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  1. Craig

    Kane Mountain

    Kane mountain is one of the Adirondack mountains that has a fire tower on it. It is also part of the ADK fire tower challenge. It is an out of the way mountain and was quite a drive to get to, it would take me just under 3 hours from the house. We had left the house a little after 6 am, knowing we had quite a drive to get to it. For the most part, it was a straight shot down the interstate to exit 26, from there it was several secondary roads. We did pass through some very nice parts of New York state, places I had never been through before. We arrived at the road that leads to the trailhead, Green Lake Road. It is located off of County Route 10 in Canada Lake. I did not see any signage out on County Route 10 that mentions the mountain trail, which is not typical for a New York State trail, usually, it is well marked. As we drove down the Green Lake Road, if I hadn't known any better we were in the wrong area as the road leading to the trailhead is a very narrow road along the pond. There was signage further down that pointed us to take a left to the trailhead. The parking area at the trailhead is decently sized. We arrived at the parking area for the trailhead around 9:30 and were soon signed in and on our way up. The trail is divided into two routes. There is the north trail which leads further east northeast towards Pine Lake and the east trail. We could have done the loop and made it a nice 2-mile hike, but we opted for the shorter hike and went up and back on the east trail. This section of the trail is an old tote road that the trail follows. Easy enough to follow and the grade is gradual the entire way. It was mostly through open hardwoods, with a small patch of softwoods. This made for a noisy hike with all the leaves underfoot. We would meet two sets of downbound hikers as we made our way up. Arriving at the summit just after 10:00, we had the summit to ourselves for over an hour. Enjoying the views and did some exploring, had an early lunch, and took a few pictures. On our trip back down we ran into 3 small groups of upbound hikers. We arrived back at the truck around 12:30 after a beautiful walkabout.
  2. A beautiful day to be in the woods, and it was well over due. A 6.6 mile round trip through some open hardwoods, and some spectacular views. St. Regis mountain. is reportedly a popular mountain, but today there wasn't much traffic when I started. This hike is much like the hike to Scarface, a gradual increase with a short difficult section towards the end, but neither are overly difficult. I guess this is what makes these hikes popular. The trail is easy enough to follow up and over rolling hills through a mix of soft and hardwoods. Towards the end of the trail you will come to a sharp right, at which point the climbing really begins, for only about a 1/4 mile. This section is almost like a chute as you go up between crags, ultimately coming out to a gradual incline before coming out to the somewhat bare summit and tower. You'll be greeted with fantastic views of surrounding lakes and mountains. To get to the trail-head you'll head westerly off Route 30 in Paul Smiths, immediately north of the entrance to Paul Smiths College on the left is Keese Mills Rd. From there travel 2.5 miles to the parking area which is on the left. By foot, cross over the bridge and follow the access road to the trail-head that's a short distance on the right. The fire tower has recently been renovated. St Regis has an elevation of 2,874 feet. The hike itself has an approximate gain of 1,250 feet. I clocked 4.9 miles round trip. For winter season with Derek.
  3. A nice mountain with a fire tower that is starting to be restored. At an elevation of 3,694-foot near Keene north of the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. The trail from route 9N was drastically rerouted since I last hiked this. This is an open peak which now has some pretty awesome views with the new re-route of the trail, whereas before the re-route you were in the trees until you scuttled up the rocks just before the summit. During the summer and fall of 2014 the trail was almost completely relocated to avoid all of the steepest and most eroded sections. The hike to the summit is now 3.4 miles, 0.8 mile longer than before, a much more enjoyable hike. The trail leaves the north side of Route 9N 3.5 miles east of the junction of Route 9N/73. and climbs via new switchbacks to a first view at 0.4 miles, levels out, crosses a series of bridges across beaver swamps, an then resumes climbing, soon going left from the old trail. At 2.8 miles the trail comes to a ledge with a view ahead of the tower on the summit. The tower looks further away than it actually is, and after a second ledge at 2.9 miles the grade eases to a junction with the trail from Crow Clearing, coming in from the left at 3.2 miles. On the descent make sure everyone in the group makes the left turn at this junction. Past this junction, the trail is levels briefly before beginning the final rocky scramble to the summit at 3.4 miles. Round trip 5.2 miles Elevation gain: 2,000'
  4. May 7, 2014 A beautiful day to be in the woods, and it was well over due. A 6.6 mile round trip through some open hardwoods, and some spectacular views. Saint Regis is reportedly a popular mountain, but today there wasn't much traffic when I started. This hike is much like the hike to Scarface, a gradual increase with a short difficult section towards the end, but neither are overly difficult. I guess this is what makes these hikes popular. The trail is easy enough to follow up and over rolling hills through a mix of soft and hardwoods. Towards the end of the trail you will come to a sharp right, at which point the climbing really begins, for only about a 1/4 mile. This section is almost like a chute as you go up between crags, ultimately coming out to a gradual incline before coming out to the somewhat bare summit and tower. You'll be greeted with fantastic views of surrounding lakes and mountains. To get to the trail-head you'll head westerly off Route 30 in Paul Smiths, immediately north of the entrance to Paul Smiths College on the left is Keese Mills Rd. From there travel 2.5 miles to the parking area which is on the left. By foot, cross over the bridge and follow the access road to the trail-head that's a short distance on the right. The fire tower has recently been renovated. St Regis has an elevation of 2,874 feet. The hike itself has an approximate gain of 1,250 feet. I clocked 4.9 miles round trip.
  5. Snowy mountain is part of the Adirondack fire tower challenge. We had previously attempted this hike just over three years ago but turned back just shy of the summit (or so I thought) due to time constraints. For a lesser peak, this is certainly a rugged hike. The first two miles are a very pleasant hike, that ends quickly as I gained over 1500' in elevation in the last mile and a half. Snowy mountain trailhead is off Route 30 just southwest of the hamlet of Indian Lake. The state has done well with the trailhead parking and has made for a nice wide area that can hold a fair amount of cars. That said, I suspect this is a busy trail in the summer months. I had left the house at 4:30 am to make the 2-hour drive south. I had given thought to traveling down the night before and spending the night to allow me the option to sleep in but opted to just do the drive, arriving at the parking lot almost exactly two hours later. I quickly packed up and was soon on my way under headlamp. There was already one couple ahead of me that I would eventually meet up with on their way down. The first 2 miles of the trail is a nice hike in, passing through a mixture of hardwoods and pine, and crossing over several streams with some small ups and downs. The first time we had hiked this the trail became quite wet about a mile in, and this would hold true today as well, in fact, the last mile of vertical climbing is quite steep and follows a drainage line up, making for a wet hike. My previous attempt was in the winter so it was quite icy at that time. The last mile and a half of the trail are steep and this is where I made up the elevation. Going up slowed me down quite a bit (going down would not be much faster in the steep section). Once I got to the top of the drainage I had thought I reached the top of the hike, not yet. On our previous attempt, we had turned around before this section. The trail eased a bit from the drainage before I came to a headwall, once I got above this I found myself on a partially open ledge. Not the summit yet, but a nice area to catch my breath. There would be no views today with the low hanging clouds, but I can't help but think the views of Indian Lake and surrounding mountains would be beautiful. After a quick break, I made my final push and continued on up to the fire tower. While there would be no views I still wanted to climb the tower. I was hoping the clouds would have opened up a bit to offer some views, but that wouldn't happen until I was almost back at the car later in the day. Started: 6:30 AM Trip Time: 8:41:00 Dist. Traveled: 7.21 mi Average Speed: 0.83 mph Max. Speed: 3.74 mph Max. Elevation: 4026 ft
  6. Craig

    Rooster Comb Mountain

    Almost a year since my last hike. Life sure did get in the way of my fun time. This is a nice little hike with some very impressive views up the Johns Brook valley. It's not a high peak at 2762 ft., but it is a rewarding hike. The trail starts at the parking lot south of Noonmark Diner off route 73, and begins on the flat skirting a small pond. From there is is a gradual climb through pines and then hardwoods. From the junction to hedgehog Mt it is a short hike to the open ledge of Hedge Hog.
  7. Craig

    Owls Head Lookout

    I hiked this on 11-29-2014, a beautiful day in the woods. Cold or not, 8 degrees isn't bad when there's little to no wind. The dogs did great and I got rid of my cabin fever. From the parking area followed a dirt driveway for a short distance before dropping into the woods on the left. From here I hiked though a very nice mixed forest, crossing a fairly new foot bridge over Slide Brook. The climb is easy for the first mile to this crossing. Once I crossed over it began to be a steady climb to the junction at 2.4 miles. Going left from the junction is a short, I found to be moderately steep 0.2 mile spur trail that brought me to the summit. The summit has wide open views in almost all directions. 5.2 miles round trip Elevation gain scent 1257’
  8. Craig

    Mt. Jo

    This is a nice little hike. You can do the loop hike or as we did up and down same shorter route. The loop trip is a nice way to go down, nice and easy grade. The trail head is off Heart Lake at the Adirondac Loj which is at the end of the Adirondack Loj Rd, which is the first right after the ski jumps coming from Lake Placid. The trail descends gently from Adirondack Loj Rd down to a road next to Heart Lake. Turn right for 60 yards. and the true start of the trail to Mt. Jo. After 1/4 mile of climb, there is a junction. The Short Trail goes right while the Long trail goes straight. We took the Short Trail, its steeper and rougher. The trails meet just before the summit, so you have options going up and down. Total distance 1.1 mi. or 1.3 mi. depending on which trail is taken. 2.6 miles round trip, Elevation is about 2876’
  9. Craig

    Tongue Mountain

    Tongue mountain range, Lake George Brain and Cindy had invited me along on this hike. At the time I hadn't done a lot of hiking in the Lake George area, so this was all new to me. We went in at the Clay Meadows parking lot, that was near beside a small quarry pool. From the trail head we hiked straight up to the center of the mountain’s spine. From that trail junction, we went south over French Point which has some awesome views from its open ledge. We continued on towards Montalm Point, however we decided to drop down before First Peaks and bushwhack to the trail along Northwest Bay and take the trail back out to the trail head and parking area. This is a hike I want to do again. It was around 4 miles for the loop Just under 1000' of elevation gain.
  10. Not to be confused with the High Peak Mt. Haystack! This one is in Ray Brook and offers a friendlier climb. The trailhead for Haystack and McKenzie mountain is on the right, off Route 86 about 5 miles west of Lake Placid A pleasant walk in the woods until you cross an old man made dam. From here the trail begins a stead uphill climb until you get closer to the mountain where it becomes steep. Once you get towards the top of the shute the trail leads to an open rock face and ledge with some views. From the south facing summit there are 180 degree views of Whiteface, the High Peaks, and the Saranac Lake chain. Distance: 6.6 miles RT (10.6 km) Ascent: 1302 (397 m) Elevation: 2864 (873 m) A nice hike, with Derek.
  11. A group of us planned this hike one year for a New Year eve hike. I don't think any of us made the true summit. I realized this when I hiked this as I went a lot further than we did that night. It's a mostly moderate, 1.2 mile hike to the first summit. It begins at a moderate grade as it passes under a power line, then there's a continuous climb over switchbacks for 0.8 mile, where the Beede Farm Trail comes in on the left. Going straight and work your way up a few steep steps to the first open rock. This first lookout is not the summit — that's a bit farther along the ridge. Past the summit, a lesser-used trail descends to Beede Road in Keene Valley. 2.4 miles round trip 770 feet of elevation gain
  12. I had hiked this for the first time with Cindy and Jim, eventually going back and hiking with my son. From the beginning the hike is along an old jeep road through conifers and eventually hardwoods once you get down near the marsh. The trail is overgrown to the width of a foot trail. The trail used to continue straight, where what is now under water, even in the dead of winter I wouldn't recommend going across the frozen marsh. The three of us did, and one of us broke through, which brought the hike to an end that day. The trail has been rerouted to the left to the side of the marsh eventually crosses along the bottom. Going left you will cross over a couple small brook crossings the trail continues straight through it for about 300 feet. The trail becomes very pleasant and soon climbs moderately. After swinging right and then through an attractive draw between rocky areas you will make the final approach to the summit. The first view you come to is not the summit, just beyond is the true summit and the best view. You will be atop a rocky ledge with the High Peaks Region right in front of you. 4.4 miles round trip Elevation gain of 837’
  13. Craig

    Mt Gilligan

    February 10, 2013 This was a nice little hike with Cindy and Brian. It was a surprise hike so to speak as they packed in cupcakes for the summit, and sang happy birthday to me. A beautiful little hike that has some decent views. Around 2.5 miles round trip Elevation gain of 713 feet.
  14. Craig

    Mt. Marshall

    A nice crisp morning started the day. I'm not sure what the temps were but everything was still frozen solid. We signed in at 7am and tested the trail just beyond the sign in, and decided it was a go to use micro-spikes until Calamity Brook lean-to as it was a solid base. We switched over to our snowshoes to cross over flowed lands and they would stay on the rest of the day. The trail up Marshall is well packed out and any false paths are obscure now. As the temps rose the layers shed and the snow bombs dropped. We arrived at the summit shortly after noon and were soon greeted by another hiker. Anyone out yesterday knew the views were superb. We relaxed on the summit for an hour having lunch and enjoying the views. We started back down a little after 1pm, back at Herbert Brook LT at 2:30pm and at upper works at 5pm. A great day to be out. Allen and Santanoni TH's were overflowing with cars.
  15. Craig

    Mud Pond

    March 23, 2013 This a short hike at around 3 miles round trip. The trail is all gradual incline, at some point follows an old jeep trail for a short distance. It is an enjoyable hike meandering through conifer and hard woods until coming to Mud Pond itself.
  16. Craig

    Ausable Marsh

    February 15, 2014 About 6 miles round trip from the first gate. Broke trail in snowshoes in about 6-10 inches of snow. It is well packed out now for anyone local interested in taking a nice hike. You will need four wheel drive to get to the first gate at the top of the hill. Dingo and I walked from there down through the marsh to the Ausable river and looped counter clockwise from the trestle. The only thing we saw was a rub and heard song birds. A nice little hike none the less with a 40lb pack, great conditioning.
  17. Ampersand Mountain is another popular hike in the Adirondacks, and is part of the Saranac Lake 6 challenge. The trail-head is off Route 3 a little over 7 miles west of Saranac Lake, on the right is the parking area, across the road is the trail-head. When we signed in, we were the only ones on the trail. We would not run into anyone until we were well down and on the way back out. We were able to bare boot the entire way, but added micro-spikes at around 2,750 feet when it started to get icy/slippery. The hike is fairly short at around 4.7 miles round trip. At around 2.2 miles (3,000') it seems to level out and become more of a ridge walk, with a small section left to push up through. We really enjoyed the hike, and even did a little butt sliding on the way back down. Start Time: 9:20AM End Time: 2:30PM Duration: 5h10m Distance: 5.27 mi With Derek, Elanie, and Dingo. This was a rugged little peak.
  18. A beautiful day in the woods. A 7.2 mile hike via the Jackrabbit trail. We had attempted this same hike from Blodget Road to Bartlett Pond on February 7th but turned around after running out of time and energy. We (Derek mostly) broke trail from the road up. McKenzie Mountains elevation is 3,861-feet. It is in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness area, it is visible from many locations in and around Raybrook and Saranac Lake. Unbeknownst to me it was formerly known as Saddleback, this is because from a distance it is shaped like a saddle. There are 2 main approaches to McKenzie. The 5.3 mile trail from Rt. 86 which is shared with the trail-head to Haystack just west of Ray Brook. We took the Jackrabbit trail from Whiteface Inn Lane which goes behind the Whiteface Inn. From this direction it starts at 1950' in elevation is a little shorter at 7.2 miles round trip compared to 10.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2340’ coming in from the Route 86 trail head. I found the trail a moderate incline up to the junction of trail that leads to McKenzie (R) and Haystack (L) at 1.8 miles. Less than .5 miles from that junction the trail gets extremely steep, wet (icy), and eroded. Along with steep terrain comes slippery footing and wet or icy conditions. There is a side trail to the right just past the steep section that leads to a look out. From here the main trail (red discs) continues over two or three false summits. There is a glimpse of the final summit on a ledge to the left just before you drop down into a col. There are several areas along the way that have excellent views. The true summit has a disc (and temperature gauge for now), there is also a ledge to the right of the true summit that has views of Bartlet Pond (foreground) and Raybrook and Lake Placid. Our elevation gain was 1855'
  19. Baker Mountain is a very popular and short hike as it is basically in the village of Saranac Lake, and is really accessible in the area. The most difficult thing about Baker Mtn. is perhaps finding the trail-head. From Route 3 I took Mckenzie Pond Road to Forest Hill Avenue on the left. Follow Forest Hill Avenue (aka, Moody Pond Road) for a bit over 0.5 miles to the Baker Mountain Trail-head which will be on the left at the north end of Moody pond. You will start climbing almost immediately. The trail is a bit steep but offers great views as you ascend further. At 0.6 miles from the trail-head, an intersection offers part of an upper mountain loop. Left is a less aggressive climb and avoids the steep ledges that can be found if you head right. Both finish at the summit of Baker. The loop makes for a great hike option. The summit of Baker offers great views over the Village of Saranac Lake, the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area and some of the High Peaks. 1.3 miles round trip. Ascent: 884 (270 m) Elevation: 2452 (747 m)
  20. The first half of this trail follows old roads over relatively flat terrain through coniferous forest and past rippling brooks. It is a very nice hike overall, crisscrossing over brooks and eventually gradually beginning a short steady climb just below the first and only ledge with views. Side trails lead to an open ledge with views overlooking Oseetah Lake and the Saranac Lake chain. The other views on the trail require some bushwhacking off the trail once up on the ridge. This hike is probably to me the best in the Adirondacks (so far) that offers a beautiful ridge walk that meanders to the summit, and the summit itself does not offer a view, but is a very tranquil summit. This is a wonder snowshoe in the winter as well. The only tricky area is the scramble just below the open ledge, which can be covered with flow ice which may require various types of traction depending on the conditions. Distance: 6.8 miles RT (10.9 km) Ascent: 1480 (451 m) Elevation: 3054 (931 m)
  21. Craig

    Bartlett Pond

    Started off with a foot of powder at the Blodgett Rd, turned around at Bartlett Pond with 2 feet of powder. Not our intended hike of Redfield and Cliff, but when you wake up at 2am and cant get back to sleep, its a good replacement.
  22. Craig

    Short Job Mountain

    I've done this hike twice. I didn't even know about it until I had hiked it with Snickers and Bushwhacker one day (Thank you!). It is a nice little gem deep in the High Peaks, nestled near Johns Brook Lodge. If you find yourself in the area, and realize you just don't feel like a high peak but want to hike something, this would be that hike. Its a little hike to get to, to begin with. From the garden parking lot its about 3 miles to Johns Brook lodge. From there its a short jaunt of about .5 miles, off the Ore Bed trail. There are a few steep sections that can be tricky in the summer, but it is short lived before it turns into a short ridge walk to the summit that offers limited views of Armstrong/Upper Wold Jaw mountains. The first time I had hiked this was February 9, 2014, with Cindy and Brian. I eventually hiked it again with my son. Its about 8.5 miles round trip, a nice little jaunt.
  23. Craig

    Lyon Mountain

    The following is a pretty accurate description of today's hike. The dogs loved it, me too! The last time I had hiked this mountain was over 20 years ago with Larry Douglas, Bob Conway, my father, and I. We had hiked up and spent the night in the early 80's. Larry and myself are the only ones still alive. I enjoyed reflecting on that trip today as I meandered up to the summit. We left the parking area at 9:16 AM and followed the new trail. We were the first on the summit for the day at 11:17, for a short period of time as a young couple from Ottawa arrived minutes behind me. When we started out for the summit it was blue skies, socked in when we arrived, with limited to no views. We stayed on summit for a few minutes before heading back down. We were the last to get out of the woods, and were back at the truck for 1:36 PM. A great day. Lyon Mountain, at 3830 feet, is the highest point in Clinton County and the highest point north of the Saranac River. It is located in the northeastern part of Adirondack Park, west of Plattsburgh, NY in the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest. There is a new 3.4 mile trail that winds its way to the summit and fire tower. The trail has an overall elevation gain of 1900 feet over the 3.4 miles. The old trail is shorter (2.5 m each way) and steeper. The hike is long but you are rewarded with a 360 degree view from the fire tower. Views all the way to Montreal to the north, the Green Mountains and Vermont to the East and the high peaks to the south.
  24. This was an extension of my normal jaunt to Rooster Comb, I added a jaunt over to Hedge Hog. The trail is easy to moderate terrain. Starting from Keene Valley you hike over wooden bridge from the parking area to the trail head register. You'll pass a small pond on the right behind the Keene Central School. As you veer away from the pond the trail climbs steadily to a junction with one of the routes to Snow Mountain Trail at around 0.7 mi. Stay right and continue a steady climb to another junction at around 2.0 mi. (Straight ahead leads to Hedgehog and Lower Wolf Jaw. Left is an alternate return, which also connects to Snow Mt.), to the right goes to Rooster Comb. Turning right, the trail climbs to the crest of the ridge and a junction at 2.2 mi. Right is the 0.1 mi. side trail to Valley View Ledge. Left is the trail to the summit, which is reached after a few steeper pitches at 2.5 mi. Back at the three-way junction, from here its just under a mile to Hedgehog summit over what I believe is a moderate climb. There is a short section that a little steep, but nothing that you wouldn't expect from climbing Rooster Comb. Its about another 900 feet of elevation gain. A nice hike, one of which I would like to do again.
  25. A short late morning jaunt. A bit cool today, temps were around 11 degrees in Saranac Lake with a 20 mph wind made it feel colder. We originally planned to do Scarface mtn, but with the bitter cold temps we chose something shorter in case the dogs had any issues. Both dogs did fine, and we all had a blast. Distance: 1.8 miles RT (3 km) Ascent: 884 (270 m) Elevation: 2452 (747 m)
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