So, we took off Saturday morning, November 12, 20016. Since neither one of us knew exactly how to find the trail on Pond Mountain, we used a combination of a Google Map search, the NC Wildlife Game Land maps, the DeLorme Topo USA program and my Garmin vehicle GPS to narrow the search. We arrived at the most likely spot along Rock Fence Road in Ashe County and found the trail to what looked like the highest peak in the right direction to be blocked by a gate with a No Trespassing sign.
We parked across the road in the Pond Mountain Game Lands hunters' parking lot and hiked to the top of the mountain in the other direction. Along the way we met several friendly hunters who warned us to stay on the roads and out of the woods, because the area was full of deer hunters with powerful rifles. We stayed on the narrow gravel road and got to the top of the mountain at about 4,800 feet altitude.
At the top of what I believe was Pond Mountain we found a nice field with several trees for backrests. We had a refreshing lunch, took some photos, went a little further on the road north towards Virginia and then headed back down. We stopped at a quaint little restaurant in Lansing, NC, called Pie on the Mountain for club sandwiches, and made it home safely.
I later confirmed that we were, in fact, on Pond Mountain. We even saw near the top one of the small, natural ponds after which the mountain is named.