This interesting hike in the Raquette Lake Region offers outstanding views out over three wonderful Adirondack Ponds, one of which is a hidden gem. This is an excellent half-day hike that shouldn't get overlooked.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 28 and County Route 2 in Raquette Lake follow County Route 2 into the Village of Raquette Lake. Continue through the village and take a left onto Browns Tract Road. Follow here for just under 3 miles to the trailhead on the right.
From the trailhead you will be on an old woods road and soon pass by Upper Browns Tract Pond on your left. This area has a small beach and is a popular destination for paddlers, fisherman and picnickers. Not much further is a small descent to cross an outlet of Upper Pond. Remaining on the woods road you will pass through an attractive open forest. Be on the lookout for a fairly well-used herd path on the right, this will bring you to the shore of Lower Browns Tract Pond and a very interesting rock peninsula.
Continue along the woods road until the side trail to Shallow Lake comes in on the left. Heading straight will bring you to West Mountain, and Browns Tract State Campsite. Once on the trail you will quickly notice that it is much more rugged than the road, but still quite moderate. The footing is a bit rough in spots but soon becomes much better. You will pass through a wetland area on a section of boardwalks and come to a two-log bridge over a span of Beaver Brook. This crossing can a bit tough if you do not have good balance, but the bridge is sturdy. On the opposite side the mellow trail will soon bring you to the Shore of Shallow Lake. Shallow Lake might be as such but it has a rather long shoreline.
2.1 miles to Shallow Pond
This trail gets very little use in the winter making travel slightly harder. The trail is designed perfectly for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing but it might take a bit more of an effort to break trail.