Over the winter I anticipated a busy hiking season for the spring. Coronavirus put a damper on some of my plans. Travel outside of the immediate area is discouraged. While hiking isn't put on hold, low risk hikes close to home are recommended where there is little risk of crowding. I had done several shorter, easier hikes in the past weeks. With beautiful weather on Tuesday, April 28th, I felt the need to take a longer hike. I decided to revisit the Floodwood Loop, which I hiked previously right after Christmas.
The Floodwood Loop is located about 20-25 from Tupper Lake, New York. While the Adirondacks feature numerous mountains, this part of the Adirondacks sits in lowly, flat terrain dominated by numerous ponds. Typically, this area see more traffic on the water than on the trails. The Floodwood Loop covers 9 miles and the trail travels between many of these ponds.
Horseshoe Pond soon comes into sight. As its name implies, the pond is in fact shaped like a horseshoe. Because of its shape, the trail passes both arms of Horseshoe and you hike along it a good distance. The trail wraps around the second arm of Horseshoe before reaching its outlet.
|South end of Horseshoe Pond|
|Horseshoe Pond outlet|
Crossing Horseshoe's outlet requires a little finesse. The crossing is fairly wide. Unfortunately, its bridge only covers the second half of the crossing. It can be crossed without getting wet, but requires a little thought to do so.
|Bridge in disrepair|
Little Polliwog Pond is the next body of water. Two short portage trails access the pond. Little Polliwog gives Echo Pond a run for its money as the smallest pond on the loop.
|Little Polliwog Pond|
From Little Polliwog, the trail quickly reaches Polliwog Pond. Polliwog is fairly big and you can access it at several points from the trail.
|Polliwog Pond at second access |
The trail crosses some wet sections after Polliwog. The trail crosses a bog that requires a little thought to avoid getting wet. The trail stays soggy beyond the bog. Another wet section uses a bog bridge. However, the muddy travel continues twice as long as the bridge gaps. With careful footing, using roots and branches, the mud can be traversed without getting wet.
|Trail passing through boggy section|
|Wet section of trail|
Beyond the wet sections, the trail moved onto dryer land, the last mile or so of the loop followed much nicer trail. One last body of water comes into view near the end of the loop. This is Middle Pond. When Middle Pond comes into view, the end of the loop is a few minutes away if your parked on the east end of Middle Pond. If you started at the west end, a mile of easy road walking closes the loop.
|Choya near the end of the loop|
Even though the full loop travels 9 miles, the Floodwood Loop is a fairly easy hike. A few sections of mud and water add a slight level of difficulty, but the hike features next to no elevation change and gentle terrain. The numerous bodies of water make this hike enjoyable and worth the trip if you're looking for a low key hike. The calling of the loons certainly added to the experience. In summer, I suspect the hike would be quite buggy with the abundance of water. This area makes a nice off season hike. The numerous ponds also make a nice flatwater paddling destination. Both times I hiked here in the off season, I had the loop to myself.
|Fish Creek in winter |
|Follensby Clear Pond in winter|
|Winter on Polliwog Pond|
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