Rankin and Little Rankin Ponds
Your Adirondack Basecamp

Hiking

How to get there

From exit 28 in Schroon Lake follow I-87 north for one exit to the North Hudson exit #29. From here follow Boreas Road west toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N and take a left and head toward Minerva. Continue for just under 10-miles to the trailhead on the right, parking is on the left just prior to the trailhead.  

Trail Description

Rankin Pond

From the parking area cross the road carefully and quickly, as the trailhead is located on a corner where traffic tends to move quickly. Once at the trailhead you will sign into the trail register and follow the trail behind the register, not the old road to the right. The trail is marked with blue disks. Along the trail you will sweep around a small knob on your right known as Crusher Hill, all the while, not changing much in elevation. Here is a slight descent at the end to reach the shore of Rankin Pond. 

If you wish to continue to Little Rankin Pond be aware that there is no marked trail or designated route to reach the small back-county body of water. Map and compass and GPS knowledge is highly recommended. Not recommended for inexperienced hikers, or children. 

Little Rankin Pond

To continue on to Little Rankin Pond, locate a herd path to your right from the end of Rankin Pond Trail. This fisherman herd path is very faint and blowdown does cover it in spots. This herd path will bring you to another small spot with a great view of the pond. The herd path from here starts to become much less apparent and eventually disappears, but keep the pond to your left and continue down the finger to a beaver dam crossing. 

Once you cross the beaver dam you will need to make your way through a somewhat open forest and head NW keeping the slopes of Rankin Pond Mountain to your right. Remain in the valley. Little Rankin Pond is a quaint little pond that cannot be approached very well, but gives a nice backcountry secluded feel  with birding potential. 

Elevation Gain

~100’

Distance Round Trip

2.2 miles

Approximate Time Round Trip

Family with Young Kids: 45 Minutes, Rankin Pond Only

Experienced Hiker: 30 Minutes, Ranking Pond Only; 1.5 to 2 hours for Both Ponds

Inexperienced Hiker: 45 minutes, Rankin Pond Only

Paddling

At the trailhead there is room for one car to unload a cartop boat, but you should park across the road at the designated parking area. The trail is narrow, but overall fairly easy with a brief somewhat steep drop near the end. This trail is not the best option for a cart; it is recommended that you use a boat that you can carry.

Once on the pond you will have a wonderful secluded paddle, and most likely to yourself. On the NE side of the pond is a long finger created by a beaver dam and on the north end of the pond is an attractive wetland where birding could be quite good. While the pond is not all that large you may find yourself relaxing there for quite some time just taking in the peace and tranquility of the waters and mountains over you.   

Pond Sizes – Approximate Shoreline Length:

1.0 miles

How to get there:

From exit 28 in Schroon Lake follow I-87 north for one exit to the North Hudson exit #29. From here follow Boreas Road west toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N and take a left and head toward Minerva. Continue for just under 10-miles to the trailhead on the right, parking is on the left just prior to the trailhead.  

Type of launch:

Dirt and rock

Portage/Carry Details:

0.4 mile carry trail; easy to moderate

Type of water:

Well-sheltered and under most days is quite calm

Fishing

Directions to Access Points:

From exit 28 in Schroon Lake follow I-87 north for one exit to the North Hudson exit #29. From here follow Boreas Road west toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N and take a left and head toward Minerva. Continue for just under 10-miles to the trailhead on the right, parking is on the left just prior to the trailhead.  

Shoreline Fishing:

There is a limited amount of shoreline fishing but it’s decent in a couple spots. At the end of the trail which is 0.4 miles from the parking area, and slightly further along the shore on the east side via a short herd path.  

Boat access:

With a moderate 0.4 mile access trail this would be a tough haul to get a boat back in. However a lightweight canoe or kayak would be a great alternative for better fishing. At the deepest it is around 20 feet, but the best fishing is had from the deeper portion and the finger on the NE side, which is accessed best by boat.

Fish Species Types:

Brook trout, bullhead

Special Regulations:

Always Follow State fishing regulations and be sure to pick up a NYS Freshwater Fishing Guide at your local outfitters or regional NYSDEC office.

Snowshoeing

From the parking area which should be plowed out regularly, you will need to cross the road to access the trail. The trail is behind the trail register and follows the road for a short bit before turning right and following the base of Crusher Hill. The trail doesn’t get a ton of use or attention, but it’s easy enough to follow. There is a slight downhill at the end just before you reach the shore. The shoulder of Rankin Pond Mountain rests at the far end of the pond.  

Ascent:

~100 Feet

Distance Round Trip:

2.2 miles

Approximate Time Round Trip:

Families with Kids:    1 to 1.5 hours

Experienced Snowshoers:    1 hour

Inexperienced Snowshoers: 1 hour

Trailhead Location:

From exit 28 in Schroon Lake follow I-87 north for one exit to the North Hudson exit #29. From here follow Boreas Road west toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N and take a left and head toward Minerva. Continue for just under 10-miles to the trailhead on the right, parking is on the left just prior to the trailhead.  

Difficulty: 1=easiest, 5=hardest

One: This is a flat snowshoe with very little elevation change.   

Additional Important Information:

Snowshoeing over a frozen body of water is an Adirondack past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.

Find out more

Read our blog post, Something Old, Something New, and Something Blue: The Rankin Pond Region.

More Information
Route 28N
Minerva, NY, 12851
(518) 532-7675
info@schroonlakeregion.com
More Information
Route 28N
Minerva, NY, 12851
(518) 532-7675
info@schroonlakeregion.com
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