Rock Lake Trail

Rock Lake Trail

Hiking and Nature Walk

This short and easy trail offers a short jaunt for a nature hike, birding, and a perfect Adirondack paddle on a secluded lake. Shhh... it's also a remote fishing lake.

Trailhead

From Indian Lake, follow Route 30/28 North toward Blue Mountain Lake for 5.9 miles to the trailhead on the right. Parking Lot is on the right side of the road. (2nd parking area). From Blue Mountain Lake, follow Route 30/28 South for 5.1 miles. Parking lot is on the left side of the road.

Trail Description

From the parking area you will start hiking on a mellow trail with very little elevation change. Johnny Mack Brook will babble to your right as you pass through a mixed forest. You will come to a crossing with a snowmobile trail, just shy of the pond. Continue straight across the snowmobile trail and locate a short path that leads out to the pond.

If you take a right onto the snowmobile trail and cross a wood bridge you will also have other opportunities to approach the pond.

Distances

Trailhead to Rock Pond = 0.8 miles

Any skill set should take no more than 20 minutes to reach the pond.

Birding

The shoreline is quite attractive and the birding opportunities are quite positive. The local area supports raptors like bald eagle, Peregrine falcon, and osprey, along with great horned owls and great blue herons. Wild turkey appears in the fall and the eastern bluebird in open woodlands.

A place to listen for loons at dawn and dusk.

Fishing

Rock Lake offers brook trout, smallmouth bass, and panfish.

Ice fishing

There's pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and tiger muskellunge in winter.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

O'Neil Flow Road is a designated snowmobile trail that can be used by cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Skiers and snowshoers should be on alert for snowmobiles on these trails and move to the side to let them pass. It can be accessed via the Cedar River Trail from the Rock Lake Trailhead.

This would be a nice short snowshoe for the entire family, and a great way to introduce kids to the sport. It would also make for a decent short cross-country ski destination. Even with limited use in winter it can be an enjoyable trek.

You will notice this gets very little winter use from skiers and snowshoers, however, it's not too farfetched to see ice fisherman out on the horizon. From the parking area you will start skiing on an easy but slightly narrow trail. On occasion the current of Johnny Mack Brook will be rapid enough to cause the ice not to freeze, so you will have an opportunity to hear the babble.

You quickly will come to a crossing with a snowmobile trail, just shy of the pond. Continue straight across the snowmobile trail and locate a narrow path, possibly obstructed by heavy snow on the trees, this leads out to the pond. If you take a right onto the snowmobile trail and cross a wood bridge you will also have other opportunities to approach the pond.

The snowmobile trail is used quite heavily and goes on for a very long time and eventually comes out into Indian Lake.

Elevation Gain/Loss to Destination:

~80 feet of elevation loss to the pond

Distance Round Trip:

1.6 miles

Approximate Time Round Trip:

Families with Kids: 2 to 2.5 hours

Experienced Skiers: 1 to 2 hours

Beginner Skiers: 1.5 to 2 hours

Difficulty: 1=easiest, 5=hardest

One: This is a short easy ski with little elevation change

Paddling

The Lake is a widening of the Rock River which, from the lake, can be paddled up or down stream for a bit. Be aware that Rock River does have rapids and shallow waters in many sections; don't go any further than your ability allows you. The west side of the lake has some outstanding wetlands with superb birding opportunities.

Type of Launch

Dirt and a bit rocky

Type of Carry

0.85 mile carry over rough footing and a narrow trail. Best for a light weight canoe or kayak that can be carried.

Type of Water

This is a rather large body of water and not well-sheltered. However it does tend to remain calm under most conditions.

Swimming

On the eastern/northeastern shore be sure to scope out the sand beaches and go for a quick dip in the cooling waters.

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