Hitchins Pond and Upper Dam

Hitchins Pond and Upper Dam

Hiking

This is a popular destination in the summer, with access to other trails with scenic overlooks, and a spur trail for easy shoreside access.

How to get there

From Long Lake, drive 12 miles north on Route 30, to County Route 421 ( 1/5 miles past the Hamilton / Franklin County Line ). Take a left on CR 421 heading west, and follow the road for 7.5 miles, to a fork in the road, with a yellow gate across the left road. Park at this point. The road to Hitchins Pond/Upper Dam is the one on the left, past the gate.

Cross the railroad tracks and come to the next gated road on the left — note there are no trail signs pointing toward Hitchins Pond. The access road is mostly flat and passes Hitchins Marsh on your left. The marsh is a massive expanse of land that would make anyone feel small.

The road has gentle hills and quickly delivers you to Lows Upper Dam at Hitchins Pond, which is a very scenic and historic location.

At the dam, you can take an optional 1.5 mile round trip hike up Low's Ridge where there are spectacular views of the Bog River Valley and High Peaks.

Paddling

You can also hike a short distance downriver to Hitchen's Pond, where there is a nice open picnic area as well as access to the Pond.

Camping

There are 5 designated camping sites on Hitchins Pond. The Lows Ridge–Upper Dam Trail leads to a steep ridge with open rock ledges and wonderful views. To access Hitchins Pond by foot, hike along an old dirt road from State Route 421 for 2-1/2 miles to end up at the Low’s Lake Upper Dam. At the Dam, it is a short hike downriver to Hitchen’s Pond.

Birding

Hitchins Pond has plentiful loons, along with osprey, ravens, spruce grouse, and bald eagle. Paddlers may access the pond on the Bog River, from the Lower Dam south of Horseshoe Lake.

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

In the winter it gets much less use due to closed access roads. In the winter, you will need to start a bit further away at the snowmobile trailhead. The road is very flat and used as a snowmobile trail so it will be hard packed and easy to kick and glide upon. Along the 2.3 miles on Horseshoe Lake Road there are nice views over Horseshoe Lake and some wetland areas.

Hitchens Pond is a few hundred feet to your left, slightly downhill past some building remnants. The Lows Ridge Trail is on the right but not skiable, if you carried in snowshoes with you, it is an excellent stroll to some amazing views.

Elevation change

400 feet

Round trip distance

9 miles

This route can take more than 8 hours for experienced skiers to complete. It is not recommended for beginners or familes with kids.

Trailhead

From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 28 in Long Lake, follow Route 30 toward Tupper Lake.  Turn left on Route 421, continue for a little over 5.25 miles to the end of the plowed road and park there.

Additional info

Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing practice that can take you to areas not seen by most in the summer. That said, it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen waterbodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything, including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.

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