From the trailhead parking, cross Keese Mill Road and locate the trailhead on the opposite side (just slightly back up the road). Heading in a clockwise direction around the ponds, you will start out on a flat trail. Quickly you will come to a lean-to on the western shore of Black Pond before coming to a narrow trail on a steep side slope.
Once you pass Black Pond you will come to an intersection at the south end of Long Pond, which is also an attractive backcountry waterbody.
Crossing the outlet, you will start the back portion of the loop and come to an attractive bridge over the outlet between the two Black Ponds. There's a lean-to on the smaller of the two, with a trail that leads back to the Paul Smiths VIC. Climb steeply away from the lean-to and stay high above the ponds before you descend back down to Keese Mill Road. Continue to walk back up the road to your car.
From downtown Saranac Lake, take Route 86 west toward Paul Smiths. At the four-way intersection, turn right onto Route 30, then take the first left onto Keese Mill Road. Follow Keese Mill Road for just under 3 miles to the trailhead parking on the left. The trail is on the opposite side of the road.
2.3 mile loop
Elevation Gain or Loss:
It can take more than 2 hours to complete this loop.