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Thread: Hike into Unknown Pond

  1. #1
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    Hike into Unknown Pond

    Of the two main trails into the pond, is there an overall preference scenic-wise between going in from the fish hatchery or Mill Brook Rd? I know Mill Brook is about a mile shorter and 400' less elevation gain, but if the views are substantially better coming in from the hatchery, that's the way I'd go. On AllTrails seems like most reports start at Mill Brook.

    This will be my first trip to the Whites. I live near Cleveland and have always gone to the Adirondacks which I love (40+ trips).

  2. #2
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I've only gone in from Mill Brook Rd. long, long ago... I believe it's less maintained. I suggest going in from the Hatchery. Not much for views, if you thinking of looking out far distances. However, it's a really pleasant forest to hike through. I will also encourage you to go to Rogers Ledge , which isn't too far from the pond and you can get your view-fix that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    I've only gone in from Mill Brook Rd. long, long ago... I believe it's less maintained. I suggest going in from the Hatchery. Not much for views, if you thinking of looking out far distances. However, it's a really pleasant forest to hike through. I will also encourage you to go to Rogers Ledge , which isn't too far from the pond and you can get your view-fix that way.
    An Unknown Pond Trail/Mill Brook Trail loop from the hatchery would give you the best bang for your buck if you're not up there to do Cabot. There's really not much for views in the Kilkenny outside of Roger's Ledge and The Horn. Mill Brook Trail is a treat and the Kilback Pond area is really wild feeling.

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    Thanks for that input. I have a slight concern regarding the 4pm locked gate at the hatchery. Shouldn't be a problem at all, but if my bad knee were to start acting up and caused me to get there late, that would surely suck. Going in on Sept 14th and coming out on the 17th (Monday thru Thursday). That 1700' descent coming out sure would be nice!!!

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    Be aware the southern Unknown Pond trail was logged last winter. I havent been there to see the impact yet. York Pond road is gated between 4PM and 7 AM (I may be wrong on the hours but close) while Mill Brook road used to access the the northern Unknown Pond trail is not gated except seasonall. This may tip things towards the Northern Mill Brook road approach. I felt both are nice woods walks but think that there may be few more stream crossings on the southern Unknown Pond trail. Note some folks get confused as there is also a Mill Brook trail that does not start on Mill Brook Road (its trailhead is on York Pond road).

    Obviously the Mill Brook road trailhead is more remote but there is no history of break ins there while Unknown Pond trailhead is behind a locked gate near a visited area of the fish hatchery.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 07-27-2020 at 02:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    I think the northern approach from Mill Brook Rd. is a little more scenic and wild.
    Joe

  7. #7
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I can comment on the Unknown Pond TH - It's about the same size as pre-logging, maybe slightly larger, surrounded by boulders, and abuts a clear-cut. The TH sign is still there. You end up in the woods rather quickly. I was there in June, although I did not take any pictures.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Thanks again, going to head in via Mill Brook. While I have been up to the Adirondacks many, many times, like I posted earlier this is my first adventure in the Whites. As a newbie, is there anything special I need to know before heading into Unknown Pond? My dog is protected from ticks and fleas, but how are the ticks up there right now? Much bear activity in the area (I will have my bearvault with me)? I definitely will have my water purifier, but is Unknown pretty clean? I'm assuming there will be mosquitoes, any other critters I need to be aware of? Finally, I must say I am a little surprised to not hear that there is much partying there. At only 2-3 miles from a trailhead, seems like a likely candidate. I have hiked many thousands of miles, many with my various dogs at the time. My present dog is the best I have ever had the privilege to hike/backpack with. Near perfect behavior on the trail, in the car, sitting down at an outside restaurant, etc. Difficult trails are nothing to her. Are there any restrictions on dogs in the Whites? Lots of questions, but again, first time visitor.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbi99 View Post
    Thanks again, going to head in via Mill Brook. While I have been up to the Adirondacks many, many times, like I posted earlier this is my first adventure in the Whites. As a newbie, is there anything special I need to know before heading into Unknown Pond? My dog is protected from ticks and fleas, but how are the ticks up there right now? Much bear activity in the area (I will have my bearvault with me)? I definitely will have my water purifier, but is Unknown pretty clean? I'm assuming there will be mosquitoes, any other critters I need to be aware of? Finally, I must say I am a little surprised to not hear that there is much partying there. At only 2-3 miles from a trailhead, seems like a likely candidate. I have hiked many thousands of miles, many with my various dogs at the time. My present dog is the best I have ever had the privilege to hike/backpack with. Near perfect behavior on the trail, in the car, sitting down at an outside restaurant, etc. Difficult trails are nothing to her. Are there any restrictions on dogs in the Whites? Lots of questions, but again, first time visitor.
    I've seen a little partying, but honestly it's so far north it takes out some of the riff-raff. Dogs are OK, keep 'em under control but I had my dog up there dozens of times. I'd treat the water at Unknown Pond Other critters? I've seen bears, moose, deer, bobcat, porcupine, raccoons, etc. but the biggest problem in camped out areas are the mice.

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    I have yet to see a tick north of the Sandwich Range. Dogs do not have to be leashed but they do have to be under control. If you find yourself with a little time on your hands, a whack over to Bishop's Pond is a worthy pursuit for another nice view of The Horn.

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    Sadly there are wood ticks along the Androscoggin River corridor in Berlin Gorham and Milan and slowly spreading out from there. I know someone who lives at the begninning of York Pond road and has wood ticks on his property. To date I have not seen a deer tick in the area but it may be caused by the lack of deer north of the whites. Realize this is not a major expedition, unless you do some side trips you will have a lot of downtime. The Horn and Rogers Ledge are both great destinations.

    The whites are getting real crowded these days and even lesser used spots like Unknown Pond may be overwhelmed. A general observation is that the Kilkenny Ridge Trail heading east climbs away from the pond and through a stand of fairly open softwoods that would be good to set up a tent (obviously respecting the 1/4 mile rule around the tentsites. There is also an established tentsite with privy heading toward Rogers ledge just after the Mill Brook trail junction. Folks have also been known to camp out in the woods immediately behind Rogers ledge. Its dry camping but the southern view of the sky is hard to beat.

  12. #12
    Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about camping up there in a couple weeks. Am I correct that it's no issue to park overnight beyond the fish hatchery if you don't mind being locked in from 4 PM to 7:30 AM?

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    You are correct, no problem getting locked in.

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    Looking at the Google Satellite overhead for Mill Brook trail head, the parking spot looks like it only may fit two cars. Is the parking spot just past the turn also used for the trail? Also, parking is on the left, trail head is across the street on the right? If those two spots are filled, do I have a third option, like at the end of the road near that large clearing?

  15. #15
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbi99 View Post
    Looking at the Google Satellite overhead for Mill Brook trail head, the parking spot looks like it only may fit two cars. Is the parking spot just past the turn also used for the trail? Also, parking is on the left, trail head is across the street on the right? If those two spots are filled, do I have a third option, like at the end of the road near that large clearing?
    Yes, the main parking area is that grassy area across from the clear cut. Can fit at least 6 cars.
    Joe

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