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Pole Hill Pond Forest Preserve

Routes and Trails

Dept. of Environmental Conservation Use Guidelines

  • Camping is permitted up to three nights, but you must be at least 150 feet from a road, trail, spring, stream or pond. Larger groups or more nights requires a permit.

  • Do not pick the wildflowers, cut or mark the trees, remove any rocks, fossils or artifacts or disturb the animals. (Hunting is per­mitted - see "Overview" for details.)

  • No motorized vehicles of any kind allowed.

  • Fires are permitted, but must be attended to at all times.

  • Please do not litter. Carry out what you carry in.

  • The storage of personal property is prohibited.


The 1,300–acre Northwest Bay tract, watershed of Northwest Bay Brook, was purchased by the Lake George Land Conservancy in early 2000. It was sold to NY State in 2004 and is part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The Lake George Land Conservancy maintains the trails of the Pole Hill Pond Preserve through DEC's Trail Cooperative Agreement program. LGLC welcomes your comments and reports of damage or trail maintenance needs. Please contact us at 518-644-9673 or

Distance And Terrain

This is 4 miles of moderately challenging trails. The entrance to the Pole Hill Pond trails is on the west side of Route 9N, diagonally across from a driveway with stone lions. The blue trail starts at the parking area. It follows a logging road for 0.25 miles until it intersects again with the yellow trail, where it bears to the right and crosses a stream. It then continues on a logging road for 0.75 miles, before leaving the road and climbing steadily to the top of the ridge. The trail undulates for 1.5 miles until it drops down into a knoll, then climbs steeply to the top of Walnut Ridge, which has spectacular views of Lake George. It then drops down for 0.5 miles to Pole Hill Pond. The pond is a great place to take a refreshing dip.
The first intersection with the yellow trail is just past the start of the blue trail. It climbs steadily for 0.3 miles until it reaches a ridge, where it undulates for 0.3 miles to Bear Knob. There are seasonal views at a couple of points. It then descends gradually until it intersects with the blue trail again.

Highlights And Key Points Along The Route

Mod-challenging hiking, snowshoeing, hunting and camping.

Hunting and trapping is allowed at the preserve; appropriate state licenses are required. Hikers should be aware of hunting seasons and wear bright colors and hike in groups to minimize risk. Mountain biking is allowed on all of the trails. Recommended biking routes would be the blue trail for the first mile.

Identify And Describe The Management Organization

Pole Hill Pond is owned by New York State. To report any problems or acquire any permits, please
contact DEC Forest Ranger Rick Schroeder at 518-335-3888 or the DEC Regional Office at 518-897-
1300. For emergencies, call 518-891-0235.

Contact Lake George Land Conservancy for trail issues, 518-644-9673.