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Moose River Plains Wild Forest


Mitchell Ponds

 

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A walk to the Mitchell Ponds is a great hike for the whole family.  The trail follows an old roadbed with some views of the plains to your left with a steep bank on your right.  There are two trailheads as this trail, which is also a snowmobile trail, loops back to the main Moose River Road.  We recommend using the marked eastern trailhead which has a good size parking area, recently upgraded.

The western trailhead is unmarked, 0.3 miles east from the junction of Rock Dam Road.  Parking is near the entrance to a campsite.  The marked, main eastern trailhead is located 7.9 miles east from the Limekiln Road entrance. This is 0.3 miles north from the junction of Otter Brook Road.

Sign on Moose River Plains Road for eastern trailhead (since changed)

From the eastern trailhead and parking area, follow the old road 0.1 mile past a barrier following the old road and yellow DEC discs.  Be sure to park in the designated parking area and keep the road/gate open.  The road is obvious, so it's real easy following this path.  At 0.5 miles cross a stream on a wooden bridge. 

At 0.9 miles there is a herd path on your left that descends a short distance to a clearing that looks like it could be a nice camping area.  At 1.0 miles cross a wooden bridge and another bridge at 1.1 miles.  Check out the large rocks and cliffs on your right.  At 1.3 miles the road nears a stream with some small cascades on your left.  You may have noticed the large beaver pond through the trees just prior to this point. 

At 1.8 miles there is an accessible campsite with two tent sites, a picnic table and a path that leads to an accessible open air privy.  Continuing straight the old road disappears and a trail on the right is the continuation of the Mitchell Ponds Trail.  Heading straight ahead is the trail that leads to the end of Upper Mitchell Pond, which is the higher of the two ponds.

The trail to Upper Mitchell Pond was recently upgraded as an accessible footpath and in 300 feet the trail ends at a scenic picnic site near the edge of the pond as well as an accessible observation deck on the pond. You have traveled 1.9 miles and many make this their turn around point for a 3.8 mile round trip hike back to the parking area.  This will be your decision as there is yet another pond to explore.

Back at the junction, go straight if your heading back to the parking area.  If your continuing on to Lower Mitchell Pond, turn left (from the side trail) and pass by a small beaver pond on a log bridge with plywood.  The trail now follows another old woods road, tougher to notice this old road compared to the one you were walking along earlier.  The trail goes across a small creek and as it turns uphill on a steady climb you reach a junction. 

This old road that heads up the hill is the snowmobile trail that travels 1.7 miles to the western trailhead to the north on the main Moose River Plains Road.  This trail is an easy hike up and over a hill and is marked with yellow discs. 

Continuing left, leaving the old road the Mitchell Ponds Trail follows a footpath and yellow discs.  You'll reach Lower Mitchell Pond in 0.4 miles from the first pond with views of the pond from the hillside as the trail travels parallel with the pond.  The trail turns left, around the end of the pond, ending at the outlet stream at one mile from the first pond. 

To return, simply retrace your steps back to the parking area, making this a 5.8 mile out and back hike. You could also do this as a loop hike utilizing the snowmobile trail and the main Moose River Plains Road for a minimum 6.8 mile loop (without trip to outlet stream on Lower Mitchell Pond), up to a 8.6 mile loop if you decide to hike to the outlet stream. 

 

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM6936.JPG

Trail follows an old woods road

 

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