For a short but sweet walk in the wilderness, check out the Grizzle Ocean loop in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area.
Follow Route 74 out of Schroon Lake toward Ticonderoga. After about 13 miles turn right on Putts Pond Road. Follow that to the end at Putnam Pond State Campground. There will be a small fee to use when the campground is open, but this time of year it is closed and free to enter. Pass by the booth and turn left to go up a small hill and into a parking area on the left. The trail is located at the far end of the trailhead parking.
From the trailhead, you will follow a nice flat trail that passes by Putnam Pond to your right. The trail soon turns into a short, moderate climb before reaching a rather long descent to a major intersection. Right leads toward Treadway Mountain and Rock Pond, and left leads to Grizzle Ocean and beyond.
After a short climb you will soon come to the split for the loop, which is a fantastic hike that approaches and leaves the shore of this small backcountry pond. Certain areas of the pond are known for their cranberry growth. Once you finish the loop, return using the trail you followed in.
- Elevation: 1,475 feet
- Ascent: 150' of elevation change
- Distance Round Trip: 5 miles
This route makes for a fine snowshoe. Just be aware distances may increase as roads may not be plowed in the winter. Be prepared for a longer outing.
There is an attractive lean-to located in the open pine forest that is a perfect spot for a campfire and a snack.