Tom Peck Pond is a great place to go chill, watch wildlife and have a picnic. The seclusion of this pond is magnificent and the quiet you will experience is almost deafening. The only problem is, finding the start of the path that leads to the pond if you are not familiar with its start location.
For a large portion of the year, in particular three of our solstice season; winter, spring and mud seasons, the road to Connery Pond is closed and gated. So I started from the Route 86 trailhead. The first section is a spur trail that leads off from the parking area to Connery Pond Road near the gate. I always forget about this spur trail, but it's nice not to have to walk along Route 86 back to Connery Pond Road itself. The trail always seems new to me, but in fact have hiked it several times in the past, but usually winter.
The road, as many roads go, doesn't interest me much for walking but it needs to be done sometimes in order to enjoy the payoff. However, Connery Pond Road is relatively short and easy to overcome. Once I was at the gate for the actual trail I felt a bit better and developed a little hop in my step, I just wish I had more time to hike and it wasn't so late in the afternoon. That's another nice thing about this pond; it's easy to access with only a couple hours to spare.
The trail at this point is still an old road but less developed and is simply an access road to state land and private camps along Connery Pond. After a couple minutes I welcomed the view out over the pond and started to look for the faint start of the path to Tom Peck Pond. I located it, just where I remembered it to be, across the road from an A-frame building.
The path seemed to be a bit more obscure from the winter's harsh reality on the local tree population. But it seemed to clear out as I passed further along. After the initial climb I found myself hiking much slower and taking a bunch of pictures of the forest and wildflowers that were blooming. The past cold snap I fear did some damage to the first round of wildflowers, but maybe with some luck they will come back. I know the cold snap didn't affect the black fly population in the area, however!
Once at the pond there was a rather steady breeze that allowed me to relax on the shore and take a few more scenic photographs of this attractive body of water. In my silence, I scanned the horizon, the sky and forest and eventually it paid off. Not more than 100 yards from me a rather impressive sized great blue heron swooped in, landed next to shore and snagged a small fish from the shallows. I in my continued sense of silence could not get the camera into position fast enough to record this before it took off in surprise to my presence. I hiked back to the car with the hopes of getting a second chance someday to capture a moment similar to that.
Want to learn more about the trails in the Whiteface Mountain Region, we recommend picking up a guide book at a local bookstore or gear shop. Want to hike the region but want expert guidance, seek out a trip through a local mountain guide service in the Lake Placid Region. Interested in more family fun in the Lake Placid Area, check out our Family Fun Page.