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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Hiking in Herkimer County

Northwestern Adirondacks


Pepperbox
Wilderness

 

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The 23,816 acre Pepperbox Wilderness is located in the northwestern Adirondacks mostly in Herkimer County, just north of the Moshier Reservoir and the Beaver River. A small part of the wilderness is located in Lewis County. There are very few marked hiking trails in this remote wilderness area and it has a very limited amount of visitors. It is one of the smallest wilderness areas in the Adirondacks. The northern border of the wilderness is the West Branch Oswegatchie River. With the lack of established trails, you will need to be prepared to bushwhack.

Access is moderately difficult because of the distance from public roads and the lack of a trail system. There is an access trail to the wilderness from Moshier Falls. The Raven Lake Jeep Trail runs near the southeastern border of the wilderness from Stillwater Reservoir. There is access from a couple of dirt roads, Bear Pond Road and Sand Pond Road.

The only marked hiking trails in the wilderness are from a section of land that was transferred into Pepperbox Wilderness from Five Ponds Wilderness (not updated on the trail maps below). There are trails to Jakes Pond, Spring Pond and Tied Lake. A dirt road continues on from Tied Lake and travels to Gregg Lake. Otherwise the wilderness has no marked hiking trails. You'll find old roads and herd paths that lead to different destinations (see below) or you'll have to make your very own path by bushwhacking.

There are two designated campsites in this wilderness, one at Tied Lake and the other at Moshier Reservoir. Backcountry camping is allowed anywhere in this wilderness as long as your campsite is at least 150 feet from water, road or trail, unless the area is posted with "Camping Prohibited" signs. Camping for more than three nights or with groups of ten or more people requires a permit from a DEC forest ranger.

Bear Pond Primitive Corridor

The Bear Pond Primitive Corridor consists of two rights of ways that provides access to two inholdings within Five Ponds Wilderness and Pepperbox Wilderness. It begins at the intersection of Bear Pond Road and Buck Pond Road, which is with the boundary between Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest, Five Ponds Wilderness and Pepperbox Wilderness. From this point the Primitive Corridor follows Bear Pond Road to the inholding at Bear Pond.

The westerly fork of the Primitive Corridor leaves Bear Pond Road and follows a rough road to the inholding at Loon Hollow Pond. The boundary between Five Ponds and Pepperbox Wilderness Areas follows Bear Pond Road to the road leading to Loon Hollow Pond and then along that road to the private inholding. The Bear Pond Primitive Corridor is open for public motor vehicle use to the gate at the intersection with Old Upper South Pond Road. Beyond this point motor vehicle access is limited to private access only.

Tied Lake Primitive Corridor

The Tied Lake Primitive Corridor consists of a private right of way that leads to an inholding within Pepperbox Wilderness. It begins along the Bear Pond Primitive Corridor just west of the bridge over Greggs Lake Outlet. The corridor travels south past Hog Pond and Tied Lake then continues to the private inholding. The Tied Lake Primitive Corridor is open to public motor vehicle use up to the gate at Tied Lake. Beyond that point motor vehicle access is limited to private access only. These two corridors gives visitors the opportunity to drive or bike into the wilderness and get closer to certain destinations like The South Ponds or Gregg Lake.

Be sure to have good compass and map skills before attempting your adventure in Pepperbox Wilderness. We also suggest looking at a good GPS devise such as Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator or a compass to help keep you on the right track. You can find more information on this wilderness from the NY DEC website.

 

Destinations in Pepperbox Wilderness

Sunshine Pond Bear Pond Threemile Beaver Meadow
Sand Pond Jakes Pond Old Boundary Trail
Martin Brook Cowboy Beaver Meadow Hog Pond
Tied Lake Gregg Lake Deer Pond

Crossing Sunday Creek on the way to Pepperbox Wilderness

Crossing Beaver River on the Raven Lake Primitive Corridor Road bridge

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