Fishbrook Pond is a fair bit higher then the general starting point of Dacy Clearing and well worth the hike. The weekend I spent up at Fishbrook I saw perhaps another ten or twelve people, but didn’t stay at the lake the whole time. No one else stayed at the south shore lean-to but there were campers at the north shore lean-to and at the horse camper site (just west of the South Lean-to). It’s a beautiful location, up hill all the way no matter where you come from, and not heavily visited. The views of the pond itself are amazing and it can be a good base camp to hike up Sleeping Beauty Mountain, Black Mountain, a trip over to Greenland Pond, or if you want a more pronounced workout, down to Lake George and back up.
I managed to spend the entire summer in the Adirondacks without running into a bear. This is of course partly luck, but also partially common sense. Many of the problems people run into with bears come from our bad habits when it comes to leaving food and scented items around. While backpacking in the Adirondacks I used a bear can. A bear bag will work well too, but I happen to prefer a can. I did however come across bear poop on the hill between Island Pond and Long Pond in the Town of Horicon (there’s a lot of Long Ponds in the north woods). If you want a quiet place to camp, Long Pond will certainly do the job. I spent the 4th of July period there and saw one person the first afternoon I was out there, never saw another until I got back to the house.
Visit my Adks collection with more work being added from time to time here: http://joshua-house.artistwebsites.com/art/all/all/all/adirondacks+region