Four spring hikes for Schroon lovers
Your Adirondack Basecamp

The snow is melting, the trees are beginning to bud — it’s time to celebrate with a hike! But wait a minute — the DEC asks hikers to stay below 3,000 feet in the spring until trails dry out, so hiking is off limits this time of year, right? Wrong.

Sure, the agency’s request is valid because it helps preserve trail quality, but it’s admittedly a downer for people seeking big Adirondack views. Here’s the good news: Staying below 3,000 feet elevation doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of trails to choose from. Here are four of our favorite spring hikes in the Schroon Lake region that’ll keep you under the 3,000-foot mark while still delivering good views. For more, check out our hiking page.

Bass Lake and Moose Mountain Pond

Two ponds for the price of one! This is a pleasant hike that’s long enough to make a nice outing without taking up the entire day. From the trailhead be sure to bear right, as left goes to Hammond Pond, another worthy destination that’s only 0.8 mile from the parking area.

Berrymill Brook is a constant companion for the first portion of this hike, so take your time to enjoy its pretty, rocky banks and numerous little waterfalls. Things stay pretty easy as the path gently ascends the valley between Berrymill Hill and an unnamed hill.

At 1.4 miles there’s a fork — right goes to Bass Lake and left goes to Moose Mountain Pond. If you’re pressed for time, head for the scenic ledges of Bass Lake, about a mile from the junction. Moose Mountain Pond is less than 2 miles from the split. Continue around the shore to get to the lean-to.


Elevation gain: 320 feet

Round trip distance: 7 miles

Getting there

Take Exit 28 off of Interstate 87 and follow Route 9 south toward Schroon Lake. Continue for 0.6 mile and turn onto Alder Meadow Road, follow that to East Shore Road and continue for 2.75 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Spectacle Pond

Spectacle Pond lives up to its name in every way. It’s a large, beautiful waterbody that boasts an outstanding view of Pharaoh Mountain from its southern shore.

The trail climbs slightly from the trailhead, passes Beaver Brook, then descends to Shanty Brook.
There’s another gentle uphill as the path approaches the pond, reaching it at 1.3 miles. Continue along the south shore for another half mile to take in all of the scenery.


Elevation gain: 300 feet

Round trip distance: 3.4 miles

Getting there

Take Exit 28 off of Interstate 87 and follow Route 9 south toward Schroon Lake. Continue for 0.6 mile and turn onto Alder Meadow Road, follow that to East Shore Road and continue for 2.75 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Mount Severance

Ponds and lakes offer up nice scenery, but if you’re into mountains there’s no better way to get a killer view than by gaining elevation. Luckily, mountains like Mount Severance sit below the 3,000-foot mark, meaning they're fair game for providing a stunning vista this time of year.

The trail leaves the parking area by way of two metal tunnels, which go underneath I-87. The path is well-marked and well-maintained as it winds to the base of the mountain, crosses a wooden bridge, then climbs moderately to the summit at the 1.2-mile mark. Explore the top to discover all of its secrets — there’s a stunning view of Schroon Lake in one direction and another that encompasses the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area.


Elevation: 1,693 feet

Ascent: 700 feet

Round trip distance: 2.4 miles

Getting there

From Interstate 87, take Exit 28, head toward Schroon Lake, and make a quick right to go south on Route 9. The parking area is in about a half mile on the right.

Newcomb VIC

VIC stands for visitor interpretation center, and that’s exactly what this place sets out to accomplish. The 236-acre property’s 3.6 miles of interpretive trails branch off from the Adirondack Interpretive Center. Be sure to visit this building before heading out — it contains a little nature museum that’s full of stuff you might see along the trails. And speaking of trails, they’re all really easy so seeing the entire VIC in a day isn’t a problem for most hikers.

If you are pressed for time, don’t miss the Rich Lake and Peninsula trails. A lovely bridge gets visitors out onto the large peninsula, where there are great views of Rich Lake and Goodnow Mountain. Side note: Goodnow has a restored fire tower on its summit and is a great hike after the trails dry out.

Getting there:

Take Exit 29 off of Interstate 87 and turn left on Blue Ridge Road to head toward Newcomb, then turn right on Route 28N. The VIC is on the right, about 25 miles from the highway.

Head into Schroon Lake for some shopping and food after your spring hike!

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