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Old 09-09-2020, 11:15 AM   #1
forest dweller
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Any of you hiked into Little / Big Shallow in the Five Ponds recently?

Any of you hiked into Little / Big Shallow in the Five Ponds recently? Tried to go back there 2 years ago and new beaver "lakes" that USE to be the trail made it impossible for everyone but the most determined.

Anyone recently been back in to Sand Lake from the Oswegatchie and know the trouble spots?

Would like to go there but I will be going with someone that, how should I put it?....will want a trail to be a trail!

Any trail re-routing since then?
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:33 AM   #2
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It is called the Five Ponds "Wilderness" for a reason. There are numerous interesting and highly desirable destinations in the area with no trail whatsoever.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:24 PM   #3
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When I went in November a couple years ago it was over 70 degrees and walking through knee-deep water was not a problem. Timing is everything I guess.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:30 PM   #4
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:32 PM   #5
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Ive been through there numerous times this year. From the High Falls Loop Trail to the river isnt bad, there is a Beaver Dam crossing but it isnt much. You cross the Bridge and the rest is easy. After Big Shallow, there is a bit of a Board Walk across the outlet of Big Shallow and the trail is fine to Little Shallow. I havent been to Sand Lake so cant say.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Golddragon214 View Post
Ive been through there numerous times this year. From the High Falls Loop Trail to the river isnt bad, there is a Beaver Dam crossing but it isnt much. You cross the Bridge and the rest is easy. After Big Shallow, there is a bit of a Board Walk across the outlet of Big Shallow and the trail is fine to Little Shallow. I havent been to Sand Lake so cant say.
So you are saying between the bridge over the Oswegatchie River to Big and Little Shallow it's pretty smooth sailing with no real beaver pond / lake challenges?
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:35 PM   #7
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I havent had issues for two years that Ive been doing research there. Big Shallow LT is very nice and clean. And there is a board walk across the outlet that then goes to Little Shallow.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:07 AM   #8
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While we are on the topic of the Five Ponds, how is the Leary Trail? My old maps show it joining the High Falls Trail near where the Five Pond Trail meets the High Falls Trail. Is it fairly easy to find at that end? Coming from Sand Lake and this would save us a few miles.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:52 AM   #9
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I havent had issues for two years that Ive been doing research there. Big Shallow LT is very nice and clean. And there is a board walk across the outlet that then goes to Little Shallow.
Well, I'd need to be sure of this or we would be turning around at the first extremely challenging beaver mess and that would be a real bummer (small ones OK)

Anyone know if they did an official trail re-route around that beaver pond in the trail? I don't think it just disappeared.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:39 PM   #10
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I started and stopped in Wanakena, on the way in went by High Rock and then encountered tough beaver ponds. Stayed at the lean-to on Big Shallow and went as far as Wolf Pond, don't remember any trouble that far.
On the way out I went by Cat Mountain for the view and past Cranberry Lake, where I saw some horrible camping practices. I only remember one beaver pond that way and there was a path around it. The distance is about the same (without the detour to Cat Mtn).
The catch is, what I described as a "couple years ago" turned out to be 2012. Age will do that to you. Try the local rangers if you don't get a more precise, or current, answer here.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:52 PM   #11
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I was just on the Leary Trail two weeks ago. I’ve looked for it several times and was never able to find until then. It was well tamped and markings varied from old DEC Markers to home made markers made of can tops. Some easy to see and others placed in the oddest places and angles that made them difficult to find at times. Other than that it was fine and generally flat.
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:51 PM   #12
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I went in to Sand Lake, Little/Big Shallow, and Cage Lake from the west last year (pretty much a year ago exactly). There was some beaver activity just to the west of Little Shallow. Some entries in the Little Shallow log book indicated that groups had been forced to turn back from it but I had no difficulty with it- there was a re-route around the worst of it, but where it departed from the old trail wasn't the most obvious/best marked spot as I remember. I don't remember having any other difficulties.

Are you thinking about going out to the north, on the Post Henderson Trail past Buck and Little Otter Ponds? Be warned that it's an ATV trail north of Buck Pond- there's a private inholding at Buck Pond and they have the right to use ATVs on the trail to access the inholding. That trail is rough with ATV impacts- the stretch between Buck and Little Otter Ponds is seriously one of these worst trails I've ever hiked in the ADKs, muddy and rutted and just a plain mess. I hiked it once about 10 years ago and swore I'd never hike it again.
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