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North Country Trail
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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 allowed any longer at the end of Elm Lake Road.  Hikers will need to park at the new parking area located near the end of the road 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. There were major changes from the original 2007 DEC proposal compared to the 2014 updated revised plan. Below is the information on the future NCT in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness based on the revised plan.

The NCT will follow the Cisco Creek Trail, just as it was in the 2007 DEC plan. However, the trail will not be utilizing the Kunjamuk Trail. This means hikers will not need to do the wide, difficult crossing of the Kunjamuk River. The future NCT will then turn left onto the Long Pond Trail, following this trail past Rock Pond and Long Pond. The trail then will turn right onto the newly constructed Long Pond-Kunjamuk Trail. This trail brings hikers to the Kunjamuk Trail.

At this point there is currently a gap in currently constructed hiking trails. The DEC will construct a new hiking trail from here toward the Round Pond Trail, north of Humphrey Mountain. This looks to be a wet area, so it will be interesting on where the trail will be constructed. The future NCT will follow the Round Pond Trail, then a left onto the Kings Flow East Trail. The future NCT will then turn right onto the Puffer Pond Brook Trail.

There are a couple of lean to's on Puffer Pond available for thru hikers and backpackers of the North Country Trail. The future NCT continues on the current Puffer Pond Trail, past the southern end of popular Thirteenth Lake. This is a major change from the 2007 DEC proposed route. The original route had the NCT on the western side of the lake and traveling to Peaked Mountain. The 2014 DEC revised route now has the NCT taking the Puffer Pond Trail to its end at the Old Farm Clearing Trail.

The future NCT will turn left on the Old Farm Clearing Trail briefly before turning right on the seldom used Botheration Pond Trail. The NCT will pass the small Botheration Pond, where there is a small designated campsite on the shore of the pond. The NCT continues and will turn right on another seldom used trail, called the Halfway Brook Trail. The future NCT follows this trail to a crossing of Barton Mines Road. This is the boundary for Siamese Ponds Wilderness.

Here the trail crosses the road and officially enters the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest on a trail known as the Raymond Brook Ski Trail. For more information on this next stretch of the future NCT in the Adirondacks, see the NCT in Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. Look below for a couple of maps from the DEC on the future trail.

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