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Southern Adirondacks, Irving Pond area

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  • Southern Adirondacks, Irving Pond area

    A couple of springs ago I hiked to Irving Pond and Bellows Lake using the Irving Pond/Peters Corners trail, starting from the western trailhead on Benson-Bleeker Rd. It was a nice hike, although quite muddy due to a lot of ruts in the trail (and this was described as such in the ADK guide book) - muddy enough to slow foot travel considerably. I wondered if anyone had any recent experience hiking this trail from the eastern trailhead toward Holmes Lake and Little Holmes Lake - is the trail here customarily in better condition than the one from the west trailhead?

  • #2
    These folks go to Holmes fairly often:


    • #3
      Not particularly recent, but I undertook a short and easy backpacking trip into Holmes Lake back in 2013. Based on my vague recollection- and confirmed by a couple of photos in that album- the trail to Holmes Lake at least was not in bad shape.


      • #4
        I've been into Holmes quite a few times and the trail is mixed. The road up to the barricade is very rough and you probably shouldn't take a low clearance vehicle in there. It's not plowed in the winter. The trail starts out muddy, but gets better. Just past the ruins of an old clothes pin mill, the snowmobile trail heads off to Irving Pond and Shutts Rd and the foot trail to Holmes gets very rocky and muddy. Not a big deal, but just a typical trail.
        1a Sign.jpg
        The Homes Lake Lean-to is located far away from the lake, but it really is a nice place.
        1c Holmes Lake LT.jpg
        There is a nice designated campsite across the lake from the outlet area.
        1e Holmes Lake DCS.jpg
        Little Holmes Lake is another story. The "trail" to it begins off of the Irving Pond/Shutts Rd route. The last time I was there, it was all brushed in (deliberately?) and hard to find. We usually end up bushwhacking from the north end of Holmes Lake. The pond itself is really nice, but there didn't appear to be a good campsite there.
        5c LHL.jpg
        Just a few hundred yards past LHL, there's some more ruins, this time logging camp with a huge boiler. Cool destination.
        3b Frie Vly logging camp boiler.jpg
        Tick Magnet


        • #5
          Thanks everyone for the responses! I should have clarified, I'm just doing a day trip, but this information will be handy. It looks as if it'll be at least moderately muddy ... we'll see in a couple of months!


          • #6
            FYI, an update to my thread here. I hiked the trail from Peters Corners to the Holmes Ponds today. The 1990s Southern ADK Guide says the trail to the little Holmes Pond is "easy to follow." It may have been easy to follow then, but it isn't so easy now. A combination of leaf litter, blowdowns, and new sapling growth made it a challenge. Plus, the trail markers consisted of tiny, inconspicuous, red and pink ribbons which were, to say the least, easy to miss. I used compass navigation for much of the walk in. This only applies to the side trail; the main trail was in good shape.