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Hiking in Adirondack Park
West-Central Adirondacks


Pigeon Lake
Wilderness

 

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The 50,100 acre Pigeon Lake Wilderness Area is located in the west central Adirondacks between the small hamlets of Eagle Bay and Raquette Lake. There are nearly sixty miles of marked hiking trails located in the wilderness. The wilderness is located in Hamilton County and Herkimer County. Some of the hiking trails can only be accessed via boat, creating unique opportunities for visitors. West Mountain is the highest point in Pigeon Lake Wilderness.

Many miles of marked hiking trails makes this wilderness a popular hiking destination. The way the trails are set up gives hikers the ability to create numerous loop hike options. The hiking trails off of Big Moose Lake creates unique kayaking and hiking opportunities. The most popular hikes Pigeon Lakes Wilderness include Cascade Lakes Loop, Constable Pond, Queer Lake, Chub Lake, Windfall Pond, Chain Pond and Pigeon Lake. If your looking for solitude and remoteness try the long hike to the 2902 foot summit of West Mountain. We also recommend a hike to Shallow Lake. 

The NY DEC maintains Brown Tract Pond Campground on the southeastern perimeter of the wilderness in Moose River Plains Wild Forest. There are six shelters located within Pigeon Lake Wilderness. Only one, Queer Lake Lean To, is accessible without boat.  The other five; Sister Lake Lean To, Little Sister Lake Lean To, Andy's Creek Lean To, Upper Gull Lake Lean To and Russian Lake Lean To, can only be accessed via boat then hiking.

The best way to access to Pigeon Lake Wilderness is from the parking areas off Big Moose Road, located north of NY 28 from Eagle Bay. To access Big Moose Lake, follow Big Moose Road 3.9 miles north from Eagle Bay and then turn right on Higby Road. In 1.5 miles you'll reach a fork where a right turn will take you to a dock operated by the Big Moose Lake Property Owners Association. There is some room to park off to the right. You can also access the wilderness off dirt Uncas Road and from Brown Tract Pond Campground. Look below for a list of destinations and trail maps of Pigeon Lake Wilderness.

Note: We were contacted in the summer of 2017 that the trail between Pigeon Lake and Otter Pond looks like it hasn't been maintained in a while and is nearly impassible in certain stretches. That is trail #21 on the maps below and is on the western side of West Mountain.

 

Destinations in Pigeon Lake Wilderness

Cascade Lake Loop Ferd's Bog Queer Lake Lean To
Shallow Lake West Mountain Chain Ponds
Chub Lake Mays Pond Constable Pond
Pigeon Lake Russian Lake Andy's Creek
Lower Sister Lake Gull Lakes Merriam Lake
Terror Lake East Pond Norridgewock Trail
Cranberry Pond Sucker Brook Bay Brown Tract Upper Pond

Queer Lake Lean To

Signs at a trail junction in Pigeon Lake Wilderness

 

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