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  1. #1
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    Smile Hammond Pond Wild Forest in North Hudson, NY

    Anyone else ride the hiking trails in Hammond Pond? Quick review:

    * Hammond Pond trail itself is mostly double-track, pretty straightforward.

    * Black Brook Ponds - forks off Hammond Pond trail. It's somewhat interesting, until you reach the "bog" that is the start of the ponds. In 2010, we forged out into the bog a long way and it was pointless. (Eventually, you are also leaving the State forest and entering a private hunting lease.) In late 2011, we rode it again, but a lot of blowdown.

    * Bloody Pond. This trail forks off the trail to Black Brook Ponds. Singletrack hiking trail, had some blowdown at the beginning, so we have yet to give it a try. (Seems very lightly traveled even by the hikers.)

    * Moose Mountain Pond. This is our favorite. Out and back. Something like 3.6 miles of singletrack. If you are "average" riders like our group, you are going to dab a lot and walk a few sections, but it is still worth it.

    * Bass Lake. Well... maybe this is our favorite? Same start as Moose Mtn Pond, but take a right to Bass Lake and get a good climb, then an awesome descent back down to the Caza Turn trailhead. We haven't tried it in reverse, but intend to soon.

    * Challis Pond. Really short, but we tacked it onto the end of a Bass Lake loop for a little extra climbing. Other than one downed tree to cross, we ALMOST cleaned the whole climb without dabbing...

    A word about the Adirondack Park... More than one of our members have heard from Forest Rangers that if it is designated Wild Forest, it should be open to cycling, provided there is nothing saying "you can't". However, if it is designated Wilderness Area, then assume you can't ride, unless it says "you can". Thus, Hammond Pond Wild Forest is OK. High Peaks Wilderness... not OK!

  2. #2
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    Moose Mountain Pond

    Waterfall to the left of the trail en route to Berrymill Pond (which is en route to Moose Mtn Pond):

    Hammond Pond Wild Forest in North Hudson, NY-falls-en-route.jpg

    Moose Mtn Pond itself, after a satisfying climb on a warm August evening:

    Hammond Pond Wild Forest in North Hudson, NY-moose-mtn-pond-2012.jpg

  3. #3
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    Nice pics.

    Do you start at the trailhead off RT9 or Rt 4.

    I did some hiking up there years ago but never MTB.

  4. #4
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    If you got off the Northway Exit 29 and headed north on Rt 9, a few miles later, a sign points you to "Port Henry", and you turn right briefly on to Caza Turn Rd, and right again onto County Rt 4, which is known as the Ensign Pond Rd or the North Hudson Rd. As you made those turns, you zipped past a little stretch of abandoned pavement leading off of Caza Turn, going into the woods. This is the un-marked end of the trail to Bass Lake. (We have descended to that point, but haven't tried yet pedaling up that hill to Bass Lake.)

    Continuing further on CR 4 Ensign Pond Rd, after a while of winding country road, you will zip past the sign to Challis Pond on the right, followed by a much better marked parking area for Hammond Pond. We usually park in that lot and ride from there to Hammond Pond, Moose Mountain Pond, or Bass Lake.

    Further up CR 4 is another trail head on the LEFT ("north" side of CR 4), which is for Trout Brook, Round Pond, East Mill Flow, and eventually leads back to Sharp Bridge Campground. Sharp Bridge is further up Rt 9, closer to the Exit 30 end of that stretch of road. I did not mention that trail in my review above. Probably 5 years ago, I had a couple successful rides and really enjoyed that 5.2 mile trail from CR 4 to Sharp Bridge. The last time we tried it a couple seasons ago with a larger group, two of us shuttled cars to the Sharp Bridge end and rode "up" the trail, while the rest of the group rode "down". Surprisingly, despite more climbing on our parts, we met pretty close to the middle, and they complained that much of the trail was difficult to ride and felt like they walked 50% of the time. I haven't had a chance to give it another try and see if it is in better shape in 2012.

    There is some good and challenging singletrack to be found. It truly is hiking trail conditions, so nobody who reads this should expect a groomed bike park. If there has been any rain, then proceed with caution because the rocks and roots get more treacherous, of course. In other words, on a good, dry day, you will find yourself in love with it, even though there will be some dabbing and occasional carries. On a wet day, you may ask yourself "why did I even bother?!"

    One last note, the Town of North Hudson has a multi-use trail center slightly south of Exit 29 on Rt 9. We went there once. It is not very challenging for true mountain bikers, but it a pretty section of forest, some along the Schroon River. I think they keep working on it, so there may be some improvements. We haven't visited during the 2012 season; maybe we'll scoot over there when it gets to be time to break out the lights for evening rides.

  5. #5
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    Actually... come to think of it, the Town of North Hudson has much of this information I am writing about on their webpage:

    Town of North Hudson, New York - the Hub of the Adirondacks

  6. #6
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    Damn this is kinda far

  7. #7
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    Used to live in Schroon Lake, those trails and many others are what kept me there 23 yrs.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info.
    I dont mind carrying the bike, a smooth mountain trail would be a bore.

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