Chapel Pond is not only a great destination for swimming, fishing, and paddling, it is also one of the most popular rock and ice climbing locations in New York. This large pond sits at the foot of 3,070-foot Round Mountain in the town of Keene, New York. Often visited by hikers who want to cool off after a long hike or rock and ice climbers looking to scale the massive Chapel Pond Slab, this location has become a sought-after Adirondack destination.
From the parking area, walk down to the shoreline to catch a view of the rocky walls and cliffs of Round Mountain. There is also a chance of seeing a loon or birds of prey like the peregrine falcon, which nests on the mountainside. Paddlers may also launch from this spot. There are also two very seasonal waterfalls that form on the side of Round Mountain and flow into the pond, each one at opposite ends.
For hikers, Chapel Pond lies across the road from the Giant Mountain Wilderness where Giant Mountain (4,627 feet) and Rocky Peak (4,420 feet) wait to be climbed. For climbers, a trail leads from the parking lot to the east end of the pond, where there is a small, sandy beach that attracts swimmers in the summer. This trail is also used by climbers to get to the routes offered by the mountain.
Chapel Pond Slab lies just 200 feet off of Route 73, making such routes as Bob's Knob Standard (5.3 Trad, 6 pitches, 840 ft), Regular Route (5.5 PG13 Trad, 8 pitches, 700 ft), Empress (5.5 X Trad, 7 pitches, 865 ft), Greensleeves (5.6 PG13 Trad, 3 pitches, 350 ft), and Thanksgiving (5.7 R Trad, 6 pitches, 550 ft) easily accessible to climbers.
In the winter, ice formations appear all along the side of Round Mountain, making way for ice climbers to ascend a variety of frozen routes.