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Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area

State Land Master Plan February 2014 Description

The Siamese Ponds area is located in the Towns of Lake Pleasant, Wells and Indian Lake in Hamilton County and the Towns of Johnsburg and Thurman in Warren County. It is one of the largest Wilderness areas, extending about 23 miles from north to south and about 17 miles from east to west at its widest part.

It is roughly bounded by Route 28 on the north; by private land tracts near Thirteenth Lake, Gore Mountain and Bakers Mills and Route 8 on the east; by Route 8 on the south; and by Route 8, Speculator Tree Farm conservation easement lands and Indian Lake on the west.

The topography consists of relatively low rolling hills with a few mountain summits above the 3,000 foot level, including Bullhead, Eleventh, Puffer and South Pond. In addition, the area contains a large number of beaver meadows and wetlands.

Most of the area was heavily logged nearly a century ago and some sections, particularly in the southeastern part, were burned over in forest fires. Much of the forest cover has been re established and in some locations there are excellent quality stands of both hardwoods and softwoods. On most of the higher elevations, except those in severely burned spots, spruce and fir predominate, while mixed hardwoods and softwoods cover the remainder of the area.

This large block of State land is unbroken by public roads and has been generally protected from wheeled motor vehicle use. Old roads from logging days, most of which have been brushed in, are still evident.

This area has an approximately 33 square mile trail-less area in its southern region which provides users a unique opportunity to experience a remote experience.

The area is known for its lovely natural features. Some of the more popular attractions are: Thirteenth Lake, Chimney Mountain, Puffer Pond, Siamese Ponds, Auger Falls on the West Branch of the Sacandaga River, the East Branch of the Sagandaga River, and John Pond. Chimney Mountain has ice caves that usually retain snow and ice through the summer months and provide an interesting spot for visitors.

Some of the unique streams and water bodies in this area are tannic and tea-like in color as a result of surrounding vegetative material, while others are crystal clear. Water bodies range from stagnant ponds and seasonal vernal ponds to swift flowing waters such as County Line and Peaked Mountain Brooks.

Thirteenth Lake has a small sand beach at the northern end that makes a very desirable spot for picnics, bathing, boating and camping. Additional desirable camping spots can be found around this lake,

A portion of the eastern shoreline of Indian Lake, formerly classified as Intensive Use, has been reclassified and added to this Wilderness. A very minor change in the western boundary of this area was made in 1979, resulting in the creation of the Dug Mountain Primitive Area, a legal, private right of way separating it from the remainder of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness.

A Unit Management Plan was adopted for this area in 2005.

Mapping Resources:
(Not from the State Land Master Plan or Unit Management Plans)

Recreational Opportunities Map

View larger map with additional options

Soils and Wetlands

View larger map with additional options




Siamese Ponds area statistics:

State Lands 113,176 Acres
Bodies of Water (88) 1,084 Acres
Inholdings (2) 141 Acres
  (minimum) 1,048 Feet
  (maximum) 3,472 Feet
Foot Trails 61 Miles
Lean‑tos 5
Non‑conforming Uses: None


DEC Unit Management Plan Link


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