On the shore of the pond sits the Taylor Pond State Campground which is an excellent location to access this trail as well. Along this ski tour you have a good possibility to see winter wildlife so keep a keen eye and ear. This is a long loop that will take most of the day even for a good skier, but the nice thing about a loop around a pond is that the destination is the pond and you can turn back at any time you feel necessary.
You will start this long loop along an old road on mostly flat terrain; you will quickly arrive at the intersection with the Taylor Pond State Campground on the right, continue straight. Soon you can see the pond through the trees, but you never really approach its shores for a ways. At 2.6 miles, you will come to a lean-to on the shore of Taylor Pond. This lean-to sits in an amazing position, giving all who visit it an excellent opportunity to relax as well as amazing scenery of the mountains over the north shore.
Along the southern shore you will have quite easy conditions with very little change in elevation. Soon you come to the western end of the pond, where bald eagles are known to nest. Once across the inlet, you will find yourself skiing into a western bay of the pond and then around yet another point of Taylor Pond. This section tends to be a little rougher and rockier. Another lean-to sets off the trail on the west side of the pond. A faint herd paths leads to it. As you round the west side of the pond to the north side, you will be led away from the water and start skiing uphill quite a bit. Soon you will pass by the height of land and start a slow descent which will approach a bit more of a moderate descent down to the northeast bay. As Carmel Mountain comes in on your left you will climb again over the shoulder to a decent hill that will bring you quickly back close to shore, then into the state campground.
You will have to ski road of the state campground back to the caretaker’s cabin to reach the cutover trail back to Nelson Road. The cutover trail is a simple 0.2 miles and will connect you back to the trail 0.4 miles from your car.
Elevation Gain/Loss to Destination:
240 feet of gain to the highest point along the route
Approximate Time, Round Trip:
Family with Kids: Not recommended in full, but a shorter out and back can be very adequate
Experienced Skier: 5 to 7 hours, loop
Out of Shape/Beginner Skier: Not recommended in full, but a shorter out and back can be very adequate
Distance Round Trip:
10.2 mile, loop
From the four corners in the town of Wilmington head west along the Whiteface Mountain Road for 2.9 miles to Franklin Falls Road on the right. Follow here for 3 miles to Roseman Lane on the right. Follow here for 0.85 miles to its end. Take a right onto Plank Road (which changes to Forestdale Road at the town line) for 6.7 miles to Nelson Road. Take a sharp left and follow for 0.75 miles to the small trailhead on the left. Parking is tough in the winter, do the best you can to get safely off the road.
Difficulty: 1=beginner, 5=advanced
One to Four: One if you are doing a shorter in and out, Four would be for the entire loop.
Additional Important Information:
Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.