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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
There are many Rock 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 secluded scenic pond with a very popular lean to. Most hikers use Putnam Pond State Campground as the main base to reach Rock Pond. It is a 1.6 mile one way hike to reach Rock Pond Lean To from the state campground. This hike is easy to moderate and can be enjoyed by most everyone.
From the 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. There is a DEC Trail Mileage Sign at the trailhead that lets you know it is 1.6 miles to Rock Pond. Before heading out make sure you are fully prepared for a day in the wilderness or in case you find yourself lost.
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, turn right and 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. 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.
Rock Pond Lean To
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