Black and Bridge Brook Ponds
From the trailhead you will have a flat ski through an open forest, but on a fairly narrow trail. This is a relatively new trail that has not been advertised as being open, so it gets much less use that it potentially could.
The trail back to Black Pond is a great destination for those new to cross-country skiing, due to its easy grade and mild changes in elevation. Just above Black Pond the trail splits, right goes to Bridge Brook Pond and left drops steeply to the Shore of Black Pond. Don’t ski down to Black Pond if you are not prepared for a steep and fast drop. A nice open field to the left of the trail can give you more of a mild descent where you can make a couple turns.
Now to head over to Bridge Brook Pond you will follow to the right and stay moderately above Black Pond. There will be a couple small rolling hills, then a much larger one that brings you over an outlet near a beaver dam. A short climb will bring you to another small descent; this one is very tricky and should be done with care.
Once past this outlet you will be in open forest with a steady descent with a couple more modest descents and sharper turns. The trail ends at a campsite above the pond. To approach the pond you will have to remove your skis and scramble down the steep shoreline.
Elevation Gain/Loss to Destination:
Loss of ~200 feet to the end of trail at Bridge Brook Pond
Approximate Time, Round Trip:
Family with Kids: 2 to 2.5 hours to Black Pond only, not recommended past without experience
Experienced Skier: 3 to 4 hours
Out of Shape/Beginner Skier: 2 to 2.5 hours to Black Pond only, not recommended past without experience
Distance Round Trip:
Approx. 2-milesfor Black Pond only
Approx. 4-miles for both ponds
From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 3 in Tupper Lake follow Route 30 toward Long Lake. Continue for around 9-miles to Route 421, Horseshoe Lake Road on the right. Follow 421 for roughly 4-miles to the trailhead on the right. Trailhead is very obscure with a small DEC sign on a tree that sets back in the woods.
Difficulty: 1=beginner, 5=advanced
One: To Black Pond only, very flat
Three: There are a couple very difficult downhill sections that can be difficult for some who are not experienced.
Additional Important Information:
The trailhead is very difficult to see, especially in winter. There is no designated parking location for cars, so the trailhead does not stand out. With no parking, it can be difficult to get off the road adequately; you may need to scout around for a good location. Under most circumstances the shoulder is plowed back far enough to park in the general location.
Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.