Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Friday, December 28, 2012

Botheration Pond - Siamese Pond Wilderness - 12/28/12

Last winter I was working at Gore Mountain one day and I ran into former DEC forest ranger Steve Ovitt.  We got to talking, and he told me about some of the fine xc ski trails in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area of the Adirondack Park.  In particular, he described the new (2010) ski trail called the Botheration Pond ski trail loop.  An ~ 8 mile loop trail beginning and ending at the Old Farm Road trailhead, near Thirteenth Lake.  I stored that information away for future reference.  Of course last winter we didn't have favorable xc ski conditions, so I never made it out there.

During the summer I read a blog post by Harvey Road - The New York State Ski Blog about The Botheration Pond Trail.  Thanks Harvey!  Included in his fine writeup was a link to a nice map showing the trail system.

Today, one day after getting a foot of snow, Leesa and I headed for the Old Farm Road trailhead.  We were the 1st ones there at 8:30 AM.  The road had been plowed, and was easily driveable.  As we got ready to start, we were happy to see someone had broken trail late yesterday.  That would aid our progress today.

Old Farm Road trailhead
We followed the tracks south, past the kiosk where the Botheration Loop starts and finishes.  Since the northern part of the loop hadn't been broken out, we continued south and followed the tracks, which turned to take the southern part of the botheration loop.  The tracks stopped just shy of the first bridge over the east branch of the Sacandaga. 

Lots of skiable routes

The main kiosk where the Botheration Loop starts and finishes

Rev was game.  She let the way the whole time

More signage along the route

We continued on, breaking trail.  We soon reached the new (2009) 55' bridge over the east branch Sacandaga River.  Quite nice and impressive!  There is also a designated campsite on the western side of the river, just prior to the bridge.

The larger of the two new bridges (55') with twig decorative lattice

It was a little slow going breaking trail.  Rev was out front and tried to do it for us, but she didn't quite pack it down nice.  We continued on until we reach the western side of Botheration Pond.

Botheration Pond

The pond is about the halfway point in the loop.  We turned around at point, since we didn't think the rest of the trail had been broken out, and we wanted to enjoy the fruits of some of our trail breaking.  It turns out that when we got back to the kiosk, someone else had started the loop in the clockwise direction.  Maybe we wouldn't have had to break much more trail if we had continued. 
The east branch of the Sacandaga at the larger bridge
In any case, we had fun backtracking in our tracks.  At the kiosk, we did follow the trail in .8 miles to the trailhead for the Balm of Gilead Mountain trail.  At that point, it was time to head back and call it a day.

Spruce forest at the south end of the loop

Great to finally have a good fresh dumping of snow on the ground.  It's been a long time.  We both enjoyed this area immensely, and we'll be back to ski here again.
Leesa's a happy skier
When we got back to the car, 5 other cars were parked at the trailhead.  Perhaps more trails will be broken out soon.  I suspect so.  I know tomorrow I'll be back to ski from the Old Farm Road trailhead south along the east branch Sacandaga River to Eleventh Mountain on Route 8.  This will be another new adventure.  
Here is more information on the Botheration Loop from the Adirondack Almanac. 

We'll do this another day
Here is a topo map showing our route for the day.
Here is the approximate route of the entire Botheration Loop (click to enlarge)
Ski Stats:
Botheration Loop:  ~ 7.5 miles
Ski Time:  3 to 5 hours


  1. Nice trip Mike! Steve Ovitt and his volunteers have done an amazing job with the xc trail network in the 13th Lk - North Creek area. I did an interview with Steve for the Adk Winter Guide back in November, which I'll re-publish on my blog in the next couple weeks.

  2. Beautiful pictures. When I was hiking it in summer, I was dreaming about winter.