By MIKE LYNCH
The following is a list of lesser-used Adirondack Park trails where hikers may seek to spread out for some social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. The state Department of Environmental Conservation recommends engaging in low-risk hikes near home.
Brewer Lake Trail
Located in the Black River Wild Forest, this hike to Brewer Lake is over mostly flat terrain and is about 4 miles round-trip. The trailhead is located on Route 28 southeast of McKeever and across from Otter Lake.
Broomstick Lake Trail
Located in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest, this hike is 1.4 miles round-trip and leads to Broomstick Lake. The trailhead can be found on the east side of State Route 10 south of Stoner Lakes in the Town of Arietta.
Stewart and Indian Lake Trail
Located in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest, this 2.2-mile round- trip hike leads to two lakes: Steward and Indian (not the large one in the central Adirondacks). The trailhead is found on the east side of Green Lake Road, north of Green Lake in the Town of Caroga.
Big Pond Trail
Located in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, this 1.7-mile round-trip hike leads to Big Pond. The waterbody is great for fishing and is dominated by northern pike, but also contains brown bullhead. The trailhead is located on the north side of Hoffman Notch Road in the Town of Schroon Lake.
Located in the Jessup River Wild Forest, this hike is 2.4 miles round-trip and leads to a view of Indian Lake. It is located on the east side of State Route 30 south of the Town of Indian Lake.
Penfield Pond Trail
This 1-mile loop near the 19th century Penfield Homestead is not far from Ticonderoga in eastern Essex County. The Champlain Area Trails route goes through the woods and along the eastern shore of Penfield Pond. The trailhead is located on Peasley Road .2 miles east of Penfield Museum in Ironville.
Clintonville Pine Barrens
Located a few miles northeast of
Ausable Forks, this 1.1-mile loop takes you through a pitch pine forest on a 900-acre preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy. The trailhead is located on Buck Hill Road in the town of Black Brook.
Massawepie Mire Trail
This trail is on an old railroad grade and is about 5 miles long and goes through a variety of forest types before going into an enormous bog that is a great place for birding. The Massawepie Easement includes Massawepie Lake and Massawepie Scout Reservation, which is closed to the public from June 15 to Aug. 31. (The main part of the scout camp does remain closed all year.) The railroad grade through the mire does remain open through the summer though. Look for the Massawepie Boy Scout sign off of state Route 3 about 11.5 miles outside of Tupper Lake. Turn onto Massawepie Road and drive about 5 miles to an intersection, turn right here and then go right at the fork after two-tenths of a mile, turn right and park. The trail is behind the old metal gate.