Pelton Pond

Pelton Pond Frozen Over
Ice covering Pelton Pond in the winter season, surrounding by bare deciduous trees. Clarence Fahnestock State Park, New York

Distance: 1 mile

Type: Loop

Difficulty: Easy

Pelton Pond is a small dammed lake easily accessible from Highway 301, whose runoff feeds into nearby Canopus Lake. An easy 1 mile hike navigates around the pond’s circumference, giving visitors a pleasant and relaxing outing that can serve as a way to get comfortable with the expansive options in Clarence Fahnestock State Park. The trail is open year-round, and so it can be hiked, cross-country skied, or snowshoed.

Pelton Pond Trail Description

From the main parking area, walk up the steps to a covered picnic area quickly showing off a fantastic view of Pelton Pond and the quiet forests beyond. Proceed to your left through the picnic area and some restrooms as you enter into the woods. Catch an immediate right where the trail takes a short drop down toward the pond. You’ll notice that yellow trail markers guide you around the water.

The easy trail bobs up and down over little elevation change, as you explore the southern perimeter of the pond’s rocky terrain. A small footbridge will guide you across a drainage, continuing westward as an old mechanism for an early dam comes into view in the water. Here the trail wraps around the earthen dam to begin heading north for a short distance.

As the trail cuts back eastward, you’re guided through the forest as it thins out along the pond’s shore, where the trail rejoins the picnic area just ahead.

Elevation profile for Pelton Pond
Elevation profile for Pelton Pond
Elevation and route courtesy of Route Scout