A series of cascades over
100 feet in length. 43° 28.037'N, 74°
14.792'W. For more waterfalls in the
Park, visit our
Adirondack Directory of Waterfalls.
- Unique geologic
formations and a series of “ice caves”.
- An early garnet mine (1900
Hooper Garnet Mines
- An early garnet mine
which opened in 1908 located near Thirteenth Lake.
Griffin - The location of a tannery and a
small “boom” town.
Burnt Shanty Clearing - The location of an
old logging camp.
- An area in the vicinity
of John Pond that was the location of a small French-Canadian
community. Its location is the mid-section of Lot 15 of the
Totten and Crossfield purchase and was known as “Little Canada”.
One of the first settlements in the Indian Lake area, it was
inhabited principally by French-Canadians.
Sites - There are 124 primitive tent sites
within the Siamese Pond Wilderness.
DEC regulation requires that groups of ten or more persons camping
on state land obtain a permit from a forest ranger. DEC policy
prohibits issuing group camping permits to groups wanting to camp on
forest preserve lands in the Adirondacks that are classified as
wilderness, primitive or canoe area. This policy was developed to
protect natural resources, the primeval character of the area and
exceptional wilderness experiences for all recreationists, and
follows Leave No Trace practices. Except for the eastern High Peaks
Wilderness, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness and the William C. Whitney
Wilderness, where the group size is 8, camping groups in wilderness,
primitive and canoe area lands are limited to 9 people or less.
Indian Lake Islands - 20 of the 55 campsites
located on Indian Lake are on the east shore of the lake and in the
SPW. These campsites were built in 1959 and opened for use in 1960.
Thirteenth Lake - There are
currently 6 designated camping sites at the north end of the lake
and 9 additional designated camping sites on the lake.
Four latrines and ten picnic tables were added to
this area . A gate was installed at the parking area to limit access
to car top boats and small outboard motor boats. The area still
sustains heavy use for camping, picnicking, fishing, boating and
Other Regions: IAATAP maintains a full directory of
Camping. To explore nearby camping areas,
County is rich in bird life. You can download a free guide &
Birding in Hamilton County
Also, visit our
Directory when you have time. By the NY State's
Unit Management Plan, the following species are under study, we have
summarized their findings. Pictures and links provided by
Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The bald eagle is currently listed as a threatened
species by the federal government and New York. Buckhorn Mountain is
believed to have been a center of eagle activity prior to 1970,
although no nest sites had been confirmed. Bald eagles are sensitive
to human disturbance; so if you are fortunate to see one, please "Do
Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
The golden eagle is a species once found in the
Adirondacks. The last successful nest in New York State was
recorded in 1970. Golden Eagles have nested at elevations
between 1,500 and 2,600 ft; however, surveys conducted by the New
York Habitat Inventory Unit, open habitat suitable for Golden Eagles
has decreased at all but one historical site.
Bat (Myotis sodalis)
Indiana Bat is an endangered species and may reside in the
Siamese Wilderness but not confirmed. The DEC is searching
existing caves throughout NY and three caves along the borders of
the Adirondacks have found indicating of wintering Indiana bats.
During spring, Indiana bats disperse from their winter hibernacula,
some traveling hundreds of miles. Females congregate in nursery
colonies, only a handful of which have ever been discovered. Nursery
colonies have been located along the banks of streams or lakes in
forested habitat, under the loose bark of dead trees, and contained
from 50-100 females. In August or early September, Indiana bats
congregate at the entrance of selected caves or mines where mating
occurs. Indiana bats spend the winter months in secluded caves or
mines which average 37 - 43 degrees F.
In 1974 New York initiated a program to reintroduce
Peregrine Falcon in the state. Peregrines were successfully
hacked in the Adirondack Park with the release of the first birds in
1981. It is possible that Peregrines are utilizing the Siamese Pond
Wilderness for nesting. Three basic requirements nesting
Peregrine Falcons include open country for hunting, sufficient food
resources of avian species, and steep, rocky cliff faces for
nesting. The falcons typically nest 50 to 200 feet off the ground
near bodies of water. Nesting sites for Peregrines usually include a
partially-vegetated ledge large enough for it young to move about.
The nest is a well-rounded shape that is sometimes lined with grass,
usually sheltered by an overhang. Sometimes Peregrines may nest in
old Common Raven nests. Human disturbance of a
breeding pair may result in nest abandonment! "DO NOT DISTURB"
please! Climbers, not it is illegal to climb during their
breeding season, and breeders will attack. To report a
falcon signings please contact NYSDEC Region 5, Bureau of Wildlife,
P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, New York 12977, 518-897-1291.
American Osprey is of special concern. Osprey breed near large
bodies of water where there is abundant fish populations.
Numerous sightings are within the Adirondack. Osprey construct
their nest in tall dead tress, but also use rocky ledges, sand
dunes, artificial platforms, and utility pole cross arms for a tall
advantage point. The power company has started to built Osprey poles
because they often select power poles causing issues when moving
their youth from the endangerment of the power lines.
Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Red-shouldered Hawk is listed as species of special concern and
believed to exist in the Siamese Pond Wilderness.. Red-shouldered
hawks breed in moist hardwood, forested wetlands, bottomlands and
the wooded margins of wetlands, and sometimes close to cultivated
fields. They like cool, moist, lowland forests with tall trees
Common Loon (Gavia immer)
Common Loon is a species of special concern and are located
through out the Adirondacks They use small and large
freshwater lakes in open and densely forested areas for breeding and
nest on lakes (mostly less habited lakes). The Loons will use little
shallow coves for nesting which are constructed on the ground at the
water’s edge on sand or rock, wherever to avoided predators.
Small islands are their favorite or small peninsular. They
have a beautiful call - click:
Common Loon - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Cooper's Hawk is another species of
special concern and believed to be in the Siamese Wilderness.
Cooper’s hawk enjoys a variety of habitat types, from extensive
deciduous or mixed forests to scattered woodlots interspersed with
open fields, floodplain forests and wooded wetlands are also used.
They construct nests typically at a height of 35 to 45 feet in the
Thrush utilizes fir waves and natural disturbances as
well as edges of ski slopes. They breed in the Adirondacks at
elevations greater than 2800 ft. The species is most
common on the highest ridges of the Adirondacks, preferring young or
stunted dense stands of balsam fir up to 9 ft. in height.
Wild Species of Concern
Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma
The Jefferson salamander is listed by New York
State as species of special concern and believed to exist in the
Siamese Pond Wilderness. The salamanders require pools
that remain deep long enough to complete their metamorphosis
which takes approximately 1-2 weeks. They use the forested
habitat used during the remainder of the year.
The wood turtle is found in well oxygenated
good quality streams with sandy-pebbly substrates that are deep
enough so that they do not freeze during hibernation Ideal
habitat includes dense alder swamp and forested wetland habitat
bordering the streams where the turtles can bask and have
protection from predators. Wood turtles forge for fungi
and vegetation. Wood turtles select both slopes and level
sandy open areas for nest sites. They are listed as species of
interest because of the long maturity rate (15 years) and high
Although Moose have become more populated in the
Adirondacks, they have not been confirmed in the Siamese Pond
Wilderness. Moose will select habitat that is most abundant
and highest quality forage. Typical patterns in moose habitat
selection during the summer include the use of open upland and
aquatic areas in early summer followed by the use of canopy
areas that provide higher quality forage in the fall, near
lakes, ponds and streams where they can forage for plants and
get relief from high temperatures in insects. After the
fall rut and into winter, moose use open areas again where the
highest woods exists.
Two native fishes, brown bullhead
and creek chub, are widely found by the anglers. Other
native species common in the region are pumpkinseed, black nose
dace, white sucker and northern red belly dace. Lake trout occur in Upper and Lower
Siamese Ponds. It is not known if lake trout were native. Today brook trout are maintained through
routine stocking. Twenty-four ponds are in the
Siamese Pond Wilderness and have a high
number of brook trout ponds relative to other wilderness regions
as the Black Mountain Section of the Lake George Wild Forest (8
in number), Blue Mt. Wild Forest (7 in number), Hudson Gorge
Primitive Area (8 in number), Pigeon Lake Wilderness (18 in
number), Blue Mountain Wild Forest (8 in number) and Blue Ridge
Wilderness (7 in number). Sixteen (67 percent) of the 24 ponds in the
region are managed
for brook trout by stocking. Visit our
Directory for more information.
New York Codes Rules and
Regulations (“NYCRR”) §190.8(n) authorizes the use of state
owned lands by horses and equestrians. However, the use of
horses on designated foot trails is prohibited unless the trail
is also specifically designated as a horse trail. Horse trails
in a Wilderness area to: “those that can be developed by
conversion of appropriate abandoned roads, snowmobile trails, or
state truck trails.” There are several abandoned roads
within the Siamese Ponds Wilderness appropriate for horse
riding. The Eleventh Mountain trail and the Old Kunjamuk
Road are some, and both of these roads are both currently
designated as hiking and skiing trails. Visit our
Directory for other areas.
& paddling into the
region for weeks of hunting. There are adjacent
private land for leased hunting camps as well.
backcountry acreage is enormous and the Adirondacks has the largest
trail system in the nation with more than 2,000 miles. Enjoy
the glory of hiking the Adirondacks, nature's solitude, unbroken
forest, lakes and mountains and take the path less taken.
Focus on your senses. Visit our
Adirondack Hiking Guide. Much of the southeastern portion
of the Siamese Pond Wilderness is not easily accessible due to the
lack of crossings over the Sacandaga River. Click
for the DEC "Lost in the Woods" brochure.
There are 52.1 miles of marked and
maintained trails, and numerous unmarked trails in Siamese Pond
Wildness. The DEC trail classification system is outlined in
the Forest Preserve Policy Manual. This classification system
recognizes four trail classifications as outlined below:
Distinguishable: Minimal biological or physical impacts,
slight loss of vegetation and/or minimal disturbance of
Impacts: Tail obvious, slight loss of vegetation cover
and/or organic litter pulverized in primary use areas,
muddy spots or tree roots, or water action evident.
Impacts: Vegetation cover and/or organic littler
pulverized within the center of the tread, exposed rocks
and trees or small mud holes, but little evidence of
widening beyond the maintained width of the trail.
Impacts: Near complete or total loss of vegetation cover
and organic litter, rocks or tree roots exposed and
roots damaged, or ruts more than 20cm (7.8 inches) deep,
or widening caused by muddy areas or water action
Extensive Impacts: Trail to bedrock or other substrate,
or tree roots badly damaged, or some ruts more than 50
cm (19.5 inches) deep or large areas (over 50%) of bank
erosion, or mud holes so extensive that the trail is
outside of its maintained width.
The recommended access points to the Siamese Pond
Wilderness Region are:
Old Farm Clearing near Thirteenth Lake - The
registration box with parking for 30 vehicles.
Thirteenth Lake - The Thirteenth Lake
Registration box with parking area for 15 vehicles.
Eleventh Mountain Trailhead on Route 8 (west of
Bakers Mills). The registration box with parking area for
20 vehicles located north of Route 8.
John Pond Trailhead off Starbuck Road (southeast
of the Village of Indian Lake). The registration box with
parking area for 5 vehicles located at the end of Starbuck Road.
Kings Flow property from Big Brook Road (private
land w/parking for fee).
North end of Thirteenth Lake at the end of Beach
Elm Lake Road from Speculator via lands of
International Paper Company, Inc.
Trail easement crossing International Paper
Company, Inc. Crotched Pond property to Round Pond; 8) boat or
canoe from Indian Lake.
Edward Hill Road in the Town of Johnsburg.
Auger Falls Trailhead off of Route 30.
Forks Mountain Primitive Area from Teachout Road
near Griffin (Wells).
Access can also be gained along Route 28 on the
north and Route 8 on the south, where the highways are nearby.
Marked Trails (52.1 Miles)
II) - (2.3 miles) from the parking area at the end of Starbuck
Road to John Pond.
Most trails are
marked with color coded disks affixed to trees
as shown (see left). Trail guides and maps
correspond to these markers. Trail register
boxes are generally located near major access
points and parking areas. Although most
state-maintained trails are marked, hikers are
encouraged to consult topographical maps or
other guides when planning to venture into the
East Branch Trail
(class I) - (11.1 miles) from the Wilderness boundary at Old
Farm Road parking area through to Route 8 trailhead at Eleventh
Siamese Ponds Trail
(2.6 miles) from intersection with East Branch Trail to Siamese
Ponds; designated as a Class II foot and ski trail.
West Puffer Pond Trail
(class II) - (2.2 miles) from the Kings Flow Trailhead. This
trail travels around the south side of Chimney Mountain and
continues past the John Pond Crossover Trail until it ends at
the western most lean-to on the shore of Puffer Pond.
East Puffer Pond Trail
(class II) - (4.3 miles) from its intersection with the East
Branch Trail near Old Farm Clearing west to Puffer Pond and its
intersection with the W. Puffer Pond Trail at the western most
lean-to on Puffer Pond.
Chimney Mountain Trail
(class II) - (1.0 miles) from Kings Flow Trailhead northeast to
the top of Chimney Mountain. The registration box and
parking is available on private property for a nominal fee.
Access to the trailhead requires crossing private property.
The current owners permit the public to access State lands by
crossing private property.
John Pond Crossover
(class II) - (3.4 miles) from its intersection with the John
Pond trail in the vicinity of “Little Canada” south to its
intersection with the West Puffer Pond Trail.
John Mack Pond Trail -
(4.0 miles) from shore of Indian Lake to John Mack Pond and
continuing east to the north end of Long Pond. The
registration box is located on the shore of Indian Lake in the
vicinity of John Mack Bay.
Peaked Mountain Trail
(class II) - (3.0 miles) from the parking area at north end of
Thirteenth Lake to the top of Peaked Mountain.
Hour Pond Trail
II) - (1.6 miles) from its intersection with the E. Puffer Pond
Trail to Hour Pond; also designated as a ski trail.
Second Pond Trail
(class II) - (2.0 miles) from the trailhead off Chatiemac Lake
Road to Second Pond. A register box and parking is
available for approximately 2-3 cars on the shoulder of the
Long Pond Trail (class
II) - (2.8 miles) from the Cisco Brook Trailhead at the end of
Elm Lake Road to the northern shore of Long Pond. Cisco
Brook - (a.k.a. the Long Pond Trail) Registration box with
parking area for 5 vehicles.
Kunjamuk Trail (class II) - (6.4 miles)
the majority of this trail formed the “Old Kunjamuk Road.” This
section of trail begins at its intersection with the Long Pond
Trail and travels north east to its intersection with the State
land boundary north east of Round Pond. This trail has been
re-open and marked from the Long Pond Trail to the boundary
between forest preserve land and the International Paper Round
Pond property. However, the last 1.2 miles of the Old Kunjamuk
Road connect the trail from the state land boundary to the Big
Brook Road. This section of trail crosses private property owned
by International Paper Company, Inc. and public land in the
Jessup River Wild Forest. The Department has an easement with
International Paper Company, Inc. to permit the use of this
trail where it crosses their land. The designation of that
portion of trail in the Jessup River Wild Forest will be
determined in the UMP for the Jessup River Wild Forest.
Auger Falls Trail
(class II) - (1.0 miles) from the east side of Route 30 in the
vicinity of Forks Mountain to Auger Falls (see our
Adirondack Directory of Waterfalls). A register
box and parking area for 5 cars provides access to Auger Falls.
Access is across private property owned by International Paper
Clear Pond Trail
II) - (0.9 miles) from Starbuck Road to the north end of Clear
Forks Mountain Trail
(class I) - (0.5 miles) from the end of the town road to private
lands owned by International Paper.
William Blake Pond Trail
- (3.0 miles) from the intersection with the East
Branch Trail northeast along the foot of Balm of Gilead
Mountain, southeast past William Blake Pond and continuing
southeast past The Vly and out to the Barton Mine Road.
Unmarked Trails (28.4 Miles)
Balm of Gilead Mountain
(class III) - (approx. 1.0 miles) from the
intersection with the William Blake Pond path to the top of Balm
of Gilead Mountain
(class II) - (3.0 miles) from the intersection of Shanty Brook
and the East Branch of the Sacandaga River north along Shanty
Brook and then west to Mud Ponds.
Shanty Briar Path
(class III)- (5.5 miles) from the intersection of County Line
Brook and East Branch of the Sacandaga River north until the
trail becomes indistinguishable.
County Line Briar Path
IV) - (1.5 miles) from the intersection with the Peaked Mountain
Trail to the intersection with the Hour Pond Trail.
Hour Pond Path
(class IV) - (2.0 miles) follows Extract Brook north until the
trail becomes indistinguishable.
Extract Brook Path
(class IV) - (1.0 miles) follows Macomber Creek north from its
intersection with the Sacandaga River.
Macomber Creek Path
III) - (4.0 miles) from the end of Edwards Hill Road northwest
past Bog Meadow and continuing northwest and then southwest
until the trail is no longer evident. This unmarked trail is an
old farm road.
Bog Meadow Path
(class III) - (2.6 miles) this path begins on private property
near Kings Flow and travels along the eastern shore of Kings
Flow until it meets Puffer Pond Brook and then follows the brook
to the western most lean-to on Puffer Pond.
Puffer Pond Briar Path
(class III) - (2.5 miles) from intersection with Puffer Pond
Brook Path to the top of Humphrey Mountain. Heavy blow down near
Humphrey Mountain has obstructed a portion of this path.
Humphrey Mountain Path
(class III) - (2.0 miles) from Old Farm Clearing to Botheration
Botheration Pond Path
Curtis Clearing Path (class III) - (2.0 miles)
from intersection with East Branch Trail to Curtis Clearing.
This is an old farm road.
(class IV) - (1.0 miles) begins due east of Barker Mountain off
Route 8. The path first crosses Martha’s Brook and then crosses
the East Branch of the Sacandaga River and continues north along
East Branch Gorge Path
(class III) - (0.3 miles) begins on the shore of Indian Lake and
continues southeast along Dug Mt. Brook and ends at Dug Mountain
Dug Mountain Brook Path
One of the unique features of the
Siamese Ponds Wilderness is its lack of trail development.
Approximately 21,000 acres or 33 square miles was left trail-less.
This area is bounded as follows: Starting at a point where the
Kunjamuk River intersects the State land boundary; thence northerly
along the Kunjamuk River to a point where it intersects the
old “Kunjamuk Trail,” thence northeasterly along said trail to a
point where the trail intersects the Wakely Brook/ Kunjamuk
River Watershed boundary; thence easterly along this watershed
boundary to the top of Humphrey Mountain (elev. 2984 feet); thence
northeasterly to Humphrey Brook; thence southeasterly along Humphrey
Brook to the west shore of Siamese Ponds; thence along the shore to
the Siamese Ponds Trail; thence southeasterly in a straight line
which intersects Curtis Clearing and the south end of Curtis Brook
to Cook Brook; thence southwesterly through the notch between Black
Mountain and Big Hopkins Mountain to Mud Ponds and the East Branch of
County Line Brook; thence continuing in a straight line to Hayes
Flow; thence westerly along Hayes Flow and Hayes Creek to the State
boundary; thence along the State land boundary to the starting point.
those have gone before:
Motorized Equipment in Wilderness, Primitive and Canoe Areas:
DEC has adopted a regulation prohibiting the use of motorized
equipment in lands classified as wilderness, primitive or canoe.
Public use of small personal electronic or mechanical devices such
as cameras, radios or GPS receivers are not affected by this new
Cable bridge on the East Branch of Sacandaga
River near the Sacandaga lean-to, provides access to Siamese
Twenty primitive camp sites with privies at
Indian Lake Campground.
Fireplaces and picnic tables at John Pond and
Six designated camping sites at the north
end of Thirteenth Lake and the picnic tables and fireplaces.
Fireplace near Auger Falls.
Lean-to on Johns Pond as well a privies.
Lean-to and privy on the Sacandaga River at at
the Sacandaga River Crossing near the intersection of the
Siamese Pond Trail and the east branch of the Sacandaga River.
Two lean-to at Puffer Pond with privies and
fireplaces. The lean tu's are in in poor condition.
Camp sites at the north end of Thirteenth Lake
with three privies.
Diamond Brook - A foot bridge
constructed of log stringers.
Cross Brook - A foot bridge
constructed of timber stringers with railings.
Cisco Brook - A foot bridge constructed of log
Hour Pond Outlet 1 - A foot bridge constructed of
treated timbers and decking.
Wilderness Pond - Located on the Puffer Pond
Buck Meadow Flow - Located on the Puffer Pond
Sacandaga River - Near the intersection of the
East Branch of the Sacandaga River and Second Pond Brook,
constructed of treated utility poles and decking.
Macomber Creek - Log stringer and lumber decking,
provides access for snowmobiles through primitive corridor, poor
Thirteenth Lake - A gate exists at the end
of the Thirteenth Lake Road adjacent to the parking area at the
north end of Thirteenth Lake.
Old Farm Clearing - A gate was constructed
on the Farm Clearing Road around 1990 near the parking area
Round Pond - A barrier was installed in 1978 at the Wilderness
Kunjamuk River - A barrier was constructed
in 1975 to prohibit motor vehicle access to the Kunjamuk dam.
John Pond Trail - a barrier was
constructed of boulders around 1990 to close the road to motor
Cisco Brook - A barrier was constructed in
1975 to prohibit motor vehicle access beyond the parking area,
currently the cable is missing and the foot bridge now acts as a
barrier to motor vehicles.
Rob Creek - A gate was installed near the
intersection of Rob Creek and the state boundary.
Old Farm Clearing - A
parking area was established at the intersection of the
Wilderness boundary and the trail to Old Farm Clearing. The area
accommodates approximately 30 cars. The parking lot is not
currently plowed in the winter. The Town of Johnsburg stops
plowing approximately 0.3 mile prior to the parking area.
John Pond Trail - A
parking area to accommodate 5 cars. The parking lot is not
plowed in the winter.
Cisco Brook - A parking area exists within
500 feet of the Wilderness boundary at the end of the Elm Lake
Road. There is room for approximately 5 cars. Neither the
parking lot nor Elm Lake Road are plowed in the winter.
Eleventh Mountain - A parking area exists
within 500 feet of the Wilderness boundary on the north side of
State Route 8. The parking area will accommodate approximately
15 - 20 cars. The parking lot is currently plowed during the
Thirteenth Lake - A parking area
exists at the Wilderness boundary near the north end of
Thirteenth Lake. The parking area will accommodate approximately
10-15 cars. The parking lot is currently plowed by the Town of
13th Lake Trails
Adirondack Mountain Club
Forest Fire -
Search and Rescue
Regulation/Backcountry Law Enforcement
Support our sponsors: