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Adirondack Hikes Under 2,500 Feet

The following trails are rated as excellent family-friendly hikes in the spring, summer, and fall. Due to their lower elevation, they are great alternatives during transitions between seasons like mud season in the spring and colder, shorter days in the fall.

These hikes still require proper planning and preparation. Research your trip ahead of time for closures, trail conditions, and weather. Dress appropriately for the conditions and know the emergency dispatch number (518-891-0235 or 911) in case anything should happen. Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC Website) by always carrying out what you carry in, disposing of your waste properly, and respecting all wildlife.

WHEN TRAILS ARE WET AND MUDDY: Help protect trails by walking through the mud, not around it. Wear waterproof boots and footwear that you don't mind getting muddy. Walking around the mud and puddles can damage trailside vegetation and wildlife habitats. Walk on durable surfaces like rocks, boulders, or man-made bridging when possible.

Northern Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Saranac Lake Wild Forest

Lookout on Cobble Hill

The Saranac Lakes Wild Forest contains more than 80 miles of hiking trails. Many of the trails lead to remote lakes and ponds.

Panther Mountain (2,236 feet): The trail is located across the road from the Panther Mountain Parking Area (Google Maps). The trail ascends 780 feet and 0.6 miles from the trailhead to the summit of Panther Mountain. The trail starts with a steep climb and arrives at a large open ledge that has views of Panther Pond and the distant High Peaks.

Floodwood Mountain (2,304 feet): The trail ascends 600 feet and 1.6 miles from the Floodwood Mountain Trail Parking Area (Google Maps) to the summit of Floodwood Mountain.

Brewster Peninsula Trails is a compact network of 3.6 miles of trails beginning at the Peninsula Road trailhead (Google Maps). The trails traverse gently rolling terrain, winding through a mixed forest and along the shore of Lake Placid. The Brewster Peninsula Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Cobble Hill (2,332 feet) is near the Village of Lake Placid. The most popular starting points are on private property. The trail ascends 525 feet to summit from the trailhead (Google Maps) with views toward the High Peaks and the surrounding area.

Saint Regis Canoe Area

There are 26 miles of hiking trails in the Saint Regis Canoe Area, many of the trails are canoe carries between ponds.

Long Pond Mountain (2,530 feet): The trailhead (Google Maps) is located on the shores of Long Pond and can only be reached by paddling from one of the two hand launch sites on the pond. During the spring shoulder season, water temperatures are very cold. Paddlers are required to wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) from November 1st until May 1st but should always have one with them beyond those dates. The trail ascends 930 feet and 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the mountain's summit. The trail passes Mountain Pond and its designated primitive campsite at the 0.6-mile mark.

Paul Smiths College Conservation Easement

The 7,700-acre Paul Smith's College Easement Tract is part of the conservation easement lands of the Adirondacks. This tract of land is currently owned by Paul Smiths College of Arts and Sciences. The numerous parcels of the easement contain forests, mountains, ponds and streams which provide numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation and nature appreciation.

Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC - leaves DEC Website) has 25 miles of trails, including 6 miles of interpretive trails on 3,000 acres of land. The trails weave through woodland and marshland, by ponds, brooks, and bogs. Many of the trails are surfaced for easy walking. Two picnic pavilions are located adjacent to the parking lot (Google Maps). The trail system traverses every habitat type found in the Adirondack Park except alpine vegetation and includes extensive boardwalks through wetland ecosystems. Restrooms are available in the main building during its operational hours.

Jenkins Mountain (2,513 feet): The trail ascends more than 850 feet across the 4.5 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) on the Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center to the summit of the mountain. The summit provides views to the south and east.

Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement

Summit of Azure Mountain

There are several hikes in the Santa Clara Conservation Easement which provide scenic overviews of natural land and water features. All the roads within the Santa Clara Tract are open to hiking.

The Pinnacle (1,840 feet): The trailhead (Google Maps) provides access to a 0.7-mile trail which ascends 325 feet to the top of The Pinnacle. An open ledge near the top provides views of the Santa Clara Flow.

Azure Mountain (2,518 feet) is a 1.0-mile hike that climbs 944 feet to the summit of the mountain from the trailhead (Google Maps). The summit provides views of the mountains, forests and waters to the south. The cab of the fire tower on the summit is open to the public and provides 360-degree views. The trail and mountain are located on the 528-acre Azure Mountain parcel of the Debar Mountain Wild Forest.

Northeastern Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Taylor Pond Wild Forest

The 53,280-acre Taylor Pond Complex consists of numerous tracts of various types of state land and easement land spread over a 567 square mile area.

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain (2,162 feet): The summit and the fire tower residing there provide 360-degree views of the surrounding area and may be accessed by either of two trails:

  • The 1.9-mile Observer's Trail which ascends 1,280 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit along route of an old access road used by fire observers. The trail travels through the forest for much of its length and several beaver ponds may be observed along the route.
  • The 1.8-mile Ranger Trail ascends 1,280 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) in the Poke-O-Moonshine Day Use Area to the summit. Significant work has been completed to upgrade the existing trail. Stone steps were installed and portions of the trail are rerouted. The rerouted lower half of the trail passes through some interesting rock features. A reroute of the upper half of the trail is planned in the future.

Silver Lake Mountain (2,347 feet): The summit can be reached via a 0.9-mile trail that ascends 900 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps). The summit offers views of Silver Lake, Taylor Pond, and Whiteface Mountain.

Wilmington Wild Forest

The Wilmington Wild Forest contains 32 miles of marked and maintained trails and one well-used 1.2-mile un-marked path. Hikers can also use the 23 miles of designated mountain bike trails. The trails provide hikers the opportunity to view the Ausable River Valley and surrounding mountains and access to remote ponds and other natural features.

Cobble Lookout Trail is a 1.3-mile trail which closely follows the contour across the southwestern face of the Stephenson Range to a large rocky ledge. The lookout offers great views of nearby Whiteface Mountain and much longer views across the Ausable River drainage to the Jay Mountains, Hurricane Mountain, and many other peaks. The trail passes an old rock quarry approximately 0.2 mile from the trailhead (Google Maps). The Cobble Lookout trail map (PDF, 480 KB) is available to view and download.

Clements Pond can be reached on a 1.5-mile trail which ascends about 650 feet before dropping down to this scenic pond with nearby Clement Mountain rising 900 feet above it. The trailhead is across the road from the parking area (Google Maps). The Clements Pond trail map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Northwestern Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Northwestern Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Grass River Wild Forest

The Grass River Complex is located in the northwestern Adirondacks and includes more than 125,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Lands.

Lampson Falls Trail is an accessible trail which extends 0.5 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) to a scenic overlook of one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Adirondacks with a vertical drop of approximately 100 feet. Most of the trail has a 5% grade or less. However, users should be prepared for steeper grades of up to 10% to reach the overlook. Level resting areas are provided at close intervals. Viewers should caution the higher water levels in the spring.

Tooley Pond Mountain Trail (1,772 feet) forms a 1.7-mile loop from the trailhead parking area (Google Maps) on Tooley Pond Road to another trailhead a short distance up the road. The trail ascends 240 feet to the 1,772-foot summit of the mountain at about the halfway point. The trail then descends 255 feet past Tooley Pond before reaching the road. Hikers can walk 0.4 mile on the road to return to the trailhead parking area for a 2.1-mile loop hike.

High Peaks Region

Visit the Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region for general notices and closures.

Giant Mountain Wilderness

View from Blueberry Cobbles

There are approximately 30 miles of marked, maintained trails within the largely mountainous Giant Mountain Wilderness.

Blueberry Cobbles (2,053 Feet) is a lookout point 2.2 miles on the East Trail to Giant Mountain. From the trailhead (Google Maps) you won't be on the level for very long before the trail starts a serious ascent to high country. The trail sweeps around a couple unnamed little knobs before making a final push to the first viewing point at 1.6 miles. Just past here there is another view to the right at 1.8 miles and then an intersection with the Blueberry Cobbles Cut-off Trail on the right. Bear left and continue slightly uphill to blueberry heaven and some additional nice views. The East Trail map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Hurricane Mountain Wilderness

The Hurricane Mountain Wilderness contains 14 miles of hiking trails throughout the 13,784-acre wilderness.

Little Crow Mountain (2,535 feet): The trail ascends 845 feet and 0.9 mile from the Hurricane Road Trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit of Little Crow Mountain (2,535 ft.). The trail contains moderate climbs with a few steep sections with a number of scenic views from ledges along the way.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

There are only a few hiking trails in the 37,616-acre McKenzie Mountain Wilderness. The majority of the wilderness is trail-less and not easily accessible.

Baker Mountain (2,457 feet) is the most popular hike in the wilderness. The trail extends 0.9 mile and ascends nearly 900 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit. Overlooks near the summit provide a more than 180-degree view to the east, south and west. It is considered one of the best views in the Adirondacks for the effort that is required. The Baker Mountain Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Whiteface Landing Trail begins at the Connery Pond Trailhead (Google Maps) in the adjacent Saranac Lake Wild Forest off State Route 86. The trail extends 2.5 miles and ascends 310 feet from the trailhead, descending 60 feet in the last 0.25 mile to Whiteface Landing. The first mile is fairly flat and then the trail ascends moderately for the next mile.

Moose Pond Trail extends 1.3 miles along an old woods road from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the shore of Moose Pond. Whiteface Mountain, Moose Mountain, McKenzie Mountain and more can be seen from the shores of the pond. Spur trails off the main trail access designated primitive tent sites on the western shore of the pond. The Moose Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Sentinel Range Wilderness

There are 10.4 miles of hiking trails in the 23,874-acre Sentinel Range Wilderness.

Owen Pond - Copperas Pond Trail extends 1.7 miles between two trailheads (Google Maps) located on State Route 86. The forested trail ascends 0.5 mile and 200 feet from the Owen Pond Trailhead, much of it along the outlet of Owen Pond, before reaching the pond itself. The picturesque pond sits at the foot of Kilburn Mountain. The trail continues another 0.7 mile ascending another 200 feet before descending 100 feet to the clear waters of Copperas Pond. A 0.75-mile loop trail to Winch Pond is located just west of Copperas Pond. Winch Pond is more of a wetland pond, but is picturesque in its own right. Copperas Pond can be reached from the Copperas Pond Trailhead with a 0.5-mile hike which ascends 450 feet. The Owen and Copperas Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.


Summit of Coney Mountain

Western Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Western Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest

Coney Mountain (2,265 Feet): This 1.1-mile, one way, hike is over easy to moderate terrain. Most of the trail is rocky. The trail gains 515 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps). The trail contours around the northern slops of the mountain before meeting up with the original trail just below the summit. The open summit provides views of Goodman Mountain and Tupper Lake to the north and Mount Morris to the Northeast.

Goodman Mountain (2,178 Feet): This 1.7-mile, one way, hike is over easy to moderate terrain and gains 570 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps). From the parking area locate the old road at the back. This old road used to be Highway 10 between Long Lake and Tupper Lake, and the old tarmac can still be seen in many areas. Just outside of the parking area there is a kiosk and a new bridge over Cold Brook. A short distance in, you will be to the right of an eskar that you will follow along the road. The road soon climbs steadily to a height-of-land where the new trail leaves the old road on your left. This is roughly 1-mile in from the trailhead. Goodman's summit is only 0.25 miles away but the trail swings around the steep slopes to avoid unnecessary erosion, making for a fairly easy climb. The summit provides panoramic views of Coney Mountain, Tupper Lake and the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest.

Mt. Arab (2,525 Feet): This 1-mile, one way, hike gains 750 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit of Mount Arab. There is a fire tower on the summit provides great views of the surrounding area.

West Central Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Blue Mountain Wild Forest

While few in number, the trails of the 37,800-acre Blue Mountain Wild Forest provide a variety of hiking opportunities - take a long distance hike, hike to a mountain, hike to a scenic lake, pond or river.

Tirrell Pond Trail extends 3.0 miles from the Blue Mountain trailhead (Google Maps) to the Northville Placid Trail turns right and traverses another 0.3 mile to the shore of Tirrell Pond. The trail ascends 170 feet in the first 1.75 miles before dropping 450 feet over the last 1.5 miles to the pond. The trail provides views of Blue Mountain and Buck Mountain along the way. A lean-to and a sandy beach at the end of the trail provide a view of Tirrell Mountain to the east. The Tirrell Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Rock Lake Trail extends 0.8 mile from the trailhead (Google Maps) on State Route 28/30 to the shore of Rock Lake, dropping only 80 feet in elevation in that distance. Rock Lake is not only scenic but provides paddling and fishing opportunities as well. The Rock Lake Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Blue Ridge Wilderness

There are a number of trails for hiking which provide access to mountains, ponds, river banks and other natural features. The majority of the 41,177-acre Blue Ridge Wilderness is remote and without trails.

Cascade Pond Trail extends 3.5 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) on Durant Road to intersect with the Northville-Placid Trail north of Stephens Pond. Cascade Pond and the Cascade Pond Lean-to are 2.8 miles from the trailhead. The Cascade Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Sawyer Mountain (2,160 feet): This trail is the only other designated trail in the Blue Ridge Wilderness that leads to the summit of a mountain. The 1.1-mile trail steadily ascends 600 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to an overlook near the summit. The Sawyer Mountain Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Sprague Pond Trail extends 0.4 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) on Cedar River Rd. to Sprague Pond, a scenic pond stocked with brown trout. The Sprague Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Death Brook Falls Trail is a short 0.3-mile hike to the base of the waterfall. From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in the Town of Long Lake follow Route 28/30 toward Blue Mountain Lake. In Blue Mountain Lake follow Route 28 toward Raquette Lake for just under 10-miles to the trailhead. The trailhead (Google Maps) is located on the left about 0.3 miles past the entrance to Golden Beach Campground. Look for a metal gate across a dirt access road. There is no trailhead sign.


Summit of Rocky Mountain

Camp Sagamore Trails System: The Camp Sagamore Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download. The trailhead (Google Maps) is located on Sagamore Rd.

  • 3.8-mile Sagamore Lake Trail is a loop trail around the shores of Sagamore Lake.
  • 1.5-mile Cascades Trail follows the western bank of the South Inlet of Raquette Lake.
  • 1.6-mile Powerhouse Trail follows the eastern bank of the South Inlet of Raquette Lake
Cedarlands Conservation Easement

There are six miles of trails on the 4,890-acre Cedarlands Easement which are available for hiking from August 24 to June 23. A 0.75-mile section of trail to Mud Pond is open to the public all year.

Mud Pond Mountain (2,372 feet): The trail leaves the Fishing Camp Trail approximately 2.1 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) at the junction of three trails. The trail ascends 0.75 mile and 300 feet to the summit of the mountain.

Moose River Plains Complex

There are approximately 130 miles of marked, maintained trails within the 79,487-acre Moose River Plains Complex.

Rocky Mountain (2,220 feet) Trail ascends 450 feet and 0.5 mile, from the Rocky Mountain Trailhead (Google Maps) along State Route 28 to ledges on Rocky Mountain. This popular trail is a short, steep climb to an open view of the Fulton Chain Lakes.

Black Bear Mountain (2,425 feet) extends 1.9 miles and climbs 670 feet from the trailhead near the Rocky Mountain Trailhead (Google Maps). Also known as the Old Black Bear Mountain Trail, the trail follows the yellow ski trail for 0.7 mile east of the trailhead then continues as a blue marked foot trail east over steep terrain for an additional 1.2 miles to the summit.

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

The 43,460-acre Sargent Ponds Wild Forest trail system contains a mix of trails marked for both snowmobile and foot travel. Existing trails are concentrated in two areas: the Lake Eaton/Owl's Head area and the Sargent Ponds/Castle Rock area.

Buttermilk Falls is a short trail (~150 yds.) to a small cascading waterfall off of North Point Rd (County Route 3). The trailhead (Google Maps) to the falls is on the right side of the North Point Road, 2.1 miles from the intersection with Rte. 28N/30. A sign by a small parking area marks the entrance.

East Central Adirondacks


Camp Santanoni Historic Area

Visit the Backcountry Information for the East Central Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Camp Santanoni Historic Area

The Camp Santanoni Historic Area is a very unique location in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. It is considered one of the most sophisticated and distinguished of all of the surviving great camps in the Adirondacks. This National Historic Landmark was created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Robert C. and Anna Pruyn, serving as a place to entertain guests and find refuge from city life. Today, the area is a popular day hike destination during summer months, as well as a cross country skiing destination in the colder months.

Newcomb Lake Road Trail is a 5-mile gravel former carriage road that extends from the trailhead (Google Maps) at the Gate Lodge to Newcomb Lake. The trail ascends 350 feet in 3.0 miles and then descends 250 feet to the Main Complex on Newcomb Lake. The trail passes through the Farm Complex 0.7 mile from the trailhead.

Santanoni-Lake Harris Trail extends 1.75 miles along the north shore of Lake Harris connecting the Gate Lodge Complex and DEC's Lake Harris Campground.

The 236-acre Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) sets on the shores of Rich Lake and Rich Lake outlet. AIC (leaves DEC website) is managed the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). In addition to the trail system, AIC has an interpretive center with naturalists and holds many programs regarding the cultural and natural history of the Northern Forest.

Hoffman Notch Wilderness

The 38,488-acre Hoffman Notch Wilderness offers 15 miles of marked trails.

Mt. Severance (1,683 feet): The trail extends 1.2 miles and ascends 790 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit of the mountain. The summit provides a scenic view of Schroon Lake and Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The trail travels under the Northway (I-87) before ascending the mountain. The Mt. Severance trail map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Bailey Pond Trail extends 0.8 mile from the Hoffman Notch Trailhead South Parking Area (Google Maps) to Bailey Pond. The Bailey Pond trail map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Hudson Gorge Wilderness

The 24,477 acres of the Hudson Gorge Wilderness and Polaris Mountain Primitive Area are located in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Much of the wilderness is characterized by low mountains and the valleys between. The Hudson River runs through the center of the wilderness and creates its awe inspiring namesake - the Hudson Gorge.

OK Slip Falls Trail leaves the Ross Pond Trail a half mile from the trailhead (Google Maps) the two trails share and extends another 2.6 miles to an overlook of one of the highest waterfalls in the Adirondacks. The total distance between the trail and OK Slip Falls is 3.1 miles. The trail gently rises and falls for the first 1.5 miles until it reaches a dirt road that provides access to a private inholding. A short distance up the road the trail enters the woods and descends 230 feet to an overlook of the falls.

The Hudson Gorge Spur Trail, spurs off of the OK Slip Falls Trail near the waterfall lookouts and takes users to the shores of the Hudson. It can be a steep climb back up from the shore for those who are unprepared. The OK Slip Falls Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Ross Pond Trail extends 2.5 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) and leads to the southern shore of Ross Pond. The Ross Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.


View from Mt. Severance

Whortleberry Pond Trail is a spur trail off of Ross Pond Trail which extends 0.9 miles to Whortleberry Pond, climbing 240 feet from Bell Mountain Brook over the shoulder of Bell Mountain before dropping down to eastern shore of Whortleberry Pond. The Whortleberry Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Big Bad Luck Pond: A 0.5-mile spur trail leaves Whortleberry Pond trail at 0.4 mile and leads to the southeastern shore of Big Bad Luck Pond. The Big Bad Luck Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Blue Ledges extends 2.1 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the Blue Ledges on the northern rim of the Hudson Gorge. The Blue Ledges Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Jessup River Wild Forest

The 47,350-acre Jessup River Wild Forest is the perfect destination to experience the Adirondacks. It provides many opportunities for hiking.

Baldface Mountain (2,230 feet): The trail is accessed on the northeast shore of Indian Lake. This hike requires a canoe paddle to reach the trailhead in Norman's Cove, the shortest (1.0 mile) from the Clarks Indian Lake Marina (Google Maps) off Lakeshore drive in Sabael. There is a charge for the use of the marina. You may also paddle 7.5 miles from the DEC Indian Lake Campground boat ramp (Google Maps) to reach the trailhead. As you enter Norman's cove, look for the trailhead to the left of the cove, where a DEC trailhead sign is prominently displayed next to a large rock. The sheltered bay has a great picnic area, where you can leave your boat and start your hike. The trail ascends 580 feet and 1.3 miles from the shore to the summit. The Baldface Mountain Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Watch Hill Trail can either be accessed from the Watch Hill parking area (Google Maps) or from the Snowy Mountain trailhead parking area (Google Maps), which is about 1 mile to the north. There are two scenic lookouts on the trail. The first is reached after about 1 mile and provides a nice view of Griffin Brook Slide on Snowy Mountain to the west. The trail then continues about 0.1 miles to another open ledge that provides partial views of Indian Lake. This trail is open to hikers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers. The Watch Hill Trail (PDF) is available to view and download.

Fawn Lake Trail extends 4.1 miles from Fawn Lake Road trailhead (Google Maps) to the Piseco-Perkins Clearing Trail. The Fawn Lake Trail (PDF) is available to view and download.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest

The 91,854-acre Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest contains 14.4 miles of designated foot trails.

Moxham Mountain Trail (2,361 feet) extends 2.5 miles and ascends 1,000 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit of the mountain. The open summit provides views of the Hudson River Valley, Gore Mountain and the Central Adirondack. The Moxham Mountain Trail Map(PDF) is available to view and download.

Eastern Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Hammond Pond Wild Forest

Hammond Pond Wild Forest consists of 45,500 acres in more than 50 parcels located in the eastern Adirondacks. The majority of the parcels are located between Lake Champlain in the east, State Route 74 in the south, the Northway in the west, and State Route 9N in the north. Some parcels are located between the Northway and US Route 9 and around the communities of Keene and Keene Valley.


View from Baxter Mountain

Baxter Mountain (2,428 feet): The trail extends 1.1 miles and ascends 755 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the summit of the mountain which offers views of the Great Range. The main trailhead is a pull off on Route 9N. The Baxter Mountain trail map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Arnold Pond Trail extends 0.3 mile and ascends 320 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the shore of the pond.

Belfry Mountain (1,820 feet): The fire tower trail extends 0.3 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) and climbs 120 feet on a service road to a fire tower on the summit. This is one of the easiest hikes to an Adirondack fire tower. The tower is open to the public and provides spectacular views of the Lake Champlain basin and Vermont. It's also a popular location to observe bird migrations through the Champlain Valley."

Moose Mountain Trail extends 2.1 miles and ascends 245 feet from the end of the Berrymill Flow Trail which is 1.4 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps). Follow moose Mountain trail to the north shore of Moose Mountain Pond and a lean-to. The trail follows old logging roads along a river with beaver activity and passes by a waterfall.

Hammond Pond Trail extends 0.9 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the western shore of Hammond Pond. The trail undulates gently with only a 45-foot change in elevation from the trailhead to the pond.

Lake George Wild Forest

The 72,508-acre Lake George Wild Forest contains miles of marked trails available to explore, allowing the public to easily access a variety of majestic natural attractions.

Shelving Rock Mountain (1,125 feet): The trail ascends 610 feet and 1.7 miles to the top of Shelving Rock Mountain from the Shelving Rock Day Use Parking Area #4 (Google Maps).

Fifth Peak (1,798 feet): Fifth Peak is located along the Tongue Mountain Range in the Lake George Wild Forest of the southeastern Adirondacks. There is a lean-to located near the peak and there are spectacular views, making this a very popular hiking destination in the Lake George Area. It is a 2.8 mile one way trip with an elevation gain of over 1400 feet for this hike. This area is home of timber rattlesnakes, so be sure to be alert and cautious for this species especially on rocky ledges in the sunlight. But remember they can be found anywhere in this area. The DEC parking area known as the Clay Meadow Trailhead Parking Area (Google Maps) is located along NY 9N.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

There are nearly 70 miles of foot trails in the wilderness and hiking is one of the main uses of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The summit of Pharaoh Mountain and the shores of Pharaoh Lake and numerous other waters are the most popular destinations.

Pharaoh Lake Trail extends 3.3 miles from the Pharaoh Lake Road Trailhead (Google Maps) to the intersection of trails at the outlet of Pharaoh Lake. The trail ascends 235 feet from Mill Brook for 1.1 miles but gently rises and falls at either end. The Pharaoh Lake Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Pharaoh Lake Loop Trail extends 6.0 miles around the shoreline of Pharaoh Lake from the Pharaoh Lake Trail. The trail gently ascends and descends with changes in elevations less than 100 feet. Numerous other trails connect to this trail. The Pharaoh Lake Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Lost Pond Trail extends 1.4 miles and ascends 235 feet from the Lost Pond Trailhead (Google Maps) to the pond and then loops 1.2 miles around the shores of the pond. The Lost Pond Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Grizzle Ocean Trail extends 5.6 miles from the Putnam Pond Campground Trailhead South (Google Maps) to the Pharaoh Lake Loop Trail. The trail ascends 110 feet in the first 0.75 mile and then descends 135 feet in 0.25 mile. The trail rises and falls gently for 0.4 mile before ascending 190 feet in 1.5 miles to the high point of the trail between Grizzle Ocean Mountain and Thunderbolt Mountain. The trail descends 330 feet from the high point for 1.4 miles and then gently rises and falls until it reaches the shores of Pharaoh Lake. A day use fee is required to park a vehicle at the Putnam Pond Campground when the campground is open. The Grizzle Ocean Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Grizzle Ocean Loop Trail leaves the Grizzle Ocean Trail approximately 1.8 miles from the Putnam Pond Trailhead (Google Maps) and loops 1.1 miles around Grizzle Ocean before returning to the Grizzle Ocean Trail 0.3 mile west. The Grizzle Ocean Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest

View from Barn Rock

The 3,700-acre Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest has about 11.5 miles of trails that provide access to many locations including the shores of Lake Champlain. The trails travel through a variety of terrain and forest types and offer a unique opportunity to experience the "wild side" of the Lake Champlain Valley. Views of Vermont, Lake Champlain, and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks are available from several overlooks along the trail system.

North Rim Trail is a 2.8-mile trail which connects with the Lewis Clearing Bay Trail at the 0.2-mile mark and climbs 260 feet in the first 1.7 miles to summit of Split Rock Mountain before descending 165 feet to the North Rim Overlook. The Trail system begins at the Lewis Clearing Bay Parking Area (Google Maps).

South Rocks Overlook Trail is a new 0.6-mile spur trail at the northern end of the North Rim Trail which drops nearly 450 feet to the scenic South Rocks Overlook.

Barn Rock Bay Trail traverses 1.5 miles from its intersection with the Lewis Clearing Bay Trail at the 1.2-mile mark. The trail climbs 80 feet in the first 0.2 mile before dropping 400 feet to Barn Rock Overlook. Rough, spur trails lead from this trail to Barn Rock Bay and a primitive campsite located to the north of Barn Rock. The trail also provides access to the Split Rock Mountain Trail System from Lake Champlain.

Lewis Clearing Bay Trail is a 1.7-mile trail from the Lewis Clearing Bay Trailhead on Lake Shore Road to its namesake bay on Lake Champlain. A 0.2-mile spur trail at the 1.4-mile mark leads to the Snake Den Harbor Overlook. The trail climbs 200 feet in the first 0.7 mile before dropping 450 feet down to the lake.

Southwestern Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Southwestern Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Black River Wild Forest

The 127,135-acre Black River Wild Forest has more than 90 miles of marked foot trails.

Woodhull Mountain (2,363 Feet): South Branch Trail (Red Markers) extends 7.2 miles from the trailhead at the McKeever Parking Area (Google Maps) along the South Branch Administrative Road to the summit of Woodhull Mountain (2,363 feet) and the fire tower. The trail climbs 730 feet in the last two miles to the summit. The cab of the fire tower is not open to the public. The South Branch Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Ledge Mountain Overlook Trail (aka Vista Trail) extends 1.1 miles and ascends 310 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) to the top of a ridge with a scenic overlook of the West Canada Creek Valley. The access road to the trailhead parking area and first part of the trail cross private land. Stay on the road and the trail, do not trespass on private property. The Vista Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Fulton Chain Wild Forest

Bald Mountain
(Rondaxe Fire Tower)

The 16,028-acre Fulton Chain Wild Forest has approximately 19.9 miles of marked foot trails.

Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Fire Tower- 2,350 feet): The total distance to hike to the summit of Bald Mountain is just under a mile and the ascent is about 500 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps). The start of the hike is a deceptively easy walk in the woods, but fairly soon you come to the steepest section where you climb a widely eroded trail up onto the top of the descending ridge. Soon after you begin to "top out" you come to the first of several intermediate viewpoints. After that the trail follows the spine of the ridge with a few minor ups and downs. This ridge top trail is over bed rock much of the way. The Rondaxe Fire Tower, located on the summit, has been restored so that you can climb up for the best views. The summit area is open, quite long and can easily accommodate a large number of hikers. Don't expect to be alone during this nearly two-mile round-trip hike, as it is a very popular hike.

Independence River Wild Forest

The 78,600-acre Independence River Wild Forest includes a 100 plus-mile network of trails and roads that are available for hiking. The trails gently rise and fall through a variety of woodland and open habitat with many ponds and lakes serving as a destination point or scenic view along the trail. The trails highlighted here are some of the more popular.

Stillwater Mountain (2,264 feet): The fire tower trail ascends 1.2 miles and 550 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) on Big Moose Road to the summit of Stillwater Mountain (2,264 feet). The summit provides views of Stillwater Reservoir and the surrounding area. The fire tower on the summit has been renovated and is open to the public. The Observer's Cabin is located along Big Moose Road opposite the trailhead. The Stillwater Fire Tower Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Independence River Area Trail Network (11.3 miles of trail) - The Independence River Area Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

  • Beach Mill Trail extends 5.3 miles along the north bank of the Independence River from a trailhead at the end of Beach Mill Road.
  • Panther Pond Trail extends 1.1 miles to the Panther Pond Lean-to from a trailhead at the end of Smith Road, and extends another 3.2 miles to the Independence River where it meets up with the Beach Mill and Fish Trails.
  • Fish Trail extends 1.7 miles to the Independence River from a trailhead at the end of the Stony Lake Road.

Southern Adirondacks

Visit the Backcountry Information for the Southern Adirondacks for general notices and closures.

Ferris Lake Wild Forest

The 147,454-acre Ferris Lake Wild Forest features more than 100 miles of foot, multiple use, and snowmobile trails open to hiking and other recreational opportunities.

Panther Mountain/Echo Cliff Trail extends 0.8 miles and climbs 670 feet from the trailhead (Google Maps) on County Route 24 to Echo Cliffs. It is a popular short climb that yields excellent views. The trail is marked with blue "foot trail" discs.

Goldmine Stream Trail extends 1.3 miles from the trailhead (Google Maps) on Powley-Piseco Road to Goldmine Stream Falls.

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest

The 40,527-acre Shaker Mountain Wild Forest is the southern most unit in the Adirondack Park. There are numerous miles of trails open for outdoor recreation.

Kane Mountain (2,060 Feet) can be ascended via two routes which can be used to make a loop hike. A fire tower is located on the summit. The Kane Mountain Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

  • Kane Mountain East Trail is the most direct route, ascending 560 feet and 0.8 mile from the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area (Google Maps) to the summit.
  • Kane Mountain North Trail descends 560 feet and 1.3 miles from the summit to the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area. A 2.1-mile loop hike from Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area over the summit of and back to the trailhead can be made using the Kane Mountain North and East Trails.

Pinnacle Valley Trail extends 3.2 miles from the Pinnacle Lake Trailhead (Google Maps) to County Line Lake. The trail climbs 895 feet in 2.8 miles up the shoulder of Pigeon Mountain and then drops 100 feet in the last 0.4 mile to the eastern shore of the lake. The Pinnacle Valley Trail Map (PDF) is available to view and download.

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

There are 92 miles of trails on the125,000-acre Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. The primary trail network creates large loops and connects nearby communities via trail and town road, while retaining a large forest interior (greater than 26,000 acres) that does not contain formal trails. There are 34 named trails on the property.

Spruce Mountain Trail: The 1.4-mile trail provides a short hike to a historic fire tower. It can be accessed by the trailhead (Google Maps) on Spruce Mountain Road. The first 0.8 miles of trail is on Forest Preserve. The trail then crosses the lands of Saratoga P.L.A.N. and Lyme Timberlands and then back to a small piece of Forest Preserve on which the fire tower sits. The public has access to the tower most of the year, excluding big game hunting season which opens around the third week in October and runs through early December (actual dates vary annually). The summit of Spruce Mountain is forested which requires a climb up the tower for a view.

Misc.

The following hikes are not part of NYSDEC managed lands. Hikers should research specific rules and regulations for specific trails.

John Brown Farm Historic Site - Lake Placid, NY

John Brown Farm Historic Site (Leaves DEC Website) - Lake Placid, NY: Trails begin at the edge of the field on both sides of the road. Most of the trails located on the farm are easy with a gentle grade, only a few of the trails would be classified as even moderate in layout. These trails are open year-round and offer opportunities for hiking, gentle walks, birding, picnicking, trail running, and relaxation.

Champlain Area Trail System

Champlain Area Trails (CATS) (Leaves DEC Website) creates and maintains hiking and cross-country ski trails in New York's Champlain Valley that link communities, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality. In its short history, CATS has developed over 40 miles of trails.


Blueberry Hill Trail System

Cheney Mountain (1,356 Feet): The Cheney Mountain Trailhead (Google Maps) is located in Port Henry, NY. This is a 1.6-mile hike that crosses a field before entering the forest on an old woods road. Follow this road as it moderately but steadily climbs to high ground. Soon there will be a spur trail to an excellent view that's well worth checking out. The summit is not much farther and it's wooded, but if you follow the trail just beyond the summit you have two great views - one of the High Peaks with the tailings piles of the old mine in the foreground, and the other of the Champlain Bridge and Vermont. (Trail Description - Leaves DEC Website)

Coon Mountain (1,014 Feet): Coon Mountain Trailhead (Google Maps) is located in Westport, NY. From the trailhead the path starts climbing almost immediately. The trail never gets too steep, but it does have a moderate and constant incline. One short section gets steep as it passes through a rocky section, where footing is a bit more difficult. This is a perfect family outing, and if you are in the area it should not be missed. The summit provides views over Lake Champlain and into the Green Mountains of Vermont. (Trail Description - Leaves DEC Website)

Rattlesnake Mountain (1,316 Feet): The Rattlesnake Mountain Trailhead (Google Maps) is located in Willsboro, NY. Well-known for offering great "value for effort." Less than an hour to the top, and there are spectacular views of the entire area, including Willsboro Bay and Willsboro Point, the Four Brothers Islands, Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge. Look back on Long Pond. The views extend all the way to the "big lake," Lake Champlain, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. (Trail Description - Leaves DEC Website)

Blueberry Hill Trail System

Blueberry Hill Trail System (Leaves DEC Website): This trail system includes thirty developed trails just outside of Elizabethtown, NY with two summits and many views. The trailhead is located on the east side of Lords Rd, ¼ mi off 9N or drive up Bronson Rd (off Roscoe Rd) and reaches multiple trailheads. Two main trailheads have display cases with maps.