Inman Pond – Hiking Trail, Backcountry Camping – Lake George, NY

Inman Pond is located 16 miles east and north of Lake George Village. From the village, take NY-149 E past both Bay Road and Ridge Road, turn left at Buttermilk Falls Road, bear left onto Sly Pond Road, follow it for about 3.3 miles until you see the trail head, and then look for parking on both sides of the road just past the trail head. Primary activities on the trail include hiking, dog walking, fishing, and backcountry camping. Parking is free and can support several cars including large vehicles and trailers. There are no restrooms or water. Cell phone service is intermittent while on the trail. A Motorola Droid on the Verizon network was able to record accurate GPS coordinates for this trail.

Inman Pond Trail 

Inman Pond trail is about 1.5 miles long with an elevation gain less than 400 feet; from 1,150 to 1,500 feet. The elevation climb is very gradual and, thus, suitable for kids.

The trail is wide and primarily smooth for the first half of the hike. Notably, the beginning of it can be very muddy so you may want to delay your visit if it has recently rained.

Inman Pond Trail

It connects with a trail that leads to the Buck Mountain trail head. I do not recommend the connector trail because it is very rugged. In order to continue to Inman Pond, stay to the right when you reach the following bridge .

Near the trail, we saw a garter snake (I think that’s what it is?).

Garter Snake

The following is a leaf from a young tree that I believe is a Striped Maple. Its leaves are opposite, have three lobes, are five to eight inches long, and resemble a goose’s foot. In addition, it resembles a Striped Maple from a hiking trail in Virginia.

Striped Maple

As you get closer to the pond the trail narrows, becomes a little rocky, and begins to incline. At this point, there was still a ways to go and our three year old was tired so we  carried her the rest of the way. My guess is that older kids would have no trouble because the total distance is short and the elevation gain is moderate. Also, our dog did really well on it.

As we got closer to the pond the number of bugs increased along with the number of baby American Toads.

American Toad

Before you see the pond, there is an intersection where you can choose to walk around the south side or the north side. The official trail does not loop all the way around the pond so you’ll need to do some bushwhacking in order to do so. We stayed left and walked around the south side. The official trail ends at a backcountry camping site that sits very close to the pond. The site seems like an ideal location for your first backcountry camping experience because of the relatively short hike. As you can see in the following picture, the previous occupants left trash. It is very important to leave no trace while on the trail and when camping so others can enjoy it as you did and to protect wildlife from harm. We picked up the blue plastic container and kept moving.

Inman Pond Camping Site

We continued about 100 yards past the end of the trail markers and followed an unofficial trail near the pond until we reached a large white rock on the shoreline. The rock is ideal for taking a picnic break and includes an obstructed view of the pond.

Inman Pond

The following video was taken from the same location as the previous picture.

In sum, hiking to Inman Pond was a fun, peaceful, and low stress experience that can be ideal for kids because the elevation gain is very moderate and the trail is wide. Other hiking trails near Lake George include:


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