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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
Bear Pond is located in the 46,283 acre Pharaoh Lake Wilderness of the East-Central Adirondacks. It is a popular day hike for those camping at Putnam Pond State Campground. It is about 1.4 miles from the trailhead near campsite 38 to reach the pond. The main blue marked trail that is known as the Bear Pond Trail travels along a boggy section of the pond and never gives hikers a good view of the pond. You will need to bushwhack to find a good vantage point to truly see the beauty of this remote pond.
From the trailhead pass a trail register. You are following yellow plastic DEC markers on a well worn path. At 0.3 miles reach a trail junction. The blue marked trail that goes straight travels to Bear Pond. There are some nice views of Heart Pond just off the trail as well as an unauthorized campsite on the shore of Heart Pond. The trail is easy to follow. You will pass a boggy beaver pond on your right. There is an unmarked heard path that leads to the boggy shore, probably used by anglers or curious hikers.
At 1.2 miles reach a junction, this is where the main blue marked Bear Pond Trail turns left. To the right is an unmaintained trail that travels to private land. This is the old Bear Pond Road. Prior to reaching the boggy/swamping part of Bear Pond, look for a faint herd path that travels to a better vantage point of the pond. You may also find a campsite near the pond shore. You will need to bushwhack to reach this vantage point of Bear Pond as the herd path is really faint and hard to follow. Don't let this deter you as the distance is not that far from the main trail. Use your compass so you don't get LOST!! From the vantage point of the pond, look across to a really nice looking campsite on the other side of Bear Pond. Backpackers looking for a remote adventure might find this as a tempting destination. You will need to bushwhack around the pond to find that campsite.
Back on the main blue marked Bear Pond Trail, the trail reaches the boggy shore of Bear Pond at about 1.4 miles. On your left are interesting rocky cliffs as the trail becomes rocky. At 1.5 miles the trail leaves Bear Pond and begins to ascend up Bear Pond Mountain. The Bear Pond Trail ends at the junction of the Rock Pond-LilyPond Trail at 2.8 miles from the trailhead at Putnam Pond Campground. The trail ends near the shore of Rock Pond. Going straight the Rock Pond Trail travels to the Rock Pond Lean To. There are trails that travel around Rock Pond.
Look below for a few pictures, maps and a video featuring Bear Pond. The nice thing about this hike for those who are camping at Putnam Pond State Campground is that you can start the hike right from your campsite. There is no reason to drive to the trailhead near campsite 38 as there is no parking at the trailhead. It isn't a very far walk from any of the campsites to reach the trailhead. Use your campground map to find campsite 38 and the start of the hike to Bear Pond on Clear Pond Trail. There is a restroom located near the trailhead. It is a three mile round trip for this pretty easy hike.
DEC Trail sign at trailhead
Bear Pond Trail junction sign
View of Bear Pond from the Bear Pond Trail
Bear Pond from a vantage point off the main trail
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