The Siamese Ponds Wilderness consists of 112,524 acres in the southeast section of New York’s Adirondacks. It’s less frequented than the High Peaks area to the north, but it’s just as wild with several lean-tos, including the East Branch Sacandaga lean-to (pictured above). The hike to the lean-to is an easy four miles that mostly runs along the East Branch of the Sacandaga River, a “wild” river under the New York State Wild, Scenic, and Recreational River System Act. Mother Nature’s quite a lady.
Another two and a half miles will get you to the first of the two Siamese Ponds, which has a few designated campsites around it’s perimeter. Cold Splinters was up there last weekend and the trail is muddy and full of bugs just waiting for you to stop for water or lunch, but the lean-to is in a beautiful location for an easy overnight. The picture above was taken on the suspension bridge over the river that connects the trail up to the Siamese Ponds.
The trailhead is at the Eleventh Mountain parking lot on Route 8 between Speculator and Bakers Mill. Can’t miss it.