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Siamese Ponds Wilderness

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Siamese Ponds Wilderness locator map

The 114,010-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness is one of the larger wildernesses in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The wilderness includes a mix of mountains and waters. Hiking, camping, fishing and hunting are the most popular activities.

Popular points of interest include the Siamese Ponds that gave the area its name, Puffer Pond, Puffer Mountain, Chimney Mountain, Auger Falls, and Thirteenth Lake.

Image of young boy in a canoe paddling on Thirteenth Lake
Paddling on Thirteenth Lake

The major attractions include the caves on Chimney Mountain, fishing and camping on Thirteenth Lake, camping at Indian Lake, hiking to Auger Falls and skiing the East Branch Trail, John Pond Trail and Botheration Pond Loop Trail. These features are all located on the periphery of the Wilderness.

A section of the west-central portion of the unit has been designated as a trail-less area.

The southernmost area in the wilderness is crossed by the Forks Mountain Primitive Area which contains a multiple use trail that allows for use by snowmobiles, cross country skiers and horseback riders.

Backcountry Information for the East Central 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.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness has 17 designated marked trails providing more than 50 miles of hiking opportunities. Approximately 30 miles of additional foot paths are unmarked and primarily used by hunters and fishermen.

Marked trails are generally easy to find and follow. They will have signs and trail markers. Unmarked trails are more challenging to find and follow. They are not signed and do not have trail markers, making it even more critical to have a map and compass and know how to use them.

  • John Pond - Clear Pond Loop: 4.8-mile trail that passes two Adirondack ponds. Approaching clockwise, it is 1.1 miles from Wilderness Lane to Clear Pond, an additional 1.4 miles to John Pond, and then 2.3 miles back to Wilderness Lane. The trail can be accessed from Wilderness Lane as well as the interior trailhead parking area 500 feet in from the end of Wilderness Lane. There is a .25-mile winter use (cross country ski) trail for the loop that connects the road leading to the interior parking area with the trail to Clear Pond. This winter use section is too wet in other times of the year to sustain use.
  • John Pond Crossover extends 3.4 miles from the John Pond Trail - 0.4 mile from John Pond - to the West Puffer Pond Trail - 1.5 miles from the King's Flow trailhead. Traveling from the John Pond Trail, the trail ascends 365 feet and then descends 100 feet before reaching the West Puffer Pond Trail.
  • Indian Lake Connector Trail extends 2.5 miles from the John Pond - Clear Pond Loop Trail to Parkerville Rd, 3.3 miles from the hamlet of Indian Lake.
  • Chimney Mountain Trail extends 1.0 mile and ascends 870 feet from Kings Flow trailhead to the summit of Chimney Mountain (2,721 feet) which provides spectacular views of the surrounding area. A 0.25-mile spur trail leaves the main trail below the summit and leads to the natural "chimney" rock formation. (Kings Flow trailhead is on private land and a fee is required to park there.)
  • West Puffer Pond Trail extends 2.2 miles from the Kings Flow trailhead the shore of Puffer Pond and the westernmost Puffer Pond lean-to. The trail ascends 625 feet in first 1.7 miles before dropping 140 feet to the pond.
  • John Mack Pond Trail extends 4.0 miles from the John Mack trailhead on the shore of Indian Lake to the northern shore of Long Pond where it connects with the Long Pond Trail and the Long Pond-Kunjamuck Connector Trail. The trail ascends 205 feet in the first 0.7 mile and reaches the shore of John Mack Pond 1.4 miles from Indian Lake. The trail climbs gently for the next mile, then moderately for the next 0.6 before climbing 160 feet in 0.3 mile and then descending 60 feet to Long Pond.
  • Long Pond-Kunjamuk Connector Trail extends 1.4 miles and provides for an opportunity to hike the 8.5-mile Long Pond-Kunjamuk Loop as well as connecting the trail network to the north and east. The trail ascends and descends 100 feet between the trails it connects as it passes over the the northern shoulder of Long Pond Mountain.
  • Long Pond Trail extends 2.8 miles from the Cisco Brook trailhead in the Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract to the northern shore of Long Pond where it connects with the John Mack Pond Trail. The trail climbs 110 feet between mile-mark 0.8 and mile-mark 1.6 - otherwise it gently ascends and descends. The trail passes between Long Pond and Long Pond Ridge and provides views of the Long Pond Cliffs on the eastern shore of the pond. Hikers can continue another 2.6 miles to the shore of John Mack Pond.
  • Kunjamuk Trail extends 8.2 miles from the Long Pond Trail - 0.8 mile from the Cisco Brook trailhead - to the Big Brook Road trailhead. (Northern trailhead) The trail passes Kunjamuk and traverses the shore of Round Pond.
  • Auger Falls Trail extends 0.4 mile from the Augur Falls trailhead to the banks of the Sacandaga River and Augur Falls, descending 70 feet in the first 0.25 mile.
  • Forks Mountain Trail extends 3.5 miles from the Griffin Gorge trailhead on the banks of the East Branch Sacandaga River to and along the banks of the Sacandaga River, ascending 100 feet at is traverses upriver through the river's gorge to the Old Route 8 Road.
  • Shanty Brook Path is an unmarked trail extends 3.8 miles and ascends 335 feet from the Shanty Brook trailhead to the Shanty Cliffs on Blue Hills and a designated primitive tent site on Mud Ponds.
  • East Branch Gorge Path is an unmarked trail that extends 0.8 mile and climbs 115 feet along the East Branch Sacandaga River to a designated primitive tent site.
  • East Branch Trail extends 11.1 miles between the Eleventh Mountain trailhead and the Old Farm Road trailhead. The trail ascends 250 feet in the first 0.5 mile from the Eleventh Mountain trailhead and then descends 425 feet in the next 0.9 mile. The trail climbs 190 feet in the first 2.2 miles from the Old Farm Road trailhead and then drops 290 feet in the next 1.0 mile. The middle section gently ascends from south to north or gently descends from north to south.
  • Siamese Ponds Trail extends 2.6 miles and climbs 525 feet from the East Branch Trail to the eastern shore of the Siamese Ponds. The trail leaves the East Branch trail 3.5 miles from the Eleventh Mountain trailhead. A second 0.2-mile long trail leaves the East Branch Trail 0.5 mile further and connects with the main Siamese Pond Trail at the 0.5-mile mark.
  • Bog Meadow Trail is an unmarked trail that extends 3.0 miles from the trailhead providing access to a large bog meadow, Round Pond Brook and the upper reaches of Second Pond Brook. The trail ascends 125 feet in the first 0.25 mile followed by a section with gentle ascents and descents. At its midpoint it drops 120 feet in 0.4 mile. The trail is fairly flat until it drops 120 feet in the last 0.25 mile.
  • Image of a young boy taking an image of the view from Peaked Mountain
    View from Peaked Mountain
    Second Pond Trail extends 2.0 miles from the Chatiemac Lake trailhead to the southern shore of Second Pond. The trail ascends 240 feet between mile marks 0.3 and 1.1, and drops 150 feet in the last 0.2 mile to the shore of the pond.
  • Peaked Mountain Trail extends 3.0 miles and ascends 1,210 feet from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead to the summit of Peaked Mountain (2,919 feet). The first mile of trail is mostly flat as it extends along the western shore of the Thirteenth Lake. The trail then ascends 330 feet in the next 0.5 mile along Peaked Mountain Brook, between Little Thirteenth Lake Mountain and a small unnamed mountain. The trail climbs gently but steadily passing a couple of unnamed ponds before reaching the eastern shore of Peaked Mountain Pond. The trail ascends 650 feet in 0.2 mile from the shore of the pond to the summit of Peaked Mountain.
  • Thirteenth Lake Accessible Path is a hardened trail that can be used by wheelchairs and mobility devices. It extends 0.1 mile from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead to the shore of Thirteenth Lake and an accessible hand launch and two accessible tent sites.
  • Thirteenth Lake-Hour Pond Connector Trail extends 1.6 miles between the Peaked Mountain Trail and Hour Pond Trail. This trail connects with the Peaked Mountain Trail about 0.8 mile from the Thirteenth Mountain trailhead at near the mouth of the Peaked Mountain Brook. The trail connects with the Hour Pond Trail near the crossing over Hour Pond Brook, 0.6 mile from the East Puffer Pond Trail. The trail ascends 475 feet in 0.9 mile from the shore of Thirteenth Lake about 0.3 mile from the Peaked Mountain Trail and then descends 190 feet in 0.4 mile to Hour Pond Trail.

Numerous trails are accessed from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead including the East Branch Trail.

  • Halfway Brook Trail leaves the East Branch Trail 0.2 mile from the Old Farm Clearing Trailhead and extends 3.8 miles to the Barton Mine Road Trailhead. The trail passes along the foot of Balm of Gilead Mountain, it then passes William Blake Pond at the 1.1-mile mark and intersects with Botheration Pond Trail at 2.4-mile mark.
  • Raymond Brook Trail in the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest extends 3.5 miles between the Barton Mine Road trailhead (opposite the Halfway Brook Trail) and the Raymond Brook trailhead, descending 1,035 feet from Barton Mine Road.
  • Elizabeth Point Spur Trail leaves the East Branch Trail 0.6 mile from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead and extends 0.3 mile to the eastern shore of Thirteenth Lake and a designated campsite.
  • Balm of Gilead Mountain Trail (2,353 feet elevation) leaves the Halfway Brook Trail 0.5 mile from the East Branch Trail. The trail extends 0.9 mile and ascends to 420 feet to the summit of the mountain. (Balm of Gilead Mountain Trail) that goes to a nice view overlooking Thirteenth Lake.
  • Botheration Pond Trail leaves the East Branch Trail 1.2 miles from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead and extends 3.2 miles to the Halfway Brook Trail. A 7-mile loop trail can be made from Old Farm Parking Area using the East Branch Trail, Botheration Pond Trail and Halfway Brook Trail.
    • There is no bridge over the East Branch of the Sacandaga River. It is a foot crossing that can be challenging during periods of high water following heavy rain or spring snow melt.
    • During the winter wear trail crampons or microspikes and use hiking poles with steel or carbide tips when traversing ice covered rocks.
  • East Puffer Pond Trail leaves the East Branch Trail 1.6 miles from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead and extends 4.3 miles to the West Puffer Pond Trail at the western most lean-to on Puffer Pond. The trail descends 175 feet in the first mile, then climbs 600 feet in the next 3.2 miles before dropping 90 feet and continuing on to Puffer Pond.
  • Hour Pond Trail leaves East Puffer Pond Trail 1.5 miles from the East Branch Trail and ascends 1.6 miles and 245 feet to the southern shore of Hour Pond. Hour Pond Mountain and Bullhead Mountain rise up from the shores on the pond on three sides.

Camping

primitive camping
lean to

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

There are 39 primitive tent sites and four lean-tos located in the Siamese Pond Wilderness. All designated primitive tent sites, campsites and lean-tos are available on a first come - first served basis and cannot be reserved. Designated campsites are marked with a yellow "Camp Here" disc. Designated tent sites are for tents only. Tents or small campers can use designated campsites. There are no hook-ups for water or electricity at campsites.

  • John Pond lean-to can be accessed from the John Pond trailhead via the John Pond Trail.
  • Three Long Pond tent sites, the John Mack Pond tent site and the Rock Pond tent site can all be accessed from the John Mack trailhead or the Cisco Brook trailhead via the John Mack and Long Pond Trails.
  • Two Puffer Pond lean-tos can be accessed from the John Pond trailhead via the John Pond, John Pond Crossover and West Puffer Pond Trails; the Kings Flow trailhead via the West Puffer Pond Trail and Old Clearing Farm trailhead via the East Branch Trail and East Puffer Pond Trail. (Kings Flow trailhead is on private land and a fee is required to park there.)
  • Chimney Mountain tent site is located near the summit of the mountain and can be accessed from the Kings Flow trailhead via the Chimney Mountain Trail. (Kings Flow trailhead is on private land and a fee is required to park there.)
  • Indian Lake tent sites (20) are located within the wilderness along the eastern shore of the lake and can only be accessed from the DEC Indian Lake boat launch via water. The campsites are part of the DEC Indian Lake Islands Campground. The sites can be reserved and a camping fee must be paid to camp on these sites from the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend. The remainder of the year the sites are available on a first come-first served basis.
  • There are numerous designated tents sites and campsites along (or just off of) both sides of State Route 8 between the intersection with State Route 30 and Bakers Mills. These sites, including the sites along the banks of the East Branch Sacandaga River, are technically in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, but can be used to access the Siamese Pond Wilderness. East Branch Sacandaga River should not be crossed during high water. Caution should be used when crossing during in low water
  • East Branch Gorge tent site located on the banks of the East Branch Sacandaga River can be accessed from the East Branch Gorge Path.
  • A lean-to and a designated tent site are located along the Siamese Pond Trail approximately 0.5 mile from the East Branch Trail and 4.0 miles from the Eleventh Mountain trailhead.
  • Siamese Ponds tent sites (4) are located on the shore of the ponds and can be accessed from the Eleventh Mountain trailhead via the East Branch and Siamese Ponds Trails.
  • Second Pond Brook tent site is located near where the brook enters the East Branch of the Sacandaga and can be accessed from either the Eleventh Mountain trailhead or the Old Farm Clearing trailhead via the East Branch Trail.
  • Second Pond tent site on the southern shore of Second Pond can be accessed from the Chatiemac Lake trailhead via the Second Pond Trail.
  • Thirteenth Lake tent sites (13) are located on the shore of the lake.
    • Nine of these on the western shore can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead via the Peaked Mountain Trail and Thirteenth Lake spur trails.
    • Four tent sites at the northern end of the lake are accessible sites that can be accessed via a hardened trail from the trailhead. Each site includes a hardened tent pad, accessible fireplace and a nearby accessible privy.
    • Elizabeth Point tent site can be accessed from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead via the East Branch Trail and the Elizabeth Point Trail.
    • The remaining three tent sites can only be accessed via water from the Thirteenth Lake hand launch.
  • Two Peaked Mountain Pond tent sites on the shore of the pond can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead via the Peaked Mountain Trail.
  • The Vly tent site on the northern shore of the water body can be accessed from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead or the Barton Mine Road trailhead via the William Blake Pond Trail.
  • Botheration Pond tent site and two other designated tent sites along the Botheration Pond Trail can be accessed from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead via the Halfway Brook Trail or East Branch Trail.
  • Hour Pond tent site and Hour Pond lean-to are located on the shore of Hour Pond and can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead via the Peaked Mountain Trail, the Thirteenth Lake-Hour Pond Connector Trail and the Hour Pond Trail or from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead via the East Branch Trail, East Puffer Pond Trail, and Hour Pond Trail.
  • Hour Pond Brook tent site is located near the intersection of the Hour Pond Trail and the Thirteenth Lake-Hour Pond Connector Trail

Campers seeking more amenities may camp at the Indian Lake Islands Campground, Lewey Lake Campground, Moffit Beach Campground, or Sacandaga Campground and take day trips into the unit.

Boating

boating

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

Indian Lake and its many bays, islands, campsites and the John Mack Pond trailhead can be accessed from the DEC Indian Lake Boat Launch. There is a fee to use the boat launch when the DEC Indian Lake Campground is open - from the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend and Columbus Day Weekend. The boat launch is free to use the remainder of the year.

Thirteenth Lake can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake Hand Launch. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake.

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 at or leaving DEC launch sites without first draining the boat and cleaning the boat, trailer and equipment of visible plant and animal material.

Fishing

Fishing

General information on fishing includes fishing tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations. You can ensure of continued good fishing opportunities in the future by fishing responsibly. If you have never been fishing but want to try, it's easy to learn how to fish.

All waters within the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest are open to fishing. Anglers may use the same trailheads and trails as hikers, the same hand launches as paddlers, the same boat launches as boaters, and the same campsites as campers to access and fish these waters.

The largest and most popular bodies of water, Indian Lake and Thirteenth Lake, border the Siamese Pond Wilderness. Numerous ponds and brooks within the wilderness contain Adirondack strain brook trout, some of which are listed the here. The opportunities for a remote wilderness brook trout fishing experience are endless.

  • John Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from the Johns Pond trailhead via the Johns Pond Trail. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.
  • Clear Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from via the Clear Pond Trail from the trailhead which is a little over a tenth of a mile back up the road from the parking area at the end of Wilderness Lane. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.
  • Indian Lake (4,225 acres) contains lake trout, brown trout, brook trout, lake whitefish, smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, brown bullhead and pumpkinseed sunfish. Ice fishing is allowed. Special Regulations Apply. Consult the fishing regulations guide (PDF).
  • John Mack Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from the John Mack Pond trailhead via the John Mack Pond Trail. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.
  • Long Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from the John Mack trailhead or the Cisco Brook trailhead via the John Mack and Long Pond Trails. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.
  • Mud Ponds contain brook trout and can be accessed from the Shanty Brook trailhead via the Shanty Brook Path. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.
  • Second Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from the Chatiemac Lake trailhead via the Second Pond Trail. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited.
  • Image of a young boy sitting and enjoying the view of Peaked Mountain Pond
    Peaked Mountain Pond
    Thirteenth Lake contains rainbow trout and land-locked salmon and can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead and the Thirteenth Lake Accessible Hand Launch. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited. Special Regulations Apply. Consult the fishing regulations guide (PDF).
  • Peaked Mountain Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead via the Peaked Mountain Trail. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited. Special Regulations Apply. Consult the fishing regulations guide (PDF).
  • Hour Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead via the Peaked Mountain Trail, the Thirteenth Lake- Hour Pond Connector Trail and the Hour Pond Trail or from the Old Farm Clearing trailhead via the East Branch Trail, East Puffer Pond Trails, and Hour Pond Trail. Use or possession of baitfish is prohibited. Special Regulations Apply. Consult the fishing regulations guide (PDF).

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.

Paddling

Paddling

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

  • Indian Lake and its many bays, islands, campsites and the John Mack Pond trailhead can be accessed from the DEC Indian Lake Boat Launch. There is a fee to use the boat launch when the DEC Indian Lake Campground is open - from the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend and Columbus Day Weekend. The boat launch is free to use the remainder of the year.
  • Thirteenth Lake and its shoreline tent sites can be accessed from the DEC Thirteenth Lake accessible hand launch.
  • Sacandaga River and East Branch Sacandaga River provide whitewater paddling opportunities in the spring and other periods of high water. The rivers can be accessed from a number of roadside locations along State Route 30 and State Route 8.

Rock & Ice Climbing

Rock Climbing

General information on rock and ice climbing includes how-to and safety tips with links to rules & regulations

  • Shanty Cliffs on Blue Hills can be accessed from the Shanty Brook trailhead via the Shanty Brook Path.
  • Eleventh Mountain cliffs can be accessed from the Eleventh Mountain trailhead via the East Branch Trail.
  • Long Pond Cliffs can be accessed from the John Mack trailhead or the Cisco Brook trailhead via the John Mack and Long Pond Trails and bushwhack to the eastern side of the pond.
  • Chimney Mountain Caves can be accessed from the Kings Flow trailhead via the Chimney Mountain Trail. Some of the caves are closed during the winter to protect hibernating bats. (Kings Flow trailhead is on private land and fee is required to park there.)

All climbers should check guidebooks or other sources of information about climbing these cliffs. Inexperienced climbers should consider hiring a climbing guide.

Due to peregrine falcon nesting activity some climbing routes are closed during the nesting season. Learn more about peregrine falcons and Adirondack rock climbing.

Hunting & Trapping

Hunting
Trapping

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, and trails used by hikers, boat launches and hand launches used by boaters and paddlers to access the lands and waters in this area. Hunters can park on the shoulders of seasonal access roads provided vehicles are out of the travel lane.

The Siamese Pond Wilderness provides great hunting opportunities for hunters pursuing white-tailed deer and black bear - particularly in the trail-less west-central portion.

Waterfowl hunters pursue duck and geese on the waters in and around the wilderness.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Cross-Country Skiing
Snow Shoeing

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

Snowshoeing is popular on all the hiking trails accessible from the Old Farm Clearing Parking Lot. Additionally, snowshoeing is popular on the John Pond - Clear Pond Loop, Chimney Mountain Trail, Auger Falls Trail, Second Pond Trail, Peaked Mountain Trail, Hour Pond Trail and Puffer Pond West Trail. Some of these are also popular for cross country skiing.

  • John Pond - Clear Pond Loop can be skied in its entirety (4.8 miles) or can be skied as an out and back to either pond. The loop can be approached clockwise from the end of Wilderness Lane. About 200 feet in toward the interior trailhead parking lot the trail leaves to the left, traveling about .25 miles before meeting the summer use trail toward Clear Pond. Continue another .75 miles to reach the short spur trail (0.1 mile) to Clear Pond. The loop continues 1.3 miles to the right, climbing a hill and traversing rolling terrain, before reaching the intersection with the short spur trail to John Pond. There are a couple of short, steeper grades along this stretch where skiers should take care. The trail from John Pond back to the beginning of the loop is 2.3 miles and is a very gradual downhill ski along what used to be an old road. This loop provides a beginner to intermediate wilderness backcountry skiing experience.
  • Forks Mountain Trail extends 2.5 miles from the Griffin Gorge trailhead on the banks of the East Branch Sacandaga River to and along the banks of the Sacandaga River, ascending 100 feet as it traverses upriver through the river's gorge. NOTE: This trail is a primitive corridor through the wilderness and serves as a snowmobile trail in the winter. This route provides a beginner backcountry skiing experience with level to gently rolling topography.
  • East Branch Trail extends 11.1 miles between the Eleventh Mountain trailhead and the Old Farm Road trailhead. The trail ascends 250 feet in the first 0.5 mile from the Eleventh Mountain trailhead and then descends 425 feet in the next 0.9 mile. The trail climbs 190 feet in the first 2.2 miles from the Old Farm Road trailhead and then drops 290 feet in the next 1.0 mile. The middle section gently ascends from south to north or gently descends from north to south.
  • Second Pond Trail is a 2.7-mile route that ascends to the saddle between Gore Mountain and Height of Land Mountain and then descends to the shores of Second Pond. The 1.1-mile ascent is gradual for most of its length with the last 0.1-mile section leading up to the saddle being somewhat steep. The remaining 1.6 miles of trail descends mostly gradually with some steep sections in the last 0.5 miles to the pond. This route provides an intermediate wilderness backcountry ski experience.
  • Botheration Pond Ski Loop: From the Old Farm parking area take the East Branch Trail south to the intersection with the William Blake Pond Trail. Follow the William Blake Pond Trail for 2.4 miles to the intersection with the Botheration Pond Trail. Taking a right, follow the Botheration Pond Trail 3.2 miles to the intersection with the East Branch Trail. (Note: There is no bridge over the East Branch of the Sacandaga River. Extreme care should be taken crossing the ice. Follow appropriate ice safety guidelines.) Follow the East Branch Trail 1.2 miles back to the Old Farm parking area to complete the 7-mile loop. This route provides a beginner to intermediate wilderness backcountry skiing experience.
  • Nearby Gore Mountain Ski Area (leaves DEC website) provides downhill skiing opportunities.

Trailhead to Trailhead Routes

Trailhead to trailhead routes can be done by staging a vehicle at the end point of the trip or otherwise arranging transportation back to the starting point. Note: These routes travel well into the backcountry. Be prepared for the unexpected and for variable snowpack and ice conditions. Stream crossings may or may not have bridges.

  • Old Farm to Chimney Mountain Trailhead: This route can be 7.3 or 8.5 miles. Starting at Old Farm Clearing parking lot, head south on the East Branch Trail to the intersection with the Puffer Pond East Trail. Turn right on the Puffer Pond East Trail and ski approximately 5 miles to Puffer Pond. Halfway up the pond near the second lean-to, skiers can turn right and head uphill on the Puffer Pond West Trail, a shorter route (2.1 miles) to the Chimney Mountain Parking Lot, or take the less hilly but longer route by continuing straight for 1.8 miles on the Puffer Pond Brook Trail to the intersection of the Kings Flow East Trail and then turning north to travel another 1.5 miles (total 3.3 miles) to the Chimney Mountain Parking Lot. This route provides an intermediate to advanced wilderness backcountry ski experience with remote stream crossings and long rolling grades.
  • East Branch Trail: The East Branch Trail stretches 11.1 miles from the Old Farm Clearing parking lot at the north to the Route 8 11th Mountain parking lot at the south. It follows the East Branch of the Sacandaga River much of the way and travels deep into the backcountry. This trail can be skied from either direction. Traversing the saddle south of 11th Mountain near the parking lot on Route 8 is the most challenging section. The most popular direction is from north to south, with care being taken on the 0.5-mile, 250-foot descent to the parking lot. This route is considered an intermediate to advanced wilderness backcountry ski experience with multiple remote stream crossings and long rolling grades with some steep topography.
  • Old Farm to the Ski Bowl: By staging vehicles or using a shuttle out of North Creek, skiers can ski from the Old Farm parking area via portions of the Botheration Pond Ski Loop out to Barton Mines Rd and across into Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest on the Raymond Brook Trail to the Ski Bowl Connector Trail. Approximately 0.2 miles from the parking lot at Old Farm Clearing, turn left to follow the William Blake Trail for 2.4 miles. At the next intersection continue 1.3 miles straight (east) on the Halfway Brook Trail to Barton Mines Road. Cross the road and continue on the Raymond Brook Trail for 3.3 miles to reach the intersection with the Ski Bowl Connector Trail. Turn left to reach the Route 28 parking lot in 0.5 miles or proceed straight on the Ski Bowl Connector Trail to reach the Ski Bowl in North Creek after 1.4 miles. The total distance from Old Farm to Barton Mines Road is approximately 4 miles and from Barton Mines Road to the Ski Bowl is an additional 4.7 miles for a total distance from Old Farm to the Ski Bowl of 8.7 miles. The majority of the Ski Bowl Connector Trail is on Town Property, leaving Forest Preserve a little over a tenth of a mile from the intersection with the Raymond Brook Trail. The route from Old Farm to Barton Mines Rd provides a beginner to intermediate wilderness backcountry skiing experience with predominantly gentle to rolling topography. The section from Barton Mines Road to the Ski Bowl provides an intermediate to advanced backcountry skiing experience with climbs and some steeper downhill stretches.

Wildlife

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

A variety of fish and wildlife species are found across or adjacent to the Siamese Ponds Wilderness unit and in streams and water bodies. A partial list of wildlife species includes: moose, black bear, beaver, bobcat, coyote, white-tailed deer, fisher, red and grey fox, snowshoe hare, a wide variety of fur bearers, waterfowl, upland birds, wild turkey, numerous small mammal, amphibian, reptile and insect species and a multitude of song birds. The area is also home to roughly a dozen species classified as endangered, threatened, or species of concern.

The Adirondacks contain large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, bog, alpine and other unique habitats. Many species of birds and mammals are unique to the Adirondacks or are mainly found here. More than 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another so it is not unlikely to catch site of wildlife during your trip.

More information on Adirondack Flora and Fauna (Leaves DEC Website) from the SUNY ESF Adirondack Ecological Center.

You can protect wildlife and wildlife habitat when viewing them.

Wildlife Found in the Adirondacks

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

General information on horseback riding includes safety tips and rules & regulations

  • Horses and horse drawn wagons can be used on 5.0 miles of the East Branch Trail from Old Farm trailhead to Cross Brook.
  • Horses can be used on 2.5 miles of the Kunjamuk Trail from Kunjamuk trailhead to western shore of Round Pond.
  • Horses can be used the full length of the 3.5-mile Forks Mountain Trail from the Griffin Gorge trailhead to Old Route 8 Road.

Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.

Accessible Recreation

Accessible Recreation

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

  • Thirteenth Lake accessible tent sites can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead via a hardened path. The four sites (#1, #11, #12, #13) each feature a hardened tent pad and site, and accessible picnic table, port-a-john and fireplace.
  • Thirteenth Lake accessible hand launch is located near the accessible tent site and can be accessed from the Thirteenth Lake railhead via a hardened path.
  • An accessible privy is located at the Elizabeth Point tent site on Thirteenth Lake.

Directions

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

All Google maps leave DEC website.

Parking Areas and Trailheads

  • John Pond Trailhead Parking Area is located off Wilderness Lane. (43.7332°N, 74.2205°W) Google Maps
  • Clear Pond Trailhead is located off Wilderness Lane. (43.7366°N, 74.2152°W) Google Maps
  • Kunjamuk Trailhead Parking Area is located off Big Brook Road. (43.7051°N, 74.2485°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Kings Flow Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Big Brook Road. (43.6878°N, 74.2304°W) Google Maps
    (Kings Flow Trailhead is on private land and a fee is required to park there.)
  • John Mack Pond Trailhead is located on the eastern shore of Indian Lake. (43.6585°N, 74.3345°W) Google Maps
  • Cisco Brook Trailhead is located at the end of Elm Lake Road in the Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract (43.6049°N, 74.3098°W) Google Maps
  • Auger Falls Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of a short access road off State Route 30/8. (43.4691°N, 74.2510°W) Google Maps
  • Griffin Gorge Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of a 0.25-mile access road off State Route 8. (43.4736°N, 74.2237°W) Google Maps
  • Shanty Brook Trailhead is located along State Route 8. (43.5377°N, 74.1412°W) Google Maps
  • East Branch Gorge Trailhead Parking Area is located along State Route 8. (43.5690°N, 74.1140°W) Google Maps
  • Eleventh Mountain Trailhead Parking Area is located along State Route 8. (43.5906°N, 74.0905°W) Google Maps
  • Bog Meadow Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Edwards Hill Road. (43.6346°N, 74.0523°W) Google Maps
  • Chatiemac Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located along the Chatiemac just before it enters private lands. (43.6450°N, 74.0429°W) Google Maps
  • Thirteenth Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Beach Road off Thirteenth Lake Road. (43.7191°N, 74.1180°W) Google Maps
  • Old Farm Clearing Trailhead Parking Area at the end of Old Farm Road off Thirteenth Lake Road. (43.7066°N, 74.1168°W) Google Maps
  • Barton Mines Road Trailhead is located along the Barton Mines Road. (43.6965°N, 74.0620°W) Google Maps

Hand Launches and Boat Launches

The Thirteenth Lake Accessible Hand Launch can be accessed from the trailhead parking area located at the end of Beach Road off Thirteenth Lake Road. (43.7191°N, 74.1180°W) Google Maps

The Indian Lake Boat Launch is located in the Indian Lake Islands Campground on State Route 30. (43.6523°N, 74.3879°W) Google Maps

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 with other backcountry users.

All users of Siamese Ponds Wilderness must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the 2005 Siamese Ponds Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP) (PDF). 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. The UMP was amended in 2017 (PDF) to propose recreational enhancements and wildlife protection measures.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands & Facilities

Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Indian Lake, North Creek, Speculator, Wells and Weavertown.

Food and other supplies can be obtained in the nearby communities of Indian Lake, North Creek, Speculator and Wells.

Dining is available in the nearby communities of Indian Lake, North Creek, Speculator, Wells and Weavertown.

Lodging is available in the nearby communities of Indian Lake, North Creek, Speculator and Wells.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (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.