This is a figure-eight loop hike that can be done in any direction from two different trailheads. I started from the north trailhead for the Three Lakes Trail
. The north trailhead is at Route 301 across from Canopus Lake. After parking at Canopus Lake, cross Route 301 to the Three Lakes Trail
, which is marked with blue discs.
The first mile is relatively flat as it passes through a forest along a fern-lined trail. After the first mile, the trail makes a sharp right at a place that appears to show the trail going straight. The trail straight ahead is the Boy Scout Camp Trail
marked with green discs. After a little distance, the trail heads back across a stream and then begins a steep climb for a short distance.
After the trail levels out, you'll approach the first lake on the right: Hidden Lake. Soon after that, you'll come to John Allen Pond, which is very scenic and worthy of a quick break. At the southern end of the pond, you'll reach Sunken Mine Road. Turn right on the road and follow it for about a quarter mile. Watch for the Three Lakes Trail
to resume on the left side of the road. Turn off the road on the left and follow the trail for another mile until you reach the south trailhead.
To continue along the loop, follow the treeline and turn left once you exit the forest but before the parking area. After a short distance, you'll see the Appalachian Trail come into view. Turn left on the AT into the forest. This is a more difficult section as compared to the Three Lakes Trail
. Climb a ridge and follow it to an unnamed lake on the left. There is good camping here and a small waterfall from a stream leaving the lake. Past here, the trail is rocky except for the last mile, which is flat and maybe the best section of the hike. Exit onto Route 301 and turn right. Follow the road to Canopus Lake and the parking area.