There are no designated primitive campsites, but are numerous fire
rings on North Pond and one each on Bailey Pond, Marsh, Tyrrell
Marsh and Big Pond. Camping is prohibited above
3,000 feet in elevation on Blue Ridge Range, top of Bailey Hill and
Texas Range. IAATAP maintains a full directory of
Camping. To explore nearby camping areas,
DEC regulation requires that groups of ten or more persons camping
on state land obtain a permit from a forest ranger. DEC policy
prohibits issuing group camping permits to groups wanting to camp on
forest preserve lands in the Adirondacks that are classified as
wilderness, primitive or canoe area. This policy was developed to
protect natural resources, the primeval character of the area and
exceptional wilderness experiences for all recreationists, and
follows Leave No Trace practices. Except for the eastern High Peaks
Wilderness, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness and the William C. Whitney
Wilderness, where the group size is 8, camping groups in wilderness,
primitive and canoe area lands are limited to 9 people or less.
wilderness area has documented 124 species with 18,780 acres of
boreal forest, and 134 acres of high elevation boreal forest for
abundant aviary activity. New York has designated mountain
summits above 2,800' in Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties as the
Adirondack Subalpine Forest Bird Conservation.
Also, fee free to visit our
Directory when you have time.
Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker,
Olive-sided Flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet,
Red-breasted Warbler, Rusty Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow,
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Lincoln's Sparrow, Pine Siskin,
White-winged Crossbill, and Red Crossbill.
elevation Boreal Forest Species: Blackpoll
Warbler, Winter Wren and Swainson's Thrush.
Wetland/Ponds/Lakes/Streams Species: The bird population
associated with marshes, ponds, lakes, streams, bogs include the
great blue heron, green-backed heron, American bittern, common loon,
pied-billed grebee, and ducks (common and hooded merganser, wood
duck, mallard and American black duck).
diverse from the
Ovenbird, Red‐eyed Vireo, Yellow‐bellied Sapsucker, Black‐capped
Chickadee, Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Wood Thrush,
Black‐throated Blue Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, and Black and
White Warbler, Golden‐crowned Kinglet, Purple Finch, Pine Sisken,
Red and White‐winged Crossbill and Black‐throated Green Warbler.
Birds of prey common to the area:
Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, Eastern Screech‐owl, Northern Goshawk,
Red‐tailed Hawk, Sharp‐shinned Hawk, and Broad‐winged Hawk.
turkey, ruffed grouse and woodcock.
Species of bird that are found in the
Hoffman Notch Wilderness are:
Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Magnolia, Mourning, Pine, Yellow, Yellow-rumped,
Lawrence, Canada), Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Northern
Harrier, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Parula, Northern Saw-whet
Owl, Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Pine Sisken, Purple Finch, Red
Crossbill, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-eye Vireo, Red-tail Hawk,
Red-winged Blackbird, Rock Dove, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruffed Grouse, Rusty Blackbird,
Sparrows (Lincoln, Savananah,
Field, Song, Swamp, Tree, Chipping), Spotted Sandpiper, Turkey
Vulture, Veery, Warbling Vireo, White-breasted
Flycatchers (Alder, Great Crested, Least), American Crow,
American Goldfinch, American Kestrel, American Redstart, American
Robin, Baltimore Oriole, Bank & Barn Swallows, Barred Owl, Belted
Kingfisher, Black-backed, Black-Billed Cuckoo, , Black-Capped
Chickadee, Black-throated Blue and Greens, Blue Jay, Blue-headed
Vireo, Bobolink, Boreal Chickaee, Brown Creeper, Brown-headed
cowbird, Cedar Waxwing, Chimney Swift, Cliff Swallow, Common
Grackle, Common Nighthawk, Common Raven, Common Snipe, Common
Yellowthroat, Dark-eyed Junco, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird,
Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Easter Towhee, Easter Wood-Pewee,
European Starling, Evening Grosbeak, Gold-crown Kinglet, Gray
Catbird, Thrushes (Hermit, Brown), House Finch, House
Wren, Indigo Bunting, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Warblers (Blackburiam
The NY State's Unit
Management Plan identifies the following below species for study.
We have summarized their findings for ease of reading. NY state
has adopted a Bird
Conservation Area program based on Audubon's programs and designed
to safeguard our bird populations on our state lands and waters.
They designated Adirondack Mountain summits above 2,800 in Essex,
Franklin and Hamilton are the "Adirondack Subalpine Forest Bird
Conservation Area" (ASFBC). A portion of the Hoffman Notch
Wilderness is in this category (mainly Hoffman Mountain, Blue Ridge
Mountain and Peaked Hills). To protect the ASFBC regions,
please do not disturbed our endangered species. Thank you! (Pictures and links provided
The bald eagle is currently listed as a threatened
species by the federal government and New York. The nearby Buckhorn Mountain
believed to have been a center of eagle activity prior to 1970,
although no nest sites had been confirmed. Bald eagles are sensitive
to human disturbance; so if you are fortunate to see one, please "Do
This species is a
bird of freshwater wetlands where it nests on a grass or among
the cattails. It nests are made from sticks, grass, and sedges
hidden with the tall grasses.
Nighthawks will either use
bare flat rocks or bare ground in open fields
and pastures, and if in populated areas they may use flat, gravel
rooftops. Here in the Adirondacks, the nighthawks will use the
mountainous areas, provided woods are interspersed with clearings or
openings. They are nocturnal and have a particular call (click
These hawks are
sometimes call 'tiny hawks" as they are the smallest hawks
in our region. The Sharp-shinned hawk prefer habitats of open or
young woodlands that support a large diversity of avian prey
species. They use mixed conifer‐deciduous forest for nesting,
mostly in hemlocks. They had declined in numbers in the mid
1900's; and are now slowing increasing. However, they are still
on the national list of 'endangered' species today.
select open woodlands in lowland deciduous forest. They will
nest on the ground in dry, sparse areas and have perfected
are typically laid in the open or under a small shrub on the leaf
litter where they are well concealed. Due to its haunting,
ethereal song, the Whip-poor-will is the topic of numerous legends
and included in many American songs.
In the Adirondacks, the rare Spruce Grouse prefers boreal acid bog
forest with immature or uneven‐aged spruce‐fir habitat.
Mosses, lichens, and small shrubs provide nesting and foraging
ground cover in areas where the forest canopy is less dense.
They earned the term "fool hen" for their behaviors of saying hidden
until only feet away and then they go into flight.
The Northern Harrier
is a bird of open country and is associated with wet to mesic
habitats. Unlike most raptors, harriers nest on the ground,
either on hummocks or directly on the ground in nests that are woven
from grass and sticks.
Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
The golden eagle is a species once found in the
Adirondacks. The last successful nest in New York State was
recorded in 1970. Golden Eagles have nested at elevations
between 1,500 and 2,600 ft; however, surveys conducted by the New
York Habitat Inventory Unit, open habitat suitable for Golden Eagles
has decreased at all but one historical site.
In 1974 New York initiated a program to reintroduce
Peregrine Falcon in the state. Peregrines were successfully
hacked in the Adirondack Park with the release of the first birds in
1981. It is possible that Peregrines are utilizing the Siamese Pond
Wilderness for nesting. Three basic requirements nesting
Peregrine Falcons include open country for hunting, sufficient food
resources of avian species, and steep, rocky cliff faces for
nesting. The falcons typically nest 50 to 200 feet off the ground
near bodies of water. Nesting sites for Peregrines usually include a
partially-vegetated ledge large enough for it young to move about.
The nest is a well-rounded shape that is sometimes lined with grass,
usually sheltered by an overhang. Sometimes Peregrines may nest in
old Common Raven nests. Human disturbance of a
breeding pair may result in nest abandonment! "DO NOT DISTURB"
please! Climbers, not it is illegal to climb during their
breeding season, and breeders will attack. To report a
falcon signings please contact NYSDEC Region 5, Bureau of Wildlife,
P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, New York 12977, 518-897-1291.
American Osprey is of special concern. Osprey breed near large
bodies of water where there is abundant fish populations.
Numerous sightings are within the Adirondack. Osprey construct
their nest in tall dead tress, but also use rocky ledges, sand
dunes, artificial platforms, and utility pole cross arms for a tall
advantage point. The power company has started to built Osprey poles
because they often select power poles causing issues when moving
their youth from the endangerment of the power lines.
Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Red-shouldered Hawk is listed as species of special concern and
believed to exist in the Siamese Pond Wilderness.. Red-shouldered
hawks breed in moist hardwood, forested wetlands, bottomlands and
the wooded margins of wetlands, and sometimes close to cultivated
fields. They like cool, moist, lowland forests with tall trees
Common Loon (Gavia immer)
Common Loon is a species of special concern and are located
through out the Adirondacks They use small and large
freshwater lakes in open and densely forested areas for breeding and
nest on lakes (mostly less habited lakes). The Loons will use little
shallow coves for nesting which are constructed on the ground at the
water’s edge on sand or rock, wherever to avoided predators.
Small islands are their favorite or small peninsular. They
have a beautiful call - click:
Common Loon - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Sand Pond has been designated as important habitat for the Loon.
Please do not disturb.
Cooper's Hawk is another species of
special concern and believed to be in the Siamese Wilderness.
Cooper’s hawk enjoys a variety of habitat types, from extensive
deciduous or mixed forests to scattered woodlots interspersed with
open fields, floodplain forests and wooded wetlands are also used.
They construct nests typically at a height of 35 to 45 feet in the
Thrush utilizes fir waves and natural disturbances as
well as edges of ski slopes. They breed in the Adirondacks at
elevations greater than 2800 ft. The species is most
common on the highest ridges of the Adirondacks, preferring young or
stunted dense stands of balsam fir up to 9 ft. in height.
Wild Species of Concern
in the Hoffman Wilderness
Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma
The Jefferson salamander is listed by New York
State as species of special concern and believed to exist in the
Siamese Pond Wilderness. The salamanders require pools
that remain deep long enough to complete their metamorphosis
which takes approximately 1-2 weeks. They use the forested
habitat used during the remainder of the year
The wood turtle is found in well oxygenated
good quality streams with sandy-pebbly substrates that are deep
enough so that they do not freeze during hibernation Ideal
habitat includes dense alder swamp and forested wetland habitat
bordering the streams where the turtles can bask and have
protection from predators. Wood turtles forge for fungi
and vegetation. Wood turtles select both slopes and level
sandy open areas for nest sites. They are listed as species of
interest because of the long maturity rate (15 years) and high
Although Moose have become more populated in the
Adirondacks, they have not been confirmed in the Siamese Pond
Wilderness. Moose will select habitat that is most abundant
and highest quality forage. Typical patterns in moose habitat
selection during the summer include the use of open upland and
aquatic areas in early summer followed by the use of canopy
areas that provide higher quality forage in the fall, near
lakes, ponds and streams where they can forage for plants and
get relief from high temperatures in insects. After the
fall rut and into winter, moose use open areas again where the
highest woods exists.
The Hoffman Notch Wilderness area is within the
Upper Hudson watershed. The Boreas River "a scenic
river" flows into the Hudson River. Minerva streams flows
to Trout Brook, along with Rogers Brook, Platt Brook and the
Branch flows which directly flows into the Schroon River. Schroon River
ends at Warrensburg as it merges to the Hudson River. The Hoffman
Notch Wilderness has 11 ponded waters and 2,057 acres of
Big Pond (63 acres) accessed
via foot trail on Country Route 24
North Pond (25 acres) access
by foot from County Route 24 (some bushwhacking may be needed)
Bailey Pond (18 acres
Sand Pond (64 acres) access
via road and trail on the north and south sides on County
Marion Pond (10 acre)
accessible by trail from Bailey Pond and Warrens Pond
Big Marsh (13.1 acres) at the
headwaters of the North Branch of Trout Brook. A trail
runs along the west side of the lake
Unnamed ponds - there are
five unnamed ponds in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness.
The larger brooks in this region are:
North Branch Trout Brook
Hoffman Notch Brook
Native Fish Species:
Native Species of the area are
black nose dace, White sucker, Long nose sucker, northern
red belly dace, redbreast sunfish, fine scale dace, creek shub
sucker, long nose dace, common shiner, lake chub, slimy culpin,
round whitefish. Species that are widely introduced in the
Adirondacks are brook trout, lake trout, cisco, pumpkinseed,
brown bullhead and creek chub.
Non-native fish, species include:
Golden Shiner, Northern Pike,
Chain Pickerel, Rock Bass, Blunt nose minnow, Smallmouth Bass,
Largemouth Bass, Yellow perch, Johnny Darter, Fathead Minnow,
trout, Rainbow Trout, Splake, Atlantic Salmon, Lake Whitefish,
Banded killifish3, Rainbow, Smelt, Fallfish, Bluegill
Walleye, Pearl Dace ,Central mud Minnow, Redhorse suckers, Black
Directory for more information.
New York Codes Rules and
Regulations (“NYCRR”) §190.8(n) authorizes the use of state
owned lands by horses and equestrians. However, the use of
horses on designated foot trails is prohibited unless the trail
is also specifically designated as a horse trail; i.e.: “those that can be developed by
conversion of appropriate abandoned roads, snowmobile trails, or
state truck trails.” There are several abandoned roads
within the Hoffman Notch Wilderness appropriate for horse
riding. Visit our
Directory for other areas.
region for weeks of hunting. The game
species of the Hoffman Notch region include white-tailed
deer and black bear. Other small game mammals of the
region include coyote, raccoon, red & gray foxes, fisher,
bobcat, American Marten, river otter, striped skunk,
long-tailed and short-tailed weasel and snowshoe.
Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Areas are regulated to use
bear-resistant canister for food, toiletries and garbage,
and it is further recommended in other areas.
backcountry acreage is enormous and the Adirondacks has the largest
trail system in the nation with more than 2,000 miles. Enjoy
the glory of hiking the Adirondacks, nature's solitude, unbroken
forest, lakes and mountains and take the path less taken.
Focus on your senses. Visit our
Adirondack Hiking Guide.
for the DEC "Lost in the Woods" brochure.
The DEC trail classification system is outlined in
the Forest Preserve Policy Manual. This classification system
recognizes four trail classifications as outlined below:
Distinguishable: Minimal biological or physical impacts,
slight loss of vegetation and/or minimal disturbance of
Impacts: Tail obvious, slight loss of vegetation cover
and/or organic litter pulverized in primary use areas,
muddy spots or tree roots, or water action evident.
Impacts: Vegetation cover and/or organic littler
pulverized within the center of the tread, exposed rocks
and trees or small mud holes, but little evidence of
widening beyond the maintained width of the trail.
Impacts: Near complete or total loss of vegetation cover
and organic litter, rocks or tree roots exposed and
roots damaged, or ruts more than 20cm (7.8 inches) deep,
or widening caused by muddy areas or water action
Extensive Impacts: Trail to bedrock or other substrate,
or tree roots badly damaged, or some ruts more than 50
cm (19.5 inches) deep or large areas (over 50%) of bank
erosion, or mud holes so extensive that the trail is
outside of its maintained width.
Most trails are
marked with color coded disks affixed to trees
as shown (example, see left). Trail guides and maps
correspond to these markers. Trail register
boxes are generally located near major access
points and parking areas. Although most
state-maintained trails are marked, hikers are
encouraged to consult topographical maps or
other guides when planning to venture into the
1. Trailhead ‐ North side of
unit (developed)‐ travel approximately 5.5 miles west on the
Blue Ridge Road from exit 29 of I‐87. Once across the bridge
over The Branch, turn left off the Blue Ridge Road to a
parking lot to access the Hoffman Notch Trail. While this
trailhead is not on state land, in 2010 the state (DEC)
bought a conservation easement on this property. The
conservation easement allows for the construction of a
larger parking area than currently exists so that winter
parking does not interfere with highway snow removal.
2. East side of unit (undeveloped)
‐ travel approximately 1.6 miles south of exit 29 of I‐87 on
SH 9 to access Hammond Pond Wild Forest lands on the west
side of SH 9. Walk to the Schroon River on the unmarked old
logging road. An old fish management structure is evident in
the river. At one time, a walkway was available to cross the
river but was destroyed in high waters. To cross the river
to gain access to a culvert that goes underneath the I‐87
route, one must use a canoe/ boat unless water level is very
low enabling an individual to cross the old walkway.
3. East side of unit (developed)
‐ travel approximately 1.6 miles north of exit 28 off I‐87on
SH 9. Turn left into small parking area. The People of New
York State have a deeded access to park and travel the trail
only that leads to a culvert that is under I‐87 that leads
to unit lands. Follow trail system here to the culvert.
4. Trailhead ‐ East side of
unit (developed) ‐ travel approximately .6 miles south of
exit 28 of I‐87 on SH 9. Take right across from Alder Meadow
Road into parking lot for access to hiking trail leading to
5. Trailhead ‐ South side of
unit (developed)‐ travel approximately 1.7 miles west on the
Hoffman Road from Schroon Lake Road. Enter small parking lot
on the north side of road.
6. Trailhead ‐ South side of
unit (developed) ‐ travel approximately 5 miles west on the
Hoffman Road from Schroon Lake village to junction of the
Hoffman Road and Loch Muller Road. Turn right onto Loch
Muller Road and travel about 3 miles to the dead end. Find
parking lot here to access Hoffman Notch Trail.
The man-made trails in the
Wilderness Region are:
Bailey Pond Trail (.8 mile) -
once a town road, but abandoned
Hoffman Notch Trail (7.4 miles) -
historic route and a popular cross country ski trail.
Mt. Severance Trail (1.0) - trail
along the ridge of the mountain
Big Pond Trail (5.7 miles) - once
a logging road
Motorized Equipment in Wilderness, Primitive and Canoe Areas:
DEC has adopted a regulation prohibiting the use of motorized
equipment in lands classified as wilderness, primitive or canoe.
Public use of small personal electronic or mechanical devices such
as cameras, radios or GPS receivers are not affected by this new
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