The 1,300–acre Northwest Bay tract, within the watershed of Northwest Bay Brook, was purchased by the Lake George Land Conservancy in early 2000. It was sold to NY State in 2004 and is part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
Two trails have been created and marked. The short inner loop trail to Bear Knob is marked with yellow trail disks, and the longer loop trail to Pole Hill Pond is marked in blue. Prepare for wet areas, steep climbs, and rocks. Your rewards will be the spectacular view from Walnut Ridge, serenity of untouched Pole Hill Pond, and abundance of native Adirondack plants and birds. Please try not to step on any subalpine vegetation found at the higher elevations.
The Lake George Land Conservancy maintains the trails of the Pole Hill Pond Preserve through NYS DEC's volunteer stewardship agreement; all comments should be directed to the DEC.
The entrance to the Pole Hill Pond trails is on the west side of Route 9N. Look for the prominent sign.
The Blue Trail starts at the parking area. It follows a logging road for 0.25 miles until it intersects again with the yellow trail, where it bears to the right and crosses a stream. It then continues on a logging road for 0.75 miles, before leaving the road and climbing steadily to the top of the ridge. The trail undulates for 1.5 miles until it drops down into a knoll, then climbs steeply to the top of Walnut Ridge, which has spectacular views of Lake George. It then drops down for 0.5 miles to Pole Hill Pond.
Continuing on the loop, the trail leaves the eastern shore of the pond for 0.10 miles, before hugging the shore again until it reaches a logging road. It then follows the logging road, except for two short diversions, for 2.40 miles. At 2.40 miles it turns sharply left off the road and climbs gradually until it intersects with the Yellow Trail. Turn right on to the Yellow Trail to return to the parking area and complete the loop.
To take the Yellow Trail loop from its southern end, turn off of the blue trail about 75 feet in. The Yellow Trail climbs steadily for 0.3 miles until it reaches a ridge (passing the blue trail intersection). It then undulates for 0.3 miles to Bear Knob (watch for some sharp turns). There are seasonal views at a couple of points. The trail then descends gradually until it intersects with the Blue Trail again.