Friday, April 17, 2015

Easy Short Lake Placid (NY) Hikes: Cherrypatch Pond Springtime Snowshoe - Wilmington NY

 One minute it feels like we have so much snow and the next moment it seems to all melt away. It is this tricky time of year that we have to choose our wooded walks with care. There is plenty of snow still hidden among the trees when we make a quick stop to take in the beautiful view from Big Cherrypatch Pond. 

 I’ve only ever noticed the sign for Cherrypatch Pond heading west toward Lake Placid from Whiteface Mountain. Little and Big Cherrypatch ponds bookmark Rt. 86 and we’ve never given the ponds their due. With only a passing glance from our vehicle, the ponds always seem more marshland than open water.

The trail to Big Cherry Patch pond starts on the south side of Rt. 86 with its outflow crossing beneath the road to the northern Little Cherrypatch Pond. We park at the small designating area and make our way over the remaining snow bank. The whole hike is less than ½-mile round-trip, but since we are searching for signs of spring, we plan on taking our time.

It is an unmarked path to Big Cherrypatch, but an easy enough one to follow. There is very little open water, but due to the warm conditions we hear the flow under the ice. In the beginning of our walk it is easy to stay clear from any dangers of breaking through ice. The shoreline is just high enough to form a protective berm.

The flat trail meanders through wooded forest gently lowering in elevation until the path is level with the water. At a ¼-mile the path forks; we bear to the left to reach the northernmost tip of Big Cherrypatch Pond. The herd path to the right continues along the marshy shoreline. I don’t want to bushwhack through unexplored territory, near open water and soft snow conditions. We are content to stay where we are and listen for wildlife. We look south and see a snowcapped Algonquin Mountain in the distance. A few chickadees come to check us out, but any other wildlife stays hidden.
From Northwood Rd/Rt. 86 junction drive east on Rt. 86 for approximately 1.5-miles. From River Rd/Rt.86 junction drive west on Rt. 86 for 0.9-miles. The trail is located on the south side of Rt.86. Enjoy this easy wooded walk!

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.

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