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Pickerel and Rock ponds make a pretty pair

November 7, 2018
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - Shoulder season in the Adirondacks can be tough, especially when rain in November could easily turn to snow at any time. Hiking, snowshoeing and skiing are all on the table this time of year, so here's a couple of short hikes that can be combined into a longer ski or snowshoe trips when the snow starts to pile up.

Both hikes are off the Coreys Road, between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, and are short, easy walks. However, Coreys Road is only seasonally maintained, so in the winter these two short hikes could be combined with skiing the road for a longer but still pleasant trip.


Article Photos

Rock Pond is a small pond off the Coreys Road, and its outlet flows into neighboring Pickerel Pond.
News photo — Justin A. Levine

Pickerel Pond

Pickerel Pond is the farther of the two ponds, from state Route 3. Starting out on an old road, the trail bears left just a few hundred feet in, while the remnants of the road continue to the right. You will go up a small hill and then pass by a large glacial erratic as the trail begins to descend to the pond.

Following blue state Department of Environmental Conservation trail markers, this quick and easy hike leads to a small but scenic pond, which would make for a pleasant paddle in warmer weather.

Coming up to the shore of the pond, there was an old john-boat stashed off to the side while a half-dozen lily pads bobbed in the small waves.

Although it was a gray day with driving rain, a stand of tamaracks on the far shore gave a shock of rusty gold to the shoreline. On a clear day, the High Peaks would dominate the view to the south.


Rock Pond

Rock Pond is pretty much the same size as Pickerel Pond, and is located about a half-mile closer to Route 3 than Pickerel Pond. This trail is just about four-tenths of a mile each way and follows yellow DEC markers, which are few and far between.

A couple hundred feet from the trailhead, there is a small bridge over an equally small stream. The bridge is a single slab of wood and was very slick in the wet weather, but the DEC or some well-meaning citizen screwed some roofing screws into it to provide traction, but be careful.

The Rock Pond trail has some blow down, but nothing that's not easily circumvented. However, there are a few spots where small evergreens crowd the trail, so if it's raining, snowing or there's a heavy dew, be prepared to get a little wet while brushing up against the trees.

Reaching the shore, herd paths spread out along the northern length of the pond, and the outlet is visible to the left. Rock Pond flows into Pickerel Pond, but I don't know if that stretch of stream is paddle-able.

Given a little time, Rock Pond looks like the kind of place that would be fun to explore. The outlet could be followed on foot, and there is very small pond just south of the main water body that looks like it might make for a fun bushwhack.



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