Connery Pond in North Elba, New York, is home to one of the most iconic views in the Adirondacks. As hikers and paddlers alike emerge from the portage trail leading to the shoreline, they are greeted with a sweeping view of Whiteface Mountain across the pond. This view has been the subject for many of the photographers who visit the Adirondacks each year. The view also creates a stunning backdrop for paddlers and fishermen who visit here to take in the peaceful surroundings while enjoying their crafts.
The hike to Connery Pond is an easy one with almost no elevation gain while traveling the half-mile on a level, hard-packed gravel road. Paddlers may also drive in to where there is a portage trail and park nearby after unloading their vessel.
There are two points at which the trail can begin: one from the large parking areas along Route 86 and one from the head of Connery Pond Road, where there is room for only a few vehicles.
The trail that leads from Route 86 is marked with a sign that could be hard to miss if you’re not paying attention. This trail leads through a forest area, where you’ll see different types of flora and trees with conifers being the dominant species.
The trail comes out onto Connery Pond Road just a short distance from where the road begins. Hikers will cross a small stream from Little Cherrypatch Pond near its confluence with a stream from Connery Pond. Do not mistake this as part of the West Branch Ausable River, although it does join farther downstream. The road will cross the Connery Pond outlet again at a picturesque spot along the road.
Hikers should keep in mind that there are residences along the shoreline, and some traffic can be expected.
The northern shore of the pond lies within the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness, where motorized vehicles are prohibited. The road eventually leads to the wilderness area as well. Hikers wishing to use Connery Pond Road to access the trail to Whiteface Mountain may park in the designated area before the road enters the restricted area.