Adirondack Hiking Trails:
Black Pond Trail

Birds of the Adirondacks:  Common Grackle near the Black Pond Trail  (7 May 2013) Adirondack Habitats:  Black Pond from the Black Pond Trail (27 April 2013) Adirondack Habitats: Mixed forest on the Black Pond Trail (16 August 2012) Birds of the Adirondacks:  Common Merganser on Black Pond (27 APril 2013) Adirondack Habitats:  View from the Black Pond Trail (4 May 2013) Birds of the Adirondacks:  American Black Ducks on Black Pond (23 April 2013) Birds of the Adirondacks: Hooded Merganser on Black Pond (27 April 2013) Adirondack Habitats: View from the Black Pond Trail (20 July 2012) Adirondack Habitats: Black Pond from the  Black Pond Trail (20 July 2012) Adirondack Wetlands:  Wetland plants along Black Pond (16 August 2012) Adirondack Habitats: Mixed Forest along Black Pond (20 July 2012) Adirondack Wildflowers:  Touch-me-not along the Black Pond Trail (16 August 2012) Black Pond from the Black Pond Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC (20 July 2012) Adirondack Trees:  Fall Foliage from the Black Pond Trail (17 September 2012)
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This 2.3-mile scenic loop passes through several Adirondack habitats: conifer forest and mixed wood forest, as well as a wetland area on the south end of Black Pond, near Black Pond Stream (the pond's outlet). Black Pond is a 72-acre glacial pond whose western boundary is a ridge of glacial soil and boulders, called an esker

  • Eskers in the Adirondack Mountains were created by melt-water streams, flowing under and within the glacier through tunnels in the ice. These streams built their own stream beds from rock material embedded in the glacier.
  • After the glacier melted, these riverbed sediments were deposited on the landscape as winding ridges called eskers. The basin of the Black Pond was occupied by large chunks of ice, which formed a pond when it melted.

Access to Black Pond is limited to non-motorized boats. Black Pond and Black Pond Stream have been extensively studied by the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, which has published a detailed report on the chemistry, lake characteristics, and land cover of Black Pond. There are two lean-tos on the Black Pond Trail: one on the southern tip of Black Pond and one on the eastern shore of the pond between Black Pond and Little Black Pond. The lean-tos are for day-use only.

To do the Black Pond Trail loop in a clockwise direction, begin at the trail head on the Keese Mills Road, near the former St. Regis Presbyterian Church. The initial part of the trail, near the trail head, takes you through wetland areas on both sides of the trail. Look for Painted Turtles sunbathing on logs. You can also see wetland plants, such as Pitcher Plant, and wetland-dwelling birds, such as Belted Kingfishers, which can often be seen fishing along this part of the trail.

The trail then parallels the Black Pond outlet (Black Pond Stream), leading you to the lean-to on the south end of Black Pond. The trail then narrows, skirting the western shoreline of Black Pond, between the esker and the pond. The trail takes you over a foot bridge and through glades of ferns and then by a dam, then continues around the eastern shore of the pond. A clockwise tour of the Black Pond Trail ends just opposite the former St. Regis Presbyterian Church. Parking is available at the trail head on Keese Mills Road or at the St. Regis Mountain trail head.

Wildflowers which thrive along the trail include Spotted Touch-Me-NotWintergreenDewdropWild SarsaparillaPickerelweed, and Common Wood Sorrel. Birds which are commonly observed here include Winter WrenBlack-capped ChickadeeGolden-crowned KingletCommon GrackleSong SparrowRed-breasted NuthatchNorthern Parula, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Water birds that may be seen on Black Pond, Black Pond Stream, or Little Black Pond include American Black DuckGreat Blue HeronCommon Merganser, and Hooded Merganser. This trail affords the best opportunity to see and hear Common Loons, which nest on Black Pond.

This is a backcountry trail, with some narrow, rocky, and wet sections. Hiking boots are recommended.


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