The Sheep Meadow Trail is used more often as a cross-country ski trail, but it is a very attractive walk in the area and not demanding. You will eventually progress to two very attractive backcountry lean-tos surrounded by small foothills of the Adirondacks. From the trailhead it’s very flat before a slight descent down to a crossing of the Osgood River. At the next intersection, which is unmarked, stay straight; right leads to grass Pond, then take an immediate left onto a foot trail that leaves the forest road.
Several rolling hills lead back to an old forest road. Follow the woods road to the left and continue a nice leisurely walk to the end of the trail.
How do I get there?
Follow Route 30 south out of Malone toward Paul Smiths. Continue to Mountain Pond Road on the left. Drive down Mountain Pond Road for 0.25 mile to a gated woods road. The parking area is on the left.
Mileage Round Trip
These lean-tos don’t get much use, so if you want to be alone for the weekend this is a good opportunity.
Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing
The Sheep Meadow Trail is a popular cross-country ski trail.
With a difficulty level of beginner/intermediate, this 3.6 mile trail (one way) offers easy cruising on a forest road, with only a few small hills to add some spice.
Follow a truck trail north for .6 miles to the bridge over the Osgood River, then take the left on a horse trail.This will be a single track for .7 miles, rejoins the truck trail. A left turn rewards with a scenic wooden bridge that crosses Hays Brook at the 1.5 mile point. Trail ends at a picnic spot with 2 lean tos and a horse shelter.
If the rider stays on the truck trail throughout, the singletrack does not have to be taken, but this adds a .25 mile length to the ride.
Find the trailhead by turning north at the junction of NYS Rt. 30 & NYS Rt. 86 at Paul Smiths and keep track for 3.7 miles. There will be a DEC Sign for Hays Brook Assembly Area with a dirt road turnoff. Use the parking area .4 miles off highway, near a state gate on the left.