A portage trail leads to the shore of the pond, where there is an amazing vista across the water that includes Whiteface Mountain.
From the four-way intersection in Wilmington, travel east on Route 86 toward Lake Placid. Drive for just about 10-miles to a large parking lot at a bridge over the Ausable River. From here, you can access Connery Pond and Whiteface Landing. Just up the road from the parking lot, there is a dirt road that leads back to the trailhead for Whiteface Landing. There are few spots, so parking on Route 86 might be the best option. The trailhead is less than one-mile down the dirt road. In winter you will need to park at the large lot along the road.
From the gate near the parking area, walk back down the road slightly to an area where a couple of cars could park on the left. There is a portage trail here that leads to the shore of the pond, where there is an amazing vista across the water that includes Whiteface Mountain. There is minimal elevation gain and round trip distance is 0.5 miles.
The carry is a bit narrow with odd footing, but is a short distance where conditions are less of an issue. A boat that drafts less water can be put in at the outlet, part way up the carry trail, but it is typically too shallow, especially in late summer and fall. The launch area at the outlet can be very wet where careful footing is needed. While out on the lake be sure to look for Great Blue Herons fishing in the grassy shallows and Red-winged Blackbirds at the north shore. There is typically a large duck population on this pond and moose tracks have been seen along the shore. Common Loons frequent the water but be sure to give them their space, especially if a nest is nearby.
Just outside the village of Lake Placid, quiet Connery Pond will offer you a wilderness experience without a huge hike, and some nice brown trout to boot. This 81-acre pond, located in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area and the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, is listed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as one of Essex County’s top brown trout waters. You’ll also find splake, yellow perch, sunfish and pumpkinseed. Access is by a trail on the north shore along Connery Pond Road, with a carry-down launch; motors are not allowed.
This 81-acre pond just off Rt. 86 is one of the first available waters for ice anglers in the High Peaks region. And it’s a good one. In addition to the brown trout stocked here by DEC, the state has in the past also planted splake – a lake trout/brook trout hybrid known for their cooperation through the ice. The yellow perch fishery has come on strong in recent years and has offered good fishing during the open water and hard water seasons. Lands on the south and west are private, but you can access the pond near the outlet (just be careful of the ice thickness near the outlet).