 1,865-foot summit of the hill passing along the western shore of Peaked Hill Pond, 1.0 mile from the trailhead. The trailhead is located on the northern shore of Paradox Lake and can be accessed from the Paradox Lake Boat Launch at the Paradox Lake Campground. Paddlers and boaters are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open.

Arnold Pond Trail extends 0.3 mile and ascends 320 feet from the trailhead to the shore of the pond.

There are several underpass trails that facilitate recreational and wildlife movement between lands east and west of the Northway. Many are unmarked and non-maintained.

The mission of the Champlain Area Trails Network (CATS) (leaves DEC website) is to create a network of hiking and skiing trails on public and private lands that link communities in New York's Champlain Valley.

Fire Tower

firetower

General information on fire towers includes historic and current uses of fire towers and links to other locations with fire towers.

The 47-foot tall Belfry Mountain Fire Tower is a steel AerMotor Model #LS‐40. It was constructed in 1917 at a station site established in 1912. The fire tower was staffed and used for fire observation until 1988. There is no "friends" group associated with the fire tower at this time. The trail to the summit is only 0.3 mile long and ascends just 120 feet - making this one of the easiest Adirondack fire towers to access. The tower provides spectacular views of the Lake Champlain basin and Vermont. It's also a popular location to observe bird migrations through the Champlain Valley.

Paddling

paddling

General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Lincoln Pond (572 acres) is more than 3.2 miles long and much of its shoreline is privately owned and contains permanent and seasonal residences. Motorboats are allowed. The pond may be accessed from the Lincoln Pond Boat Launch inside the Lincoln Pond Campground. Paddlers and boaters are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open.

Courtney Pond may be accessed from the Courtney Pond Hand Launch. Small motorboats are allowed on the pond.

Paradox Lake (896 acres) is the largest individual waterbody. It is nearly 4.0 miles long and much of its shoreline is privately owned and contains permanent and seasonal residences. Motorboats are allowed on the lake. The lake may be accessed from the Paradox Lake Boat Launch inside the Paradox Lake Campground. Paddlers and boaters are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open.

Eagle Lake (409 acres) is approximately 2.5 miles long. Much of its shoreline and most of its islands are privately owned and contain permanent and seasonal residences. Motorboats are allowed on the lake. The lake may be accessed from the Eagle Lake Boat Launch located on the portion of the lake south of State Route 74.

Schroon River may be accessed from the Schroon Falls Hand Launch just down from the falls. Motorboats operate on the river.

Boating

boating

General information on boating includes safety tips with links to rules & regulations and lists of DEC boat launches by county.

Lincoln Pond (572 acres) is more than 3.2 miles long and much of its shoreline is privately owned and contains permanent and seasonal residences. The lake may be accessed from the Lincoln Pond Boat Launch inside the Lincoln Pond Campground. Boaters are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open.

Courtney Pond may be accessed by small motorboats from the Courtney Pond Hand Launch.

Paradox Lake (896 acres) is the largest individual waterbody. It is nearly 4.0 miles long and much of its shoreline is privately owned and contains permanent and seasonal residences. The lake may be accessed from the Paradox Lake Boat Launch inside the Paradox Lake Campground. Boaters are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open.

Eagle Lake (409 acres) is approximately 2.5 miles long. Much of its shoreline and most of its islands are privately owned and contain permanent and seasonal residences. The lake may be accessed from the Eagle Lake Boat Launch located on the portion of the lake south of State Route 74.

Don't Spread Aquatic Invasive Species! Boats and trailers can spread invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned after use. Regulations prohibit boats from launching from or leaving DEC launch sites without first draining the boat and cleaning the boat, trailer and equipment of visible plant and animal material.

Camping

primitive camping

General information on backcountry camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

There is only one designated primitive tent site at this time. Two lean-tos and numerous undesignated tent sites are available on a first come - first served basis and cannot be reserved. Primitive tent sites are for tents only and usually are accessible only by hiking or paddling.

A primitive tent site is located off State Route 9 on the banks of the Boquet River a short distance upstream of Split Rock Falls on the east side of the road.

Moose Mountain Pond has a lean-to which may be accessed from the Berry Mill Flow Trailhead via the Berry Mill Flow Trail and the Moose Mountain Pond Trail.

Eagle Lake has one lean-to on the shore of Crown Point Bay which may be accessed from the Eagle Lake Boat Launch located on the portion of the lake south of State Route 74 via canoe, kayak, or motorboat.

Campers who prefer more amenities may camp at the nearby Crown Point Campground, Lincoln Pond Campground, Paradox Lake Campground, or Sharp Bridge Campground and take day trips to enjoy the lands and waters of the Hammond Pond Wild Forest.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes fishing tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations.

There are numerous lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams which are stocked with trout or salmon. Other water bodies contain self-sustaining populations of native brook trout or warmwater fish species.

Lincoln Pond contains largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish. The pond can be accessed from the Lincoln Pond Boat Launch located in the Lincoln Pond Campground. Anglers are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open. Ice fishing is allowed on the pond.

Courtney Pond is stocked with brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. The pond may be accessed from the Courtney Pond Hand Launch.

Round Pond contains northern pike, largemouth bass, yellow perch and sunfish. The pond may be accessed from the Round Pond Trailhead via the Round Pond Trail. Ice fishing is allowed on the pond.

Trout Pond is stocked with brook trout and may be accessed from the Round Pond Trailhead via the Round Pond Trail.

Crowfoot Pond contains yellow perch and may be accessed from the Crowfoot Pond Trailhead via the Crowfoot Pond Trail. Ice fishing is allowed on the pond.

Bass Lake is stocked with brook trout and rainbow trout. The lake may be accessed from the Bass Lake Trailhead via the Bass Lake Trail.

Challis Pond contains brook trout and may be accessed from the Challis Pond Trailhead via Challis Pond Trail.

Moose Mountain Pond is stocked with brook trout and may be accessed from the Berrymill Flow Trailhead via the Berrymill Flow Trail and the Moose Mountain Pond Trail. There is a lean-to on the pond's shoreline.

Paradox Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, lake trout, and landlocked salmon, and contains smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish. The lake may be accessed from the Paradox Lake Boat Launch in the Paradox Lake Campground. Anglers are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open. Ice fishing is allowed on the lake.

Peaked Hill Pond contains largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish. The pond may be accessed via the Peaked Hill Trailhead on the northern shore of Paradox Lake via the Peaked Hill Trail. Ice fishing is allowed on the pond.

Eagle Lake is stocked with brown trout, and contains smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, lake whitefish, yellow perch, and sunfish. The lake can be accessed from Eagle Lake Boat Launch located on the portion of the lake south of State Route 74. There is a lean-to on the shore of Crown Point Bay. Ice fishing is allowed on the lake.

Boquet River is stocked with brook trout. The river may be accessed at a number of locations along US Route 9 and the other locations with public fishing rights.

Schroon River is stocked with brook trout, brown trout, and landlocked salmon. The river may be accessed at number of locations along US Route 9 and the other locations with public fishing rights.

Pamphlets are available with maps of state lands and public fishing rights that depict the public access for fishing the Boquet River(PDF 770 KB) and the Schroon River (PDF 821 KB).

Adirondack/Lake Champlain Fishing provides information on fishing in the Adirondacks and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Help Protect Native Adirondack Fish; populations of brook trout, round whitefish and other native Adirondack fish species have severely declined due to introduced fish.

Hunting & Trapping

huntingtrapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5G & 5F

General Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations.

Hunters and trappers may use the parking areas, roads, seasonal access roads, trailheads, trails used by hikers, and boat launches and hand launches used by boaters and paddlers to access the lands and waters in this area.

The area is popular with big game hunters pursuing white-tailed deer and bear; some enjoy camping for long periods of time during the hunting season. Hunters may obtain camping permits for the full hunting season from the local Forest Ranger.

Small game hunters pursue waterfowl, ruffed grouse, and varying hare.

Species legally trapped in the unit include beaver, bobcat, fisher, mink, muskrat, river otter, red fox, gray fox, skunk, coyote and weasel.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiingsnowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails and seasonal access roads. The following trails are recommended for cross-country skiing.

Crowfoot Pond Trail extends 2.5 miles and ascends 505 feet from the trailhead along an old logging road to a gate on the boundary of private land along the north shore of Crowfoot Pond.

East Mill Flow Trail extends 5.2 miles from the eastern trailhead to the Sharp Bridge Campground. The trail undulates gently over most of the distance descending 295 feet in a 0.6-mile section before the last, flat 0.6 mile along Schroon Brook to the campground.

Hammond Pond Trail extends 0.9 mile and to the western shore of Hammond Pond. The trail undulates gently with only a 45-foot change in elevation from the trailhead to the pond.

Berrymill Flow Trail extends 1.4 miles and steadily ascends 145 feet from the trailhead to Berrymill Flow.

Moose Mountain Pond Trail extends 2.1 miles and ascends 245 feet from the end of the Berrymill Flow Trail to the north shore of Moose Mountain Pond and a lean-to. The trail follows old logging roads along a river with beaver activity and passes by a waterfall.

Bass Lake Trail extends 3.2 miles from the trailhead to the intersection of Berrymill Flow Trail and Moose Mountain Pond Trail, passing along the southern shore of Bass Lake. The trail ascends 420 feet in the first 0.6 mile and then undulates over the next 2.1 miles before descending 170 feet in the last 0.5 mile.

The mission of the Champlain Area Trails Network (CATS) (leaves DEC website) is to create a network of hiking and skiing trails on public and private lands that link communities in New York's Champlain Valley.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

The Adirondacks contain large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, bog, alpine and other unique habitats. Many birds (Common Loon, Peregrine Falcon) and mammals (Moose, Black Bear) are unique to the Adirondacks or are mainly found here. Over 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another.

Directions

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Trailheads and Parking Areas

  • Belfry Mountain Trailhead is located off Dalton Hill Road (County Route 7) (44.0993°N, 73.5451°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Split Rock Falls Parking Area is located off US Route 9 (44.1242°N, 73.6576°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Round Pond Trailhead Parking Area is located along Ensign Pond Road (County Route 4) off US Route 9 (44.0239°N, 73.6234°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • East Mill Flow Trailhead is located in the Sharp Bridge Campground off US Route 9. A day-use fee is required when the campground is open. (44.0430°N, 73.6777°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Crowfoot Pond Trailhead is located on Tracy Road off US Route 9 (44.0731°N, 73.6304°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Berrymill Flow Trailhead Parking Area is located along Ensign Pond Road (County Route 4) off US Route 9 (43.9916°N, 73.6610°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Challis Pond Trailhead is located along Ensign Pond Road (County Route 4) off US Route 9 (43.9921°N, 73.6646°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website). Park at the nearby Berrymill Flow Trailhead Parking.
  • Bass Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located along Ensign Pond Road (County Route 4) off US Route 9 (43.9864°N, 73.7125°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Peaked Hill Trailhead Parking Area is located in the Paradox Lake Campground off State Route 74 (43.8847°N, 73.6791°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website). A day use fee is required when the campground is open. The actual trailhead is located on the northern shore of Paradox Lake (43.8938°N, 73.6801°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Arnold Pond Trailhead is located along State Route 74 (43.8766°N, 73.6215°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website). Park at the Short Swing Trailhead Parking Area located 0.3 mile east of the trailhead on the opposite side of State Route 74.

Boat Launches and Hand Launches

  • Lincoln Pond Boat Launch is located in the Lincoln Pond Campground. Boaters are required to pay a day use fee when the campground is open (44.1389°N, 73.5787°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Courtney Pond Hand Launch is located off US Route 9 (44.0402°N, 73.6816°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Schroon Falls Hand Launch is located off US Route 9 (43.89972°N, 73.7483°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Paradox Lake Boat Launch is located in the Paradox Lake Campground off State Route 74. A day use fee is required when the campground is open (43.8847°N, 73.6791°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Eagle Lake Boat Launch is located off State Route 74 on the portion of the lake south of State Route 74 (43.8742°N, 73.6042°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating in the Adirondacks to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts other backcountry users.

All users of Hammond Pond Wild Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulation and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How We Manage Hammond Pond Wild Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP). In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Dining, lodging, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Keene, Keene Valley, Port Henry, North Hudson, Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga, and Westport.

Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Elizabethtown, Keene, Port Henry, North Hudson, Schroon Lake, and Ticonderoga.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website), Lake Champlain Region (leaves DEC website), and Schroon Lake Region (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC Website) for information on outdoor guides.