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North Country Trail

Adirondack Park

Siamese Ponds Wilderness

 

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NOTE:  This information is based from the information gathered from the DEC plan available at the DEC website.  The info below is for just part of what will be the North Country Trail in the Adirondacks.

The Siamese Ponds Wilderness is one of the larger Wilderness designated areas in the Adirondack Park. It extends some 24 miles north and south and 18 miles east and west and contains approximately 114,010 acres of Forest Preserve lands. Associated with Siamese Ponds Wilderness are the Dug Mountain, Forks Mountain and Chatiemac Primitive Areas.

During the early part of the nineteenth century, logging became an important industry in the region, and most of the Wilderness was heavily cut over. Devastating fires at the turn of the century continued to significantly impact this natural resource.

Today, however, the area shows little evidence of these past impacts and has become known for its natural beauty. Popular points of interest include the Siamese Ponds that gave the area its name, Puffer Pond, Puffer Mountain, Chimney Mountain, Auger Falls, Peaked Mountain and Thirteenth Lake.

The North Country National Scenic Trail will enter Siamese Ponds Wilderness at the southern trailhead for the Cisco Creek Trail located at the end of Elm Lake Road, which can be reached from Speculator. A new parking area was built by the NY DEC in 2009 which includes an accessible privy just off the main Elm Lake Road on the right at the last four corners junction. 

There is no parking any longer at the end of Elm Lake Road.  Hikers will need to park here and walk the 0.3 miles along the road to the Cisco Creek bridge.  You can check out our hike on the Cisco Creek Trail to get an early look at this section of the future NCT.

 

The bridge over Cisco Creek is partially under water due to a beaver dam

The NCT will follow the Kunjamuk Trail at the junction of the Long Pond-Rock Pond Trail after 0.9 miles of hiking from Cisco Creek.  In just 0.3 miles hikers will have to cross the wide Kunjamuk River to continue on their North Country Trail adventure.  The Kunjamuk will probably need to be waded to cross.  The North Country National Scenic Trail will follow the Kunjamuk Trail to its intersection with the Wakely Brook Trail on the northwest corner of the King’s Flow.

The North Country National Scenic Trail follows the Wakely Brook Trail, which travels along the western edge of the King’s Flow and wraps around its southern end, for 3.2 miles. The Wakely Brook Trail connects to the King’s Flow East Trail on the southern end of King’s Flow. At the intersection of the King’s Flow East Trail and the Puffer Pond Brook Trail, the North Country National Scenic Trail turns east onto the Puffer Pond Brook Trail.

The North Country National Scenic Trail follows the Puffer Pond Brook Trail for 1.8 miles. The Puffer Pond Brook Trail intersects the Puffer Pond Trail on the shore of Puffer Pond. From this intersection the North Country National Scenic Trail follows the Puffer Pond Trail for approximately 2.7 miles.  There is an existing shelter, the Western Puffer Pond Lean-to, on Puffer Pond.

The Puffer Pond Trail intersects the Hour Pond Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail continues northeast from this intersection on the Hour Pond Path.  The North Country National Scenic Trail will follow the Hour Pond Path for its full 1.6-mile length to its intersection with the Peaked Mountain Trail. The North Country National Scenic Trail will follow the Peaked Mountain Trail to the summit of Peaked Mountain.  Much work has been done on these trails in 2010.

At 2919 feet, this may become the highest point along the whole North Country National Scenic Trail in not only the Adirondacks, but along the whole 4200 mile trail.  This is depending on the route of the trail chosen in Jessup River Wild Forest as there could be a section of the trail over 3000 feet in elevation.

The views are spectacular from the summit of Peaked Mountain.  Hikers will have a great view north toward the High Peaks.  From the Peaked Mountain summit the North Country National Scenic Trail will head northeasterly over new, undeveloped terrain to the Siamese Ponds Wilderness boundary, approximately 4.2 miles. From this boundary, the North Country National Scenic Trail will cross NY 28 and enter the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area.

The foot trail from Peaked Mountain Pond to the summit of Peaked Mountain is currently poorly located and severely eroded. The trail is scheduled to be relocated to follow the northern shore of Peaked Mountain Pond and continue up the western shoulder of Peaked Mountain. The new trail will be approximately 1.0 mile long and designated as a foot trail.

There are trailheads/parking facilities at both ends of the Kunjamuk Trail, at the north end of Thirteenth Lake, on the north end of King’s Flow, and on NY 28 in the northeastern area of the unit where new trail would be constructed.  The DEC plan is to have 23.7 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail through Siamese Ponds Wilderness with 19.6 miles of trail currently available.

 

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