The Kettle Trail
May
08
2013

Can you believe the weather we are having? It feels like full blown summer and it’s just turned May, maybe it will melt away some of the black flies. They haven’t been too bad as of late, I see them buzzing around a bit and bumping into my face but I haven’t found any biters yet, hopefully you have had the same luck. Of course if they were biting, todays trail run/hike would have been the perfect opportunity. The Kettle Trail is nothing more than a trail to several kettle ponds and potentially perfect breeding ground for black flies and mosquitos.

 had never hiked this trail before only skied, so I was a bit foggy on the actual start of the trail. As I drove down Slush Pond Road I found myself parking at the first sign of a trail, which essentially ended up being about 100 feet in length to a derelict campsite. So, I turned around, took my pack off and proceeded down Slush Pond Road and found the trail. The trail as I remember it is in fact, not signed, but it is marked as a snowmobile trail and equestrian trail, while it gets very little of either.

I started off on a dart line, trail running with poles in hand and quickly made my way to the first view of a kettle pond. Just so everyone knows; a kettle pond is glacial pond with no inlet or outlet, many of which are deteriorating and becoming glorified grasslands.

The further I moved along the more I remembered the terrain as rolling hills with several fast changes in elevation. What I could not see in winter is just how gorgeous the trails tread actually is. It is pristine, soft under food, not a drop of water or mud, amazing – one of the finest trails I think I have been on in years. Not only is the trail in great shape but it flows ever so effortlessly through a tall open red pine forest.
The only gripe is, it could go a bit closer to the ponds, but I guess if it did, it might not be as dry as I found it. I ventured down to a few of the kettle ponds and many just have a small portion of open water, much of the remaining is a bog loaded with bog snowberries, leather leaf and deep-deep peat moss.
Eventually I found myself on an old woods road following a private property boundary, and following it around the corner of the property. The line on the map I drew is a bit closer to the actual trail, but still not exact-no matter, it is very easy to follow and quite honestly, I could say over-marked. I continued following this old woods road until the trail officially ended on McColloms Road. The hike back wasn’t too bad, it went by rather quickly, but if you weren’t paying attention it could be easy to miss the turn off from the woods road back onto the foot trail.

Interested in an environmental education hike, a birding adventure like this or maybe just want to get out in the back-country but need the confidence of a professional guide, check out a local guide service in the Saranac Lake Region. Need a great place to stay or a meal before you hit the road, Saranac Lake can provide.  

Author:Spencer Morrissey
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