Mitchell Ponds

Mitchell Ponds

Hiking

This trail has easy, rolling terrain and is a great place for the whole family. The path is on an old roadbed that ends at both trailheads to Mitchell Pond.

This trail is a snowmobile trail and mountain bike trail, so it is quite wide. The grade is very mellow, especially from the north. There are limited amounts of elevation change but the trail does climb slightly to Upper Mitchell Pond. A short spur trail on the left will lead to a rise and a picnic table.

Birding

Wood Warblers, Woodpeckers, and Ruffed Grouse are seen here often. On the water you might see Great Blue Heron, Merganser, and Common Loons. The last Golden Eagle to nest in New York state was along this trail in 1971.

Cycling

This trail is a snowmobile trail and mountain bike trail, so it is quite wide. The grade is very mellow, especially from the north. There are limited amounts of elevation change but the trail does climb slightly to Upper Mitchell Pond. A short spur trail on the left will lead to a rise and a picnic table. A bit further a spur trail leads to a dock overlooking Upper Pond. Cross the inlet and another spur trail of roughly 0.8 mile will be on the left to access Lower Mitchell Pond. The views of and out over the ponds are fantastic and a photographer's dream.

Shoreline fishing is all you will have on these two ponds. Lower Pond is very deep, and that's where lake trout are. It is also reported that kokanee are found here, but they're difficult to catch. Most people fish for brown trout.

Location and Distances

The first trail starts at mile marker 5.8 in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, then loops back out to the second trailhead at Benedict Creek at mile marker 8. The second trailhead is the better of the two. From there it's only 2 miles to Upper Pond.

Most can expect the round-trip hike to take up to 4 hours, less for experienced hikers. Most mountain bikers should be able to complete the round trip in less than 2 hours.

Winter Overview

This trail is not recommended for winter access as the Moose River Plains Wild Forest is a snowmobile corridor and not open to cars or trucks in the winter.

Paddling

A bit further a spur trail leads to a dock overlooking Upper Pond. Cross the inlet and another spur trail of roughly 0.8 mile will be on the left to access Lower Mitchell Pond. The views of and out over the ponds are fantastic and a photographer's dream.

Canoe or kayak access only, and a very long carry from the Moose River Plains Road.

Fishing

Shoreline fishing is all you will have on these two ponds. There is ample room to access the ponds in several areas but you will have to hike up to 2 miles to access the two ponds. The trail does go over a decent sized hogback requiring a moderate climb and descent. Lower Pond is very deep. It is reported that kokanee and lake trout are available here.

Fish Species Types:

Brown trout, kokanee, lake trout (lower only)
Special Regulations:

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

Location: The first trail starts at mile marker 5.8 in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, then loops back out to the second trailhead at Benedict Creek at mile marker 8. The second trailhead is the better of the two. From there it's only 2 miles to Upper Pond.

Most can expect the round-trip hike to take up to 4 hours, less for experienced hikers. Most mountain bikers should be able to complete the round trip in less than 2 hours.

Bushwhacks

There is a small, obscure peak with no real trail to the summit; but does have a faint herd path to follow once you leave the access trail. GPS, map and compass, and navigation experience is a must.

From the same trailhead as you would use to approach Mitchell Ponds from the north follow this multi-use trail to the Shores of Upper Mitchell Pond. Pass by the spur trail to Lower Mitchell Pond and cross the small inlet on a sketchy bridge. Once across continue left on the main trail for a bit to get away from the wetlands and enter the forest here.

The forest is very open and grades are super easy. Keep on a heading to the east side of the ridge to gain the most views. As you crest the ridge the long open rocky spine will be right in front of you and apparent. The open rocky ridge/ledge west and is over a half mile long to the actual summit of Mitchell Ponds Mountain. Be very careful along the ridge it is steep and narrow.

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 28 and Limekiln Road in Inlet follow Limekiln Road to the Moose River Plains Road. Follow the Moose River Plains Road for around 5.5 miles to the trailhead on the right. Roughly 0.5 miles past Rock Dam Road.
Elevation

2,480 feet
Round Trip Distance

6.2 miles

Find out more

Read our blog post, Hiking Near Inlet in the Moose River Plains.

E-Newsletter Signup