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Hiking in Adirondack Park

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest

Southwest Adirondacks
Hiking in Adirondack Park
Southwestern Adirondacks
Shaker Mountain Wild Forest

Holmes Lake
Little Holmes Lake

 

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Holmes Lake and Little Holmes Lake are two small beautiful lakes located in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest of the southwestern Adirondacks. There is a lean to located near Holmes Lake that was constructed in 2009. The hardest part of hiking to either of these lakes is the dirt road to the main trailhead. The road is not very good and not recommended for anything but high clearance vehicles. Don't let that deter you, just park before the road gets bad or near the start of the road. It just makes your hike a bit longer, but keeps your vehicle from getting stuck or damaged.

Directions: From Caroga Lake Campground take NY 29A north. Soon after the junction with NY 10, turn right on County Road 112 and drive 4.7 miles to Peters Corners. Turn left at the four corners on Holmes Road. It is 1.3 miles to the gated trailhead. There is NO parking area. You will need to find a safe place to park along the side of the road. The road quickly gets really bad and can be a mud quagmire at some spots. Not recommended to drive your low clearance vehicle down this road!!! There is some parking at Peters Corners near the four corners. The GPS coordinates are N43 10.672 W74 25.116 for the gated trailhead for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.

Holmes Lake Hiking Description

It is a 1.1 mile one way hike to Holmes Lake from the gated trailhead at the end of Holmes Road or 2.3 miles one way from the start of Holmes Road at Peters Corner off County Route 112. Either way it's a pretty easy hike to Holmes Lake. From the start of Holmes Road at Peters Corners, walk the dirt road. After 0.3 miles pass a junction of a red marked snowmobile trail on the right. This trail is also know as the Sailor Swamp Trail. The trail on the right travels to Pinnacle Road. There is a trail sign that tells you Holmes Lake is 2.0 miles and Shutts Road is 7.6 miles. Continue to follow the dirt road.

At 1.3 miles reach the gated trailhead for the main trail. The DEC sign states it's 1.0 miles to the lean to and 1.1 miles to Holmes Lake. You are following blue DEC trail markers. After 1.9 miles reach the junction of the red marked Bellows Lake Trail on the left. The trail sign says Shutt Road 6.4 miles. Continue straight for Holmes Lake. Reach the side trail for the lean to at 2.2 miles from the start of Holmes Road. There is an old yellow marked trail located near the lean to that travels about 0.25 miles to a scenic designated campsite on the eastern shore of Holmes Lake. The old trail is faint and can be hard to follow to the campsite.

Following the main blue trail from the lean to junction you reach Holmes Lake at 2.3 miles from the start of Holmes Road.

Little Holmes Lake Hiking Description

The hiking description for Little Holmes Lake is the same as Holmes Lake. At the 1.9 mile mark you'll turn left on the red marked Bellows Lake Trail. The DEC sign doesn't say anything about Bellows Lake, it states that Shutt Road is 6.4 miles. Follow the red marked snowmobile trail for 0.6 miles to an unmarked junction that did have some pink ribbon on a tree the last time I was there in 2015. For those who have the National Geographic Adirondack Park Trails Illustrated Northville/Raquette Lake Map #744, the map says it's 1.0 miles for the junction. The map is WRONG, it is only 0.6 miles for the unmarked trail to Little Holmes Lake.

Veer right off the snowmobile trail and follow the old woods road that travels 0.6 miles to a campsite on the northwestern shore of Little Holmes Lake. The old woods road does continue on for about 0.4 miles past the lake, however it is faint and can be tough to follow. The old road ends at an old logging camp. The hike to Little Holmes Lake from the start of Holmes Road (without going to Holmes Lake) is a round trip of 6.2 miles. If you add Holmes Lake into your plans then you will have an overall hiking adventure of about seven miles (if you start from the start of Holmes Road).

Look below for a map of this hiking destination in Shaker Mountain Wild Forest.

 

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