This short and easy trail offers a short jaunt for a nature hike, birding, and a perfect Adirondack paddle on a secluded lake. Shhh... it's also a remote fishing lake.
From Indian Lake, follow Route 30/28 North toward Blue Mountain Lake for 5.9 miles to the trailhead on the right. Parking lot is on the right side of the road (2nd parking area).
From Blue Mountain Lake, follow Route 30/28 South for 5.1 miles. Parking lot is on the left side of the road.
From the parking area you will start hiking on a mellow trail with very little elevation change. Johnny Mack Brook will babble to your right as you pass through a mixed forest. You will come to a crossing with a snowmobile trail, just shy of the pond. Continue straight across the snowmobile trail and locate a short path that leads out to the pond.
If you take a right onto the snowmobile trail and cross a wood bridge you will also have other opportunities to approach the pond.
Trailhead to Rock Pond: 0.5 miles
The shoreline is quite attractive and the birding opportunities are quite positive. The local area supports birds of prey like Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcon, and Osprey. This is also a good place to listen for loons, especially at dawn and dusk. Habitats include: open water, wetland, and mixed hardwood/conifer forest. In the forests, it's possible find a variety of warbler species in spring and summer.
Fishing and ice fishing
There are opportunities for shoreline fishing in warmer months.
In colder months, the DEC lists pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and tiger muskellunge as possible ice fishing catches.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
O'Neil Flow Road is a designated snowmobile trail and crosses the hiking trail to Rock Lake, so cross-country skiers and snowshoers should be cautious. Skiers and snowshoers should be on alert for snowmobiles on these trails and move to the side to let them pass.
This would be a nice short snowshoe for the entire family, and a great way to introduce kids to the sport. It would also make for a decent short cross-country ski destination. Even with limited use in winter it can be an enjoyable trek.
You will notice this gets very little winter use from skiers and snowshoers, however, it's not too farfetched to see ice fisherman out on the horizon. From the parking area you will start skiing on an easy but slightly narrow trail. On occasion the current of Johnny Mack Brook will be rapid enough to cause the ice not to freeze, so you will have an opportunity to hear the babble.
Paddling would require a carry of 0.8-miles, one way. Lightweight boats are recommended. This is a rather large body of water and not well-sheltered. However, it does tend to remain calm under most conditions.
On the eastern/northeastern shore be sure to scope out the sand beaches and go for a quick dip in the cooling waters.