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Franklin County Mountain Bike Trails: South

Adirondack Region, New York

Directions & Trail Description
Adirondack Forest Trail Information

Location: Around Saranac Lake, NY. Franklin County.

Length/Configuration: 35+ miles of trails. Design your own loop or out-and-back ride using extensive network of trails. The Keese Mills-Blue Mountain Road is a 20 mile trip one way.

Terrain/Surface: Diverse terrain from wide unpaved woods roads to narrow, technical single-track trails. The Keese Mills-Blue Mountain Road is packed dirt and gravel.

Technical Difficulty: Easy, moderate & advanced

Elevation Change: No appreciable gain. Rides run from flat to rolling hills to some more moderate climbs.

Caution: Shared use with hikers. Black flies and other bugs until late June or early July. Bring insect repellent at other times, just in case! Light vehicular traffic on some of the backcountry  dirt roads. Risky to ride during hunting season which begins mid-September.

 

 

Franklin County Trails Map

Note: This trail map is a graphical representation designed for general reference purposes only. Read Full Disclaimer.

Directions:

Exit 30 off I-87 (Northway). Take Rt.9 north 2 miles to Rt.73. Travel on Rt.73 28 miles to Lake Placid. Take Rt.86 to Saranac Lake.

Trail access to the individual rides are listed below:

 

General Description:

See Adirondack Forest Preserve for trail regulations and other important information.

Franklin County offers mountain biking trails through some of the most exciting and scenic cycling country in the Adirondacks. Trails wind through dense forests of spruce and pine or take you past majestic mountains, shimmering blue lakes and fertile valleys. There are also miles of rolling country roads to explore. We have described a few of them here briefly. Before starting out on your ride it is advised that you obtain detailed maps and complete information.

 

The Trails:

Lake Clear Area

Lake Clear Ponds Trail: (3.5 miles) Beginner /Moderate
Trailhead: Just west of Lake Clear Outlet on NY30, turn north onto gravel road (Lake Clear Rd). Cross the railroad tracks, and about 1/4 mile later you will see an old road on your left. Park here.

This trail takes you past a number of small ponds on a former logging road. Begin by heading west on the logging road to Little Clear Pond. In about a half mile the trail bends northwards, turn left at the upcoming junction and head downhill to Little Clear Pond. Continue north on single-track and bear right at fork (along boundary line) and then left at trail junction which leads to a former log landing at 1.3 miles. Go right, following the logging road as it winds past several small ponds. Several single-track spur paths about 1/2 mile apart lead to Meadow Pond (on right) and St. Germain Pond (on left). At 2.6 miles the trail comes to a junction with the Girl Scout Camp access road. Turn left and follow the gravel road up and over the ridge for another .9 miles to Rt. 30. Retrace route back to starting point.

 

Rat Pond - Sunday Pond Trail: (3 mile loop) Beginner
Trailhead: West of Lake Clear junction on NY30 turn onto Fish Hatchery Road and look for DEC trail sign. Follow dirt road and make sharp left after crossing RR tracks. Continue to follow tracks to end of road (less than a mile).

This area contains a number of short, relatively level, loop trails on both sides of Rt. 30, and an additional 5 mile bridle path to Fish Pond.

This trail is relatively level. It takes you past the east shore Rat Pond, and around a ridge to the south. At the junction turn left and follow less than one half mile to Rt. 30. Turn right onto Rt. 30 and after about .1 mile cross the highway and follow the woods road (next to Sunday Pond B&B) which leads to Sunday Pond. To complete the loop, retrace route for about .1 mile, turn right and follow around to east side of pond where it will bend away heading NE towards Rt. 30 near Fish Hatchery Rd. Turn left and follow highway back to the horse trail from Rat Pond.

 

Floodwood Pond Area

Floodwood/Fish Creek Loop Trail: (7.7 mile loop) Moderate/Advanced
Trailhead: Rt. 30 to Saranac Inn. Then take Floodwood Rd. approximately 2 miles past Hoel Pond Rd. look for snowmobile trail access signs on the left.

You can also park at the day use area at Fish Creek/Rollins Pond Public Campgrounds east of Tupper Lake on Rt. 30. The small day-use fee also gives you access to the beach and showers.

This woodland loop strings together a series of small wilderness ponds and is a popular canoe route for those who like pond-hopping.

For those of us travelling by mountain bike, this trail is not recomended when wet. The marked route begins on a snowmobile trail and travels around a network of small wilderness ponds, with rock and pine-clad islands and conifer - deciduous forest. The terrain is rolling with some technical sections of exposed roots, washboarding and some steep climbs and descents.

To begin from Floodwood road access, head south on the snowmobile trail. At .1 of a mile the trail joins a "canoe carry" (one of several canoe portage stretches on this route). Turn left and after another .2 mile turn right onto technical section with lots of exposed roots. The trail passes Polliwog Pond on the left and Horseshoe Pond on the right. At a little more than 2 miles, go straight through the intersection at the "canoe carry" between Follensby Clear Pond and Fish Creek. More roots and continue approximately .8 mile more to where the trail turns right onto a paved road (at Fish Creek Campground). Another quick right leads you back onto the snowmobile trail for the return trip to Floodwood Road. This part of the loop is rough with corrugated and exposed root sections and travels along Fish Creek, passing Little Square Pond. Just beyond the Little Square Pond, the trail arrives at an intersection on the left that connects with the Otter Hollow Trail across a bridge. Here the trail heads NE around Floodwood Pond, crosses a wet drainage and rejoins with Floodwood road (near west tip of Middle Pond). Turn right and ride less than a mile back to starting point.

 

Otter Hollow Loop: (8.1 mile loop) Moderate
Trailhead: Fish Creek State Campground opposite site #104 at 1 mile from entrance. A day use fee is required to enter the Campground. Avoid riding this trail in wet conditions due to sensitive soft soils.

The terrain on this marked route is generally rolling, with some steep ascents and descents. The trail travels past several ponds and heads south to Rollins Pond State Campground.

To begin, follow the single-track snowmobile trail NW from Square Pond. The trail turns north to Copperas Pond in less than half a mile and then turns west to Whey Pond at .8 mile. For the next two miles to the wooden bridge that connects with the Floodwood Loop, the terrain becomes difficult and undulating with some steep sections and it will be slow going. After crossing the bridge, head west along the trail that skirts the south side of Floodwood Pond and continue to Rollins Pond State Campground at 4.2 miles. Take paved road back to Square Pond, turn left at intersection after booth to return to starting point.

 

Deer Pond - Raquette River Area

Deer Pond Loop Trail: (7.3 miles) Experienced Moderate/Advanced
Trailhead: At .6 mile west of junction of Rt. 3 & Rt. 30, turn north onto Old Wawbeek Road. A DEC trailhead sign marks the road entrance to the parking area.

This well-marked loop route is located in the Saranac Wild Forest Area and starts out on "paved" (I use the term paved loosely) double track which changes to undulating single-track at approximately halfway into the route around Deer Pond. The route skirts along several hills but there is no significant overall elevation gain.

Begin by heading west on Old Wawbeek Road, a "paved" section with potholes and frost heaves, for about two and a half miles. Turn right (north) onto a technical single-track section with undulating terrain. The trail travels past the east shore of Mosquito Pond, then climbs up and over a hill to Deer Pond. The trail continues along the southern Shore of Deer Pond and intersects with another trail at 4.4 miles. The trail to the left leads to idyllic lunch spots overlooking the pond. (continuing on this spur will take you to Lead Pond). To complete the loop turn right at the intersection heading east and begin short ascent followed by descent to swamp. Stringer bridge, several hundred feet long takes you across the wetlands and then joins a truck trail. Turn right (south) for a nice mile and a half cruise back to starting point on the truck trail.

 

Trombley Landing: (1.6 miles) Beginner
Trailhead: Adjacent to junction of Rt.3 and Rt.30, east of Tupper Lake. Park near state gate just south of junction.

This is a nice beginner ride. The route heads south towards the Racquette River at Trombley's Landing and travels over a combination of easy single-track and narrow woods road with rolling hills. The icing on the cake is a nice sandy beach with a lean-to on the shores of the Racquette River. A lovely spot for lunch. To return, head back the way you came for a nice 3.2 mile round-trip.

 

Stoney Creek Ponds/Corey Road: (5.25 miles) Beginner
Trailhead: Coreys Road is located between Saranac Lake and Tupper lake on the south side of Rt. 3.

This scenic route travels on mostly hard-packed dirt roads over gently rolling terrain. The ride begins on a paved surface which quickly gives way to hard-packed dirt as you travel along Stony Creek Ponds. The road passes an access road to Axton Landing on the Raquette River on the right and joins Coreys Road. The route crosses a metal bridge over the outlet of Stony Creek Ponds and passes a trailhead parking area on the right. The rest of the ride parallels Ampersand Brook for the most part and travels through mixed hardwood forest and a low boggy area. The trail then comes to a second trailhead parking area and ends at a gate where private lands begin.

 

 

For more information:

Department Of Environmental Conservation
Region 5
PO Box 296
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Phone: (518) 897-1300
TTY: 711 (AT&T National Relay)
Website: New York State DEC

 

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