The Sheep Meadow Trail leads to a former sheep meadow. These days, the sheep are on farms closer to the Lake Champlain Coast. But the gentle terrain makes this longer hike easier, for all skill levels.
From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 3 in Tupper Lake, follow Route 3/30 toward Saranac Lake. Once Route 3 and Route 30 split take a left and follow Route 30 toward Fish Creeks. Stay on Route 30 and pass through Lake Clear and Paul Smiths. Roughly 3.8 miles past Paul Smiths College, locate Mountain Pond Road on the right. Drive down Mountain Pond for 0.25 miles to the parking area. Or keep going just a little further down Route 30 to a sign for Hays Brook. Either way, you'll get to the parking lot.
Take the Hays Brook Trail 1.4 miles from the trailhead, then take the 2.3 mile spur trail to Sheep Meadow. Look for the Hays Brook Horse Trail 0.9 mile from the trailhead, which can make this hike a 3.4 mile loop hike.
This trail visits several attractive back-country locations, surrounded by small foothills of the Adirondacks. From the trailhead the trail starts off very flat before a slight descent down to a crossing of the Osgood River.
At the next intersection stay straight; right leads to Grass Pond. Then the trail splits again very quickly and is a sort of shortcut that leads back to the woods road. It can be used as a loop option.
The truck road leads straight ahead and climbs quickly and bit steeply to a height-of-land before a small descent comes into play. Another intersection where the woods road splits comes rather a bit later. At this intersection take a left and follow here to Sheep Meadow.
- Elevation Gain/Loss to Destination: ~40 feet to Lean-tos at Sheep Meadows
- Distance Round Trip: 7.2 miles
Two lean-tos are located at the Sheep Meadow and may be accessed from the Hays Brook Trailhead via the Sheep Meadow Trail.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
The wooded shortcut doesn’t hold as much snow as the main trail. There's a bit more rolling hills features to the terrain. Good to use as a loop option.
The lean-to area is an excellent spot to break out the hot cocoa and a light snack before heading back out to the trailhead.