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Five Ponds Trail


"Five Ponds Wilderness Area"


Wanakena Access

Sand Lake, Little Shallow, Big Shallow, Wolf Pond, Cage lake

Five Ponds Wilderness

Five Ponds Wilderness

FivePondsWilderness Map

FivePondsWilderness Map

Five Ponds Wilderness Map 2

Five Ponds Wilderness Map 2

The Five Pond Wilderness Area is one of the most secluded  and prestigious  areas  in the Adirondack Park, that still holds the luring  characteristics of

true Adirondack wilderness.


This unique, untamed area is certainly the way the Adirondack Mountains were intended to be! 



With close to 100 waterways spread out over 107,230 acres this area is vast, raw and can test even the most  experienced outdoor adventurist.



This description is for the listed destinations above, but is in no way ALL that that The Five Ponds Wilderness area has  to offer. One must Come and see for Themselves.



designated as a 2 to 4 day overnight excursion with a second car to spot. It is nearly a 30 mile outing from car to car with the side trail to Sand Lake.


From the trailhead you will be on a flat trail that follows along an old railroad grade which can be wet under the right conditions. The flat trail continues and eventually comes to "High Rock" with an outstanding overlook above the Oswegatchie river, with decent spots to tent camp ifyou so desire. The trail continues with the river to your right and at about 4.5 miles from High Rock, you will come to the Five Ponds Trail and Bridge to your right, this is where you need to turn off the "High Falls Loop Trail".


Once across the bridge the feel of true wilderness should be upon you. While this is called "Five Ponds", you will only come to three  of the five  along the trail, the two other Ponds are a short bushwhack over a narrow ridge.


There is a lean-to on Big Shallow and Little Shallow Ponds, which is a highly recommended place to make camp. This might be enough for you, if so, just retrace your steps, if you want to continue you will have to spot a car off Young's Road in "Star Lake".

(Learn  more here)



Continue on the lightly used trail and in about 2.5 miles you will come to the spur trail for

"Sand Lake". It is an extra 2.5 miles back to Sand Lake if you wish to partake. The trail to Sand Lake is quite flat and there is a lovely lean-to on the shore. Back at the intersection you will soon come to "Wolf Pond" and another lean-to for the taking ifyou so desire.


3-miles away is "Cage Lake" and another lean-to giving you ample opportunities to turn in for the night. The trail from this pint is fairly flat with some very wet sections of low lying ground. With a couple more small ponds to see along the way, you won’t have any more lean-to’s to camp in. 


Trailhead Location:


From the intersection of Route 3 and CR61 (Wanakena Road) follow CR61 and stay straight on the main road to South Shore Road. Follow South Shore Road for around 0.25miles to the trailhead parking on the right. You will have to walk back up the road for a couple hundred feet to the road on the left and walk this to its end, which is about 0.1 miles.



Trail use: Hiking, Snowshoe, XC Ski, Camping






Also See:


"Five Ponds Wilderness Star Lake Access"


Five Ponds Wilderness Area Trail Overview




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