SELECT SEVEN: Family hikes in the Pharaoh Mountain Wilderness
Your Adirondack Basecamp

We know how to make fun family memories in the Schroon Lake Region!

Try one of these 7 hikes and let us know what you think!


Goose Pond

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 3.0 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 2 hours

Brief Overview

From the parking area you will walk along Crane Pond Road for around a mile to the Gull Pond Trail on the right. The road is an easy walk and so is the trail; small rolling hills bring you to a very scenic back-county pond.

Other Notable Features

If you have time, be sure to check out Crane Pond just a bit further up the road.

How to Get There

In Schroon Lake follow Alder Brook Road to Crane Pond Road which will be on your left. Follow Crane Pond Road to the large parking area. Note: Don’t try to drive any further along Crane Pond Road - it is far too rough for most vehicles and is part of a wilderness area that should not be driven.

Gull Pond

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 1.0 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 1 hour

Brief Overview

From the trailhead you will have an easy hike on a mostly flat surface back to one of the most scenic gems of the Adirondacks. This small pond is a wonderful afternoon destination.

Other Notable Features

This pond makes for a great swimming hole on a hot day, as well as a wonderful spot for a picnic lunch.

How to Get There

From Schroon Lake follow Alder Brook Road to its end where it becomes Adirondack Road (right at Y-intersection with Crane Pond Road). Follow Adirondack Road to the trailhead on the left.

Treadway Mountain

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 7.8 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 4 to 5 hours

Brief Overview

From the Putnam Pond Trailhead start a moderate and easy hike around the pond. There are a few intersections along this route to the mountain so be sure to take notice of the trail signage. The climb is moderate with only a couple spots that would be considered steep. The summit and the approaching ridge are loaded with rock outcroppings and views, take them in.

Other Notable Features

If you find the summit more crowded than you like, there are plenty of spots to have some privacy and quiet. Be sure to explore the ridge for additional hidden views of the neighboring lakes and mountains.

How to Get There

From Schroon Lake follow Route 74 toward Ticonderoga. Take a right onto Putts Pond Road and follow to the end at the state campground. Once through the gate of the campground continue straight to the top of the hill, the parking area is on the left.

Grizzle Ocean Loop

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 5.0 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 2.5 to 3 hours

Brief Overview

From the Putnam Pond Trailhead start a moderate and easy hike around the pond. There are several intersections along this route to the loop so be sure to take notice of the trail signage which is quite clear. The majority of the hike is flat - aside from one longer section of moderate climbing to the shoulder of Grizzle Ocean Mountain. Do the loop in either direction; you can’t go wrong on this lollipop.

Other Notable Features

Be sure to look for wild cranberries along the shore, they make for a nice tart snack.

How to Get There

From Schroon Lake follow Route 74 toward Ticonderoga. Take a right onto Putts Pond Road and follow to the end at the state campground. Once through the gate of the campground continue straight to the top of the hill. The parking area is on the left.

Bear Pond Loop

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 6.1 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 3 to 3.5 hours

Brief Overview

From the day-use parking area locate the foot trail across the grassy area and past a couple of buildings. You will come to the road through the campground, follow it left to the trailhead, there is no parking at the trailhead.

The trail for quite some time is flat. You will pass by Heart Pond on your left - at the trail intersection with Rock Pond. Not far past Heart Pond the trail ascends a bit to a height-of-land. The descent to the pond is fast and a bit steep. The pond is a gorgeous back-country gem that shouldn’t be missed. There is a climb once you leave the pond that will bring you up and over the pass. The trail will bring you down to the Rock Pond Loop where you take a left and follow the signs back to the campground. This is a lollipop loop that will bring you back to Heart Pond.

Other Notable Features

This loop is a sure-fire gem of a trail that gets little attention so you will have most of the hike to yourself.

How to Get There

From Schroon Lake follow Route 74 toward Ticonderoga. Take a right onto Putts Pond Road and follow to the end at the state campground. Once through the gate of the campground take a right and locate the day-use parking area near the beach.

Rock Pond Loop

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 6.8 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 3.5 to 4 hours

Brief Overview

From the day-use parking area locate the foot trail across the grassy area and past a couple of buildings. You will come to the road through the campground, follow it left to the trailhead, there is no parking at the trailhead.

The path is flat for quite some time as you pass by the trail to Bear Pond. Be sure to make a quick visit Heart Pond which will be on your right, another great waterbody. The rolling hills will bring you past North Pond, and then downhill to the Rock Pond Lollipop loop. I enjoy it in a counterclockwise direction, but either way is quite good. On the back side of the pond the historical buff in you will enjoy a visit to an old mine shaft - it’s a cool spot on a hot day. Once past the shaft the trails gets a bit more serious for a while as it climbs up and over several rocky outcroppings and along a narrow path above a steep drop, this is a fun section for sure.

There are a few rock outcroppings with great places to sit and relax most of the way around the pond. The backside of the pond is a much mellower walk with excellent footing and even more scenic spots. There is a neat floating bridge that crosses the gap between Rock Pond and Little Rock Pond.

Other Notable Features

This is a great pond for a cooling dip or a nice afternoon picnic.

How to Get There

From Schroon Lake follow Route 74 toward Ticonderoga. Take a right onto Putts Pond Road and follow to the end at the state campground. Once through the gate of the campground take a right and locate the day-use parking area near the beach.

Pharaoh Mountain

Distance Roundtrip/Loop: 9.8 miles

Estimated Time Roundtrip/Loop: 6 to 7 hours

Brief Overview

This hike might be a bit long for some families, but it depends on the age and ability of the children involved. From the parking area you will hike an access road to Crane Pond, which is a nice place to take a break. From there you will hike on a moderate foot trail past Glidden Marsh which offers tremendous scenic value.

The climb to the summit is a bit more demanding, and in some areas could be considered quite steep. Some visitors consider this hike moderate, others strenuous, I would say it’s someplace in the middle. The views are stupendous and the regularity of visitors is a prime example of how wonderful the top truly is. This mountain is the highest point in the Pharaoh Mountain Wilderness, imagine that!

Other Notable Features

The summit used to have a fire tower on it, look for the old concrete footers and other evidence of a fire tower observer.

How to Get There

In Schroon Lake follow Alder Brook Road to Crane Pond Road which will be on your left. Follow Crane Pond Road to the large parking area. Don’t try to drive any further along Crane Pond Road it is far too rough for most vehicles, and it is in a wilderness area that shouldn’t be driven.

Pick your path!

Plan your next Adirondack hiking trip for the Schroon Lake Region! We have great places for you to eat after a day on the trails, and comfy places to rest your weary bones.


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