Buckhorn Lake

Buckhorn Lake


This small cascading waterfall is formed from a small stream that begins at the outlet of Buckhorn Lake. The hike in to the falls follows along the famous Northville-Lake Placid trail, and is approximately 1.3 miles (one-way) with a slight elevation gain as you travel towards the falls. Buckhorn Lake, also known as "Fiddler's Pond", is a birders paradise and is home to nesting Loons and Great Blue Herons.

Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate.


Most Popular Winter Trailhead

From the intersection of Route 8 and Route 10 in Piseco, follow Route 8 toward Lake Pleasant. Continue for just over 3.5 miles to the Northville-Placid Trail trailhead on the right.

Route Overview

From the trailhead you will hike along the ever-so-popular Northville-Placid Trail. This section of the trail is an wonderfully quiet area to be in.

You will pass by a lovely marsh on the left before coming to a footbridge over the outlet. Take a left at the bridge, onto the unmarked path that follows the west bank of the brook. You'll come to a beaver dam on a narrow bay of the shallow lake. Poplar Mountain towers above the far end of the lake and the slopes of Buckhorn Mountain come down to meet the water to the east.

Elevation Gain



1,810 feet

Round Trip Distance

2.6 miles

Most hikers can complete this trek in less than 3 hours.


Directions to Access Points

From the intersection of Route 8 and Route 10 in Piseco, follow Route 8 toward Lake Pleasant. Continue for just over 3.5 miles to the Northville-Placid Trailhead on the right.

Shoreline Fishing

This is a very shallow lake but there is a bit of shoreline fishing on the south end.

Boat Access


Insider Tips

    If you enjoy catching small stream trout this could be the place for you. There are some small stream trout in this lake, but none are going to be of any substantial size.  
    Weedless hooks or floating a small bobber is highly recommended.

Fish Species Types

Stream trout

Special Regulations

Always follow New York state fishing regulations and be sure to pick up a NYS Freshwater Fishing Guide at your local outfitters or regional NYSDEC office.


This relatively easy 3-mile round trip hike follows the Northville-Placid Trail south through mixed hardwood forests of spruce, hemlock and yellow birch. You will cross a foot bridge over a stream that leads to Fiddler’s Pond. Habitats in the area include woodlands, marshland created by a beaver dam, meadows and ponds.

In order to get to Fiddler’s Pond, you must be prepared to bushwhack off of the Northville Placid Trail, just after crossing the footbridge. Follow the stream 0.4 mile NE to the lake, continuing along the southern and eastern shores of the lake for outstanding birding opportunities. Use of a compass or GPS and topographic map are advised before undertaking this off-trail hike to the pond. (Wells Topographic Map)

Potential sightings: nesting waterfowl such as Great Blue Herons, Common Loons and several duck species at the lake. Also look for Woodland Warblers, Winter Wrens, and Golden-crowned Kinglets along the trail.

Alder Flycatchers may also be seen in the wet thicket to the south of the lake.

Additional information

Buckhorn Lake is also known as "Fiddler's Pond".

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