Puffer Pond is located about smack dab in the center of this loop. Aside from a bit of elevation change on one end, the distance isn't much different to do the loop rather than go out and back, but we'll leave that decision up to you. This is part of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness and the Siamese ponds themselves are Puffer Pond, Puffer Mountain, Chimney Mountain, Auger Falls, and Thirteenth Lake.
How to get there
From the intersection of Routes 28 and 30 in Indian Lake follow Route 30 toward Lake Pleasant. Continue for just under 0.5 miles to Big Brook Road. Follow that for 7.8 miles to King's Flow Parking Area. This is the trailhead for Chimney Mountain, Johns Pond, and Puffer Pond.
King's Flow Trailhead is an informal pay-to-use parking lot — pay the $2 fee at the small kiosk to access the Puffer Pond loop. Also note that King's Flow is bordered by privately owned cabins, so there is no public paddling access to the waterbody.
From the trailhead heading in a clockwise direction, you will start a very interesting hike through an attractive forest. The terrain starts out flat, crosses a sizable brook, and follows along the shore of a wetland area. Take time here to look around for signs of wildlife and possibly do a bit of birding. Not long after the wetland the trail begins to climb moderately to an intersection with the John Pond Trail that comes in on your left. Continue straight and climb to a high saddle on the shoulder of Bullhead Mountain.
Past the saddle the trail will descend quite quickly to the Shore of Puffer Pond. Once at the pond the trail splits, left leads over to Thirteenth Lake; take a right and follow the pond. As you pass by the pond you will begin to follow Puffer Pond Brook on an old carriage road, a delightful section of trail. The trail stays fairly level as it sweeps hard north and comes out to a view out over Kings Flow. The remainder of this is relatively flat and quite scenic as Kings Flow keeps coming into view. You will exit the trail out onto a grassy field and come out at the trailhead parking where you started.
5.3 miles for entire loop
Family with Young Kids
- 1.5 hours
- 1 hour
Out of Shape Hiker
- 1.25 hours
From the King's Flow parking area, follow the dirt road a bit further on foot and locate the trail on the right. Please respect the rights of property owners and stay on the trail — there is no public access to King's Flow at this time.
Straight at the intersection leads to Chimney Mountain. Once on the trail you will be on a foot path that is not heavily used but relatively flat. Once you cross over Carroll Brook you will start to climb quite steadily. The trail will continue on this climb up and over the shoulder of Bullhead Pond. The descent is swift and in no time brings you to the shore of Puffer Pond. Be sure to visit one of the two lean-to's on the pond for a place to have a comfortable and scenic lunch.
Distance Round Trip:
Approximate Time Round Trip:
Families with Kids: 4 to 5 hours
Experienced Snowshoers: 2.5 to 3.5 hours
Out of Shape Snowshoers: 3 to 4 hours
From the intersection of Routes 28 and 30 in Indian Lake follow Route 30 toward Lake Pleasant. Continue for just under 0.5 miles to Big Brook Road. Follow here for 7.8 miles to King's Flow Parking Area. This is the trailhead for Chimney Mountain, Johns Pond and Puffer Pond. This is pay-to-use parking. Pay the $2 fee at the small kiosk.
Difficulty: 1=easiest, 5=hardest
The abundant ponds support a wide variety of waterfowl, upland birds, wild turkey, and a great many song birds. This hike mixes boreal and bog habitats.
There are two Puffer Pond lean-tos along the trail from the John Pond trailhead via the John Pond, John Pond Crossover and West Puffer Pond Trails.
Alternately, use the Kings Flow trailhead via the West Puffer Pond Trail and Old Clearing Farm trailhead via the East Branch Trail and East Puffer Pond Trail. (Kings Flow trailhead is on private land and a fee is required to park there.)
This would be an excellent snowshoe but a rather challenging cross-country ski for most people yet it does get done. It doesn't get a ton of winter use, an occasional hiker climbing Bullhead Mountain or Puffer Mountain, maybe, so the trail would be in a typical untouched condition, making travel a bit slower and more difficult.