Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Biking at NYS DEC Buck Pond Campground


The Lake Placid Ironman may be over but bike riding around the Adirondacks is still very much in season. There are many places where visitors and locals alike can access the woods and enjoy some off-road trails. For smaller children or those just beginning to experience a wooded trail may want to attempt DEC campgrounds for a trail ride.

 When my children were first learning to ride a two-wheeler, I wanted to take them some place where they could explore nature and enjoy a bicycle ride. I didn’t want them to go on a busy road and I felt just traveling around the streets wouldn’t keep my older child interested in the endeavor.

We recently joined friends for a ride at the Buck Pond Campground. The entrance to Buck Pond is built on the same site as the old Chateaugay Branch of the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Railroad. It was the perfect outing for our group consisting of a wide range of ages.

In the thick of summer season the paved road entrance is busy with visitors. We manage to park and unload without issue. Young and old climb aboard bikes and hit the trail.

The campground is situated on the western shore of the 130-acre Buck Pond and bordered by Lake Kushaqua to the west. There are three easy loops that traverse through the campground. Each loop passes by about 30 campsites. We don’t attempt the campsite Loops A and B on the southern section of the campground but work our way north toward the nature trail.

The paved roads give our youngest rider some much needed experience. By the time we reach the nature trail the others in the group are ready for more of a challenge. The level wooded path skirts along the shoreline and is a perfect excursion. If someone is looking for a mountain bike experience, Whiteface Mountain trails provide a more rigorous off-road encounter. This trail may not be a test of mountain biking skills but we are tucked under tree cover and enjoying nature.

This is a 1.25-mile trail that traverses the old railway, which intersects other trails used in the winter by snowmobiles. It ends abruptly on nearby Mud Pond Road. The kids play along the shoreline for a bit and then we turn around and return back to Buck Pond Campground.  Don’t forget to bring your suit as Buck Pond as a wonderful sandy swimming beach. Try one of the other NYS campgrounds for easy biking trails!



 © Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time, the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebooks series

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