This loop trail gets modest use at best, but its layout is quite attractive and not all that demanding. If you love remote hiking and birding this could be the hike for you. The trail is open to all types of uses including mountain biking, and horseback riding. In a clockwise direction you will start to descend a bit to cross Hatch Brook before you start a moderate hike over rolling hills, before descending a bit steeper to Skiff Pond. At the pond there are some interesting camping spots and an obvious area of an old homestead.
Hike past the pond to an intersection with the Meacham Lake Campground Trail, now a designated snowmobile trail. Take a right here to continue the loop. While very wet in spots, this section is very scenic and worth the wet feet. The crossing of Hatch Brook again is the wettest portion of the trail, making this a much more noteworthy clockwise hike; leaving the possible wet feet to the end.
Once across you will climb back out of the valley and back to the parking area at the top of the hill.
How do I get there?
Follow Route 30 south, out of Malone. Continue on Route 30 to CR 26 (old Route 99) north of Paul Smiths along Route 30. Continue onto Route 26 for roughly 8.5 miles to an unnamed dirt road just North of Duck Pond. Follow this road to its end to locate the trailhead. This is a very hard trailhead to find; having a road/trail map with you is recommended.
Approximate Round Trip Time
Family with Young Children: 5 to 6 hours
Seasoned Hiker: 3 to 4 hours
Inexperienced Hiker: 5 to 6 hours