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.
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.
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.
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.