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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
There are a few Clear Pond's in the Adirondacks. This one is located in the 46,283 acre Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the East-Central Adirondacks. It is a pretty secluded pond with a perfectly located lean to. Most hikers use Putnam Pond State Campground as the main base to reach Clear Pond. There are three different routes from the campground to reach Clear Pond, with one route requiring a kayak or boat. Look below for information on all three routes to this scenic destination in the east central Adirondacks.
Clear Pond via Rock Pond
The longest route is from the northern campground trailhead. From the northern campground trailhead, follow the yellow marked trail. The GPS coordinated of the start of the trail is N43 50.750 W73 34.234 for those who have a GPS. Don't have a GPS for out on the trail? Then check out the Garmin eTrex 30x. The name of the trail you are taking is known as the Clear Pond Trail. There is a DEC Trail Mileage Sign at the trailhead that lets you know it is 1.6 miles to Rock Pond. This is the trail you want. Before heading out make sure you are fully prepared for a day in the wilderness or in case you find yourself lost. This route is 2.7 miles one way to Clear Pond.
Almost immediately you'll reach a DEC Trail Register. Be sure to sign the register, just in case. It could save your life if you get lost. The trail is well defined and easy to follow. At 0.3 miles you'll reach a trail junction. The blue marked trail goes straight 1.2 miles to Bear Pond and 2.7 miles to Rock Pond. Turn left here and cross a small stream on a foot bridge, following the yellow marked trail. The trail climbs as you get above Heart Pond, which is on your right. There is an unmarked herd path that takes you eventually down to Heart Pond at around the 0.4 mile mark.
Continuing on the yellow trail the trail will veer as you make your way to North Pond, which is actually the northern part of Putnam Pond. At 0.6 miles from the trailhead the yellow marked trail begins to descend toward North Pond. There are herd paths that lead to the edge of the pond. At 1.0 miles reach a trail junction. The trail on the left travels a couple hundred feet to the shore of North Pond at a canoe landing site. Turn right here continuing to follow the yellow marked trail. The trail climbs as you travel away from North Pond.
Soon after starting to descend a bit you'll reach another trail junction at 1.25 miles. The trail on the right is the Rock Pond Spur Trail. This is an alternative way to get to Rock Pond, however you'll bypass Little Rock Pond. Go left and continue following the yellow marked trail. Soon you'll pass a rather large water area on your left as the trail barely avoids this wet area. At 1.5 miles you'll reach Little Rock Pond. This is a great spot to relax, picnic or just ponder the beauty. The Little Rock Pond Lean To is located up on the hill, within the trees with no view of the pond. Most hikers miss this lean to, making it a seldom visited lean to.
Rock Pond is a just another 0.1 miles continuing on the yellow marked trail. At the next trail junction, the yellow marked Clear Pond Trail turns right and soon crosses the pond connector on a bridge. If you turn right at that junction you'll soon reach Rock Pond Lean To as well as Rock Pond. There is a trail that goes 2.0 miles around Rock Pond. Back on the Clear Pond Trail, reach the junction of the Rock Pond Loop Trail at 1.7 miles. After this junction the trail gains over 200 feet in elevation over the next 0.4 miles. At 2.2 miles reach the Clear Pond Loop Trail junction. The main trail veers left and travels on the eastern side of the pond. Take the main trail.
At 2.7 miles you will reach the Clear Pond Lean To just passed the junction of the boat landing trail from Putnam Pond. There is a nice spot right up on the shore of the pond near the lean to. You can see the pond from the lean to. This pond has a bit less visitors than Rock Pond or Heart Pond.
Clear Pond via Grizzle Ocean Trail
This is the shorter hiking route to Clear Pond at 2.0 miles one way to the pond. You'll find the trailhead for the start of this hike to Clear Pond at the boat trailer parking area at Putnam Pond State Campground. The GPS coordinates of the parking area is N43 50.240 W73 34.295 for those who have a GPS devise. Don't have a GPS for out on the trail? Then check out the Garmin eTrex 30x. The trail leaves the west side of the parking area and crosses a couple of bridges. At 0.4 miles the trail climbs and eventual descends to cross an inlet to Putnam Pond on a nice bridge at 0.8 miles.
At 1.4 miles, cross a brook on a nice bridge, then reach the junction of the Clear Pond Trail on your right. Turn right onto the Clear Pond Trail. At 1.7 miles reach the junction of the Treadway Mountain Trail on your left, which travels 2.3 miles to the summit of Treadway Mountain with its open summit and spectacular views. Continue on the Clear Pond Trail and soon pass Mud Pond on your left. At 1.9 miles reach the junction of western part of the Clear Pond Loop Trail. You'll reach the Clear Pond Lean To at 2.0 miles.
Clear Pond via Kayak on Putnam Pond
The shortest route to reach Clear Pond requires on to use a kayak on Putnam Pond from the boat launch near the parking area from the hike just above. It is about a 0.5 mile paddle due almost due west from where you put in your kayak to the landing on the other side of Putnam Pond. You will need to portage at the boat landing at GPS coordinates N43 50.282 W73 34.997 and hike 0.6 miles to the lean to.
Look below for a map, video and some pictures. You can get more info on hiking in this area with trail maps of the Adirondacks from Adirondack Park Bundle- Trails Illustrated Map or from some of the books below. Be sure you are fully prepared before you head out on an adventure in this wilderness area.
Backpacker checking map at Clear Pond Lean To
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