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SWIMMING THROUGH TREES: Big Pond: A nice afternoon ski or snowshoe destination

Lower Big Pond (Provided photo — Spencer Morrissey)

From the trailhead, you will begin and remain mostly on a gentle surface for your 3-mile round-trip excursion to Big Pond.

Be sure to plan on a couple hours for this trip, but leave yourself some wiggle room for the what-ifs, poor conditions and just to be safe. The start brings you through an attractive forest of large-growth trees. The trail is slightly narrow in spots, especially with heavy snow weighing down the branches, but this adds to the fun. Soon you will come to a long narrow pond where you will drop slightly down to a bridge crossing. This narrow pond does not have an official name, but you could consider it South Big Pond as they are connected by a tributary. The trail will climb slightly and head over a couple small rolling hills. Big Pond (1,281 feet in elevation) is slightly off the main trail and can easily be seen through the trees to your left. A path will lead the 100 feet downhill to the shore, where there are outstanding vistas awaiting you. The trail you followed in continues on for quite some distance and eventually hooks up with the Hoffman Notch Trail if you wanted to add some more distance.

The trail to Big Pond is perfect for the beginner skier, but past the pond the trail gets a bit more demanding, so please don’t get yourself over your head. Stay within your comfort level and just have fun with it.

Trailhead location: From the intersection of Hoffman Road (county Route 24) and Route 9, follow Hoffman Road. Continue for 2.5 miles to the trailhead parking on the right. The trailhead has parking for several cars, and the trail is on the left of the parking lot.