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Hiking in Adirondack Park
West Central Adirondacks
West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Little Moose Pond
The 29 acre Little Moose Pond is in the 168,920 acre West Canada Lakes Wilderness located in the west central section of Adirondack Park. This small pond is remote, although the 1.7 mile trail is located off Jessup River Road. There is no sign for the trailhead and most people drive right by on their way to the Spruce Lake Parking Area, located at the end of Jessup River Road. You will probably not see anyone else on this hiking adventure. The pond is at an elevation of 2281 feet. The overall elevation gain for this 1.7 mile hike to the pond is 390 feet.
The trail starts off seasonal dirt Jessup River Road, about 11 miles from NY 30. There is a locked gate just a short distance from the main dirt road on your right. There is no sign marking the trail from the road. The GPS coordinates of the junction of the logging road/Jessup River Road is N43 32.032 W74 32.225 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle. There is a large open area before the gate to park, just don't block the gate. The seasonal dirt roads to this destination are rough at times, so take care if you decide to travel on the roads. Be careful not to turn off the main dirt road, as there are side unmarked roads.
Start your hike by passing by the right side of the gate and follow the old dirt logging road. The NY DEC map for West Canada Lakes Wilderness shows that the road is open to just past the bridge over the Jessup River. We saw no evidence that is the case now. Old guide books also mention this. Following the old logging, you will pass a hunting cabin on your right almost immediately. At 0.25 miles you will reach the bridge over the Jessup River. Pause for the beauty of the river here. This could be a nice picnic spot. Cross the bridge and enter a larger area that looks like it might have been a parking area or a staging area for logging operations. An old road goes to the left, you want to follow the obvious road on the right.
You haven't reached the wilderness boundary yet. You are still hiking on International Paper Lands where there is a Conservation Easement, allowing hikers to pass through to reach the West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. The road follows the Jessup River briefly before turning left and you start climbing at 0.4 miles. You reach the wilderness boundary at 0.5 miles with a barrier blocking any further vehicle traffic. The old road is beginning to fill in, but it is for the most part easy to follow. Soon you'll pass through an open area that was probably a site for staging from a logging operations a long time ago.
At a second open area you will need to keep left to find the old road as you continue your hike to Little Moose Pond. At 1.3 miles the old road turns right and soon you reach the height of land. Now the old road becomes more washed out and your walking is more difficult as you descend to the pond. At 1.7 miles you reach the shore of Little Moose Pond. Near the outlet of the pond you'll see a beaver dam and may even see the remnants of an old bridge that once crossed the outlet. There is a faint path across the outlet that leads to a camping spot on the pond. The view across the pond includes Pillsbury Mountain.
Gate off Jessup River Road
Jessup River from bridge
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