QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 209,644 acres
- Trail Mileage: xx
- Pets: no
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: ponds, mountain views, Nesowadnehunk Stream, waterfalls
Several trails fan out from Daicey Pond, allowing you to explore the still ponds and beautiful forests in this fairly flat part of the park.
Daicey Pond Nature Trail — (In purple, on my map) This 2.2-mile hike circumnavigates the pond, taking you through mossy spruce forests. It is very easy. If you have children, you can grab one of the junior ranger booklets from the ranger station and go on a scavenger hunt.
Elbow Pond Loop — (In red, on my map) Do this walk to see pretty Elbow Pond and other watery areas, and to catch views of the park’s big southern mountains rising high to the north, casting reflections on the pond waters. This walk is fairly flat and moderately easy. The loop is about 2.3 miles, and is well marked with signs and blazes. If you’re starting from the Tote Road, the access path is half mile.
AT Trail to Little and Big Niagara Falls — (In dark blue, on map) From Daicey Campground, it is 1.0 mile to the old Toll Dam on a relatively flat stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Little Niagara Falls is just 150 feet or so beyond the old dam. Big Niagara Falls is another 0.4 or so miles miles beyond Little Niagara Falls. So the total for this walk, there and back, is around 2.8 miles, if you include climbing the riverside rocks to get different angles on the dramatic falls. From Big Niagara, it’s another 0.4 miles to a place called Windy Pitch at a wide section of the river, not to be confused with Windy Pitch Pond (which you can access via Kidney Pond Campground with a combination of hiking and canoeing.)
Lost Pond and Foss & Knowlton Pond — (In light green, on map) After hiking a half mile around Daicey Pond, you can head south, toward the peaceful Lost Pond, about 1 mile farther along. The forest is enchanting along this stretch of trail. Foss and Knowlton Pond is another 1.2 miles south on the trail. Both ponds are pretty, but hard to negotiate for swimming, with rocks and murky bottoms. Plus, of course, leeches!
Directions: You can pick up the trail for Elbow Pond on the Tote Road — there’s a small parking area about 50 feet before the trailhead. Or you can park at Daicey Pond cabins, which can reached via a 1.4-access road off the Tote Road. It’s about 0.3 miles before the Foster Field camping area.