Ampersand Mountain

Ampersand: Part of the Saranac 6er’s!

What is happenin’ Road Trip Warriors!? I recently climbed my fifth mountain out of the six Saranac 6ers challenge. This mountain has to be my favorite part of the 6ers thus far. The views are unbelievable, the summit is open rock, and you can see many of the High Peaks from this summit. I highly recommend this hike, especially if you’re looking to get away from the High Peaks region for a bit.

Summary of Ampersand Mountain

  • Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous
  • Length: 5.4 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 3,353′ above sea level
  • Hiking Time: It took about an hour-and-a-half to reach the summit from the trailhead. We took occasional water breaks on the way to the summit as well. 
  • Elevation Gain: 1,775′
  • Photo Opportunities: The scenes from the summit of Ampersand are unbelievable. The summit is open rock with 360º views. You can see Whiteface, Ampersand Pond, the surrounding mountains and bodies of water. The summit provides more than enough room to explore so you can capture different angles, lighting, and landscapes.

Trailhead

The trailhead for Ampersand mountain is off of Route 3, between Saranac and Tupper Lake. If you are coming from Saranac, the parking lot will be on the right side of the road. The lot isn’t that big, and it fills up rather quickly. Many people parked on the side of the road. The trailhead is directly across the street from the parking lot.

Ampersand Trailhead Sign

First Half of the Hike Towards the Summit

The first 1.5 to 1.7 miles of this hike is relatively straight-forward. The trail is for the most part, relatively flat. You’ll cross some wooden bridges and make your way across a couple streams. The forest is beautiful and it is a calming environment. Just be careful to watch your footing as you cross the streams.

Second Half…

The second half (1 mile from the summit) is pretty tough. You’ll ascend around 1300′ during this span of the hike. Don’t push yourself too hard, and drink a lot of water. It seems to be unrelenting, but I can assure you that the views are worth it. It gets a little better once you near Ampersand’s summit. The summit is a bald rock offering 360º views  making it very cool to come out of the woods and up onto the rock.

Ampersand’s Summit

This was by far my favorite Saranac 6er out of the five that I’ve done. The scenes that Ampersand mountain offers compared to the others are utterly outmatched. You’re rewarded with commanding views of Ampersand Pond, Whiteface Mountain in the far distance, and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains.

Ampersand Pond

Above is Ampersand Pond. It is isolated, surrounded by the thick Adirondack forest. It is a really pretty sight to see from the summit of this Saranac 6er.

View of Whiteface from Ampersand

In the top right of the picture above, Whiteface Mountain towers above the surrounding region. You can observe the ski slopes going down mountain’s face.

Views from Ampersand Summit

Above is another vantage point that this mountain offers. As you can see, you’re able to observe many of the regions’ bodies of water. The Adirondacks are home to plenty of lakes, ponds, and streams.

Ampersand Summit Marker

Above is the summit marker that you can find on Ampersand’s bald peak. It isn’t too difficult to find. Just explore the summit for a bit and you’ll eventually come across it.

Getting Back to the Trailhead

Ampersand Mountain is an out-and-back trail. Thus, you just have to hike out the same way you hiked in.

Dog-Friendly

This Saranac 6er is dog-friendly. I saw a couple pups hiking along the trail with their owners. Its a great hike that I am sure they would enjoy! Just bring enough water for the both of you!

Fam-Friendly

This hike is moderate/difficult because of its length and ascent. It gets pretty steep during the last mile. I still believe most individuals could do this hike, just take your time and stay hydrated. 

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Athletic shorts
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Bandana (great for keeping the sweat out of your eyes)
  • Hiking socks

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Almonds and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Extra shirt and shorts
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Trekking poles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Garmin inReach (satellite device that has a GPS, can send texts, send SOS, and has many other helpful features)

RTW Note

Thanks for reading this post about Ampersand Mountain! I hope it was helpful/informative for those looking to become a Saranac 6er or are just looking for something away from the High Peaks Region. I definitely recommend it for new and experienced hikers alike! The views are unbelievable and the hike is a blast! Anyways, hit the like and follow buttons if you found this post helpful or enjoyed the photographs! Leave a comment if you want to reach out! Looking forward to sharing more!

-Ant

 

 

 

 

St. Regis Mountain of the Saranac 6ers

Saranac 6er Number Three!

My buddy and I tagged St. Regis Mountain, another Saranac 6er, the first weekend of May. It is an absolutely beautiful fire-tower hike with the trailhead being near Paul Smith’s College. It is also another great hike to do while waiting for the end of mud season in the High Peaks region. You can find a bunch of information about this hike below.

Summary of St. Regis Mountain

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 6.6 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 2,874′ above sea level
  • Hiking Time: It took us just under two hours to hit the summit. You could get to the summit faster if you’d like. We didn’t rush. 
  • Photo Opportunities: The summit has amazing views from its open ledges. You’ll be able to see many bodies of water of the Northern Adirondacks as well as the distant High Peaks. You can also get some great shots of the fire-tower and shots from the top of the fire-tower as well. 

Trailhead

The trailhead for St. Regis Mountain is by Paul Smith’s College. It is three miles down Keese Mill Road and the trailhead is on the lefthand side. There is sufficient room to park in the lot and the sign is hard to miss.

St. Regis Trailhead sign

Once you are parked, there is a small arrow that will point you in the direction of a dirt access road. Follow this road for a short trek to find the trailhead sign on your right. As you can see, the trail markers are yellow for this hike.

Be sure to sign in at the trail register. No matter how long or short a hike might be, it is always important to sign in and out.

St. Regis Trail Register

First Section of the Trail..

The first section of the trail is gentle. It almost feels like your casual nature walk with towering trees and it is relatively quiet. You will pass by a pond and eventually find yourself surrounding by towering trees. I thought it was a great place to take some pictures.

St. Regis woods

The elevation does steadily increase as you continue your hike, but there is nothing daunting. The trail never gets that steep until you are closer to the summit.

Stone Staircase and Closer to the Summit

As the trail continues to steepen, you will know that you’re close to the summit when you hit the stone staircases. It is a really cool spot and if you take a second to glance behind you, you’ll notice some bodies of water in the distance.

Stone stairs on St. Regis

Summit of St. Regis Mountain

After hiking another fifteen to twenty minutes, you will reach the summit of St. Regis Mountain. There are spectacular views of the Adirondack High Peaks from the cliffs and the fire-tower was recently renovated. I suggest climbing it to get another perspective of the landscape. My buddy and I actually fell asleep in the sun on the summit of St. Regis for a good twenty minutes. Safe to say that our faces got a little sunburnt. There is more than enough room on this summit to find your own space and chill. We stayed up there for a good hour taking pictures and hanging in the sun.

Views of ADK High Peaks

As you can see in the photo directly above, St. Regis rewards you with a beautiful skyline of the Adirondack High Peaks in the distance.

Getting Back to the Trailhead/Parking

This trail is an out-and-back trail so you are just going to hike out the same way you hiked in. It didn’t take us more than an hour-and-a-half to get back to my car. Just pay attention and watch your footing, Once you get down the stone staircases, its a straight-forward nature walk from there. 

Dog-Friendly

This hike is dog-friendly. We saw a few hanging out on the summit with us trying to get everyone to give them snacks. They seemed to be enjoying the day. A dog would have no issue with this hike. Just remember to bring the pup extra water and food since the round-trip trek is 6.6. miles.

Fam-Friendly

Besides the length of 6.6 miles, this hike is family friendly. We saw some young children on the summit and they seemed to be enjoying the food that their parents gave them. I’d say that you’d want to be in decent shape to do this hike though whether you are an adult or a child. 

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Athletic shorts
  • Adidas joggers 
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Athletic long sleeve top
  • Beanie

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Almonds and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Wind/Rain pants
  • LL Bean Winter Jacket 
  • Extra layers (UnderArmour)
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Hand Warmers
  • Trekking poles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Garmin inReach (satellite device that has a GPS, can send texts, send SOS, and has many other helpful features)

RTW Note

Thanks for checking out this post! Please share it if you know someone else trying to find a nice hike in the Adirondacks that isn’t overly strenuous and offers a great reward. If you found this post to be helpful, hit the like button, gimme a follow, and comment if you have anything that you would like to share! Half-way done with the Saranac 6ers!

On another note, I leave this Saturday morning for a big two week trip out west! I am driving and I am going to visit Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Badlands National Parks! I will be blogging everyday sharing updates of where I am at and the photos I have taken. I am hoping I can get some quality shots as well as sharing as much information as I can. I look forward to keeping you all updated!

-Ant

 

Baker Mountain: Another Saranac 6er

Another Saranac 6er Down!

What up Road Trip Warriors!? We tagged another Saranac 6er, this one being Baker Mountain! It is a short hike in the Saranac Lake Region, and like Scarface Mountain, it is a great mud season hike! Here is a bunch of information on this beautiful little trek!

Summary of Baker Mountain

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 2,452′ above sea level
  • Hiking Time: It took us about 1.5 hours to reach the summit, but that is because we stopped to take photos at some lookouts. Anyone could reach this summit in less than an hour if they really wanted to, but why rush? It took us less than an hour to get back to the car.
  • Photo Opportunities: Before the summit there is a great view of the town of Saranac as well as the surrounding area. The summit is wooded, but there is a nice rock ledge where you can sit, snack, and take more photos.

Starting the Hike

The trailhead is right next to Moody Pond. There is a sign that says “Trail to Mt. Baker” making it very easy to find. Walk up past the sign and check in at the trail register. You will be following the red trail markers for this hike.

Moody Pond

Baker Mountain Trailhead Sign

The beginning of the hike is relatively flat. There was some fresh snow when we went which made the trail a little more scenic.

Baker Mountain Trail Tree Down

The Short Climb

As this hike is only nine-tenths of a mile, the climb isn’t too strenuous. It was a little steep in some spots, but I believe most individuals would have no difficulty at all. There is one spot where you will climb up some rocks and the views open up. If you look behind you, you will be able to see the town of Saranac among other sights.

The Summit

The summit of Baker Mountain is wooded, but offers better views than Scarface does. There were two geological markers in the rock on the summit and there is a nice ledge that offers some open views. It is a great spot to chill out after your light workout. We took a bunch of photos here before we left.

Getting Back to the Trailhead/Parking

This trail is an out-and-back trail so you are just going to hike out the same way you hiked in. Pay attention on your way down. Sometimes it is the easy hikes where you let your guard down and end up getting injured. 

Dog-Friendly

This hike is dog-friendly. This is a short hike that I am sure your dog would love!

Fam-Friendly

This hike is short, easy, and has awesome lookouts for the least amount of effort compared to the other Saranac 6ers. It is a great workout and a good choice when it is mud season in the High Peaks.

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Athletic shorts
  • Adidas joggers 
  • Underarmour
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Athletic long sleeve top
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Bandana

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Almonds and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Wind/Rain pants
  • LL Bean Winter Jacket 
  • Extra layers (UnderArmour)
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Adhesive body warmer
  • Hand Warmers
  • Trekking poles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Garmin inReach (satellite device that has a GPS, can send texts, send SOS, and has many other helpful features)

RTW Note

Thanks for taking the time to check out this hike! I hope it was helpful/informative for those looking to hike in the Saranac Lake area. The Saranac 6ers have proved to be a lot of fun thus far, and Baker Mountain is definitely a hike worth doing! Hit the like and follow buttons if you found this post helpful. Leave a comment if you want to reach out. I am always open to questions, suggestions, and remarks! I look forward to sharing more!

-Ant

Scarface Mountain

A Hike in the Saranac Lake Region

What up Road Trip Warriors!? We climbed another mountain in the Adirondacks! This one was up the Saranac Lake area. It was Scarface Mountain, one of the Saranac 6ers. We decided to do this hike because it is currently mud season in the Adirondacks. This is when the trails get muddy and the ecosystems, especially those above 3,000′, are most fragile. I researched which hikes are best to do during mud season in the Adirondacks, and the Saranac Lake Region popped up! Here is everything about Scarface Mountain!

Summary of Scarface Mountain

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 7.6 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 3,088′ above sea level
  • Hiking Time: Took about two hours and forty-five minutes to reach summit. Took about an hour and a half to get back to the car. We stopped at a viewpoint before the summit for twenty minutes as well.
  • Photo Opportunities: There is one viewpoint before the summit where decent photos can be taken. Scarface is not known for its views, but it is still a great hike nonetheless. Photos can be taken along the bridge in the beginning of the hike, and at the summit with the white marker nailed to the tree.

Beginning of the Hike

This hike begins at the trailhead which can be found a tenth of a mile down Ray Brook Road. It is on the left-hand side of the road. Ray Brook Road is off of Route 86, and it is hard to miss because there is a huge convenience store just before it. Park at the trailhead and sign in at the wooden register.

You’ll be following red trail signs for the entirety of this hike. The trail is relatively easy to follow. Just make sure you are paying attention.

Scarface: Red trail sign

Railroad, Wooden Bridge, and Abandoned Bike

Relatively early in this trek, you will cross train tracks. Its a great spot to take some photos before continuing your hike. We took photos here on our way back to the car.

Scarface: Railroad Sign

Scarface: Railroad tracks

Shortly after crossing these tracks and making your way through the woods, you’ll come across a wooden bench that is dedicated to a man that passed away on the mountain.

Scarface: Sign on bench

Across from this bench is a wooden bridge that crosses a pond. It was rebuilt in August of 1985.

Scarface: Bridge

Scarface: Sign on bridge

Once you are over the bridge and continue along the trail, you will come across an old foundation and an abandoned orange bicycle. It is a little eery so we did not stick around too long. Sheer cliffs are one thing….but I do not mess with ghosts…

Scarface: Abandoned Bike

Gradual Incline After the Bike

After passing the scary bike, the trail remains relatively level. You’ll eventually be hiking along a stream and the trail gradually gains elevation. At the 1.5 mile mark, there is a well-marked split.

The trail ascends Scarface in some pitches that are easy, and some pitches that are relatively steep. There are some spots that required a little bit of scrambling, but it was nothing serious. It was icy for us so we had to be more cautious.

Views from a Lookout

Scarface Mountain is not known for its spectacular views, but if you want to be a Saranac 6er, it is one of the mountains that must be hiked. There is one spot about a half-mile from the summit where there are some pretty cool views. We stopped here for about twenty minutes to eat and take some pics.

Scarface: Views

Scarface: Photo of me

Scarface Mountain Summit

The summit of Scarface Mountain is rather anticlimactic. It is a wooded summit and you know when you’ve hit it because there is a white disc nailed to a tree. However, it is still worth hitting the top of this peak just to say you did it. It also adds to the workout and more time spent in the woods. Plus….we hike mountains to summit them.

Scarface: Summit disc

Getting Back to the Trailhead/Parking

This trail is an out-and-back trail. Therefore, you are just going to hike out the same way you hiked in. Pay attention on your way down so you don’t make a wrong turn.

Dog-Friendly

This hike is dog-friendly. I am sure your dog would love hanging out in the woods with you! Keep in mind that the hike is 7.6 miles round trip. Carry enough food and water for the both of you!

Fam-Friendly

This hike is moderate because of its length, but most individuals should be able to do it. It is a great workout and a good choice when it is mud season in the High Peaks.

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Athletic shorts
  • Adidas joggers 
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Athletic long sleeve top
  • Beanie
  • Gloves

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Almonds and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Wind/Rain pants
  • LL Bean Winter Jacket 
  • Extra layers (UnderArmour)
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Adhesive body warmer
  • Hand Warmers
  • Trekking poles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Garmin inReach (satellite device that has a GPS, can send texts, send SOS, and has many other helpful features)

RTW Note

Thanks for taking the time to check out this hike! I hope it was helpful/informative for those looking to hike in the Saranac Lake area. Scarface is definitely a hike worth doing. Hit the like and follow buttons if you found this post helpful. Leave a comment if you want to reach out. I am always open to questions, suggestions, and remarks! I look forward to sharing more!

-Ant

A Hiking Checklist For the Cold Season

Fall/Winter is Around the Corner: Be Prepared!

What’s good in the mountain neighborhood my Road Trip Warriors!? Look, if you are like me then you are going to be hiking during the fall season. You might also be hiking during the winter as well. These are arguably my favorite seasons to hike in. There are many amazing visuals that the summer & late spring do not necessarily offer. Also, hiking in the colder season offers some benefits. Some of these include:

  • The colorful leaves during the fall paint a beautiful landscape, especially as the trees climb up the sides of mountains
  • The bugs are essentially nonexistent
  • The cooler weather can be more enjoyable
  • Hot coffee after a cool hike is AMAZING
  • The accumulation of snow on the trees and mountains creates beautiful scenery
  • Frozen waterfalls are mesmerizing

Despite these benefits, I have seen many people hiking in colder weather ill-prepared. People go out in shorts, t-shirts, and without enough gear in their bags to stay warm. The thing about hiking in the fall and winter is that the weather changes very rapidly. Last year when I was hiking in the fall, I would start out in minimal attire. Once I reached the summit, I would have to put on wind pants, a jacket, beanie, gloves…..the point I am getting at is that it is vital to be prepared.

Checklist For Fall

Giant During Fall
Scenery from Giant Mountain hiking trail during the fall
  • Warm clothes and layers, layers, layers!!!! When I hike during the fall, I always bring UnderArmour, extra pants, wind/rain/snow pants, lightweight rain jacket, heavy jacket, gloves, warm hiking socks (and a spare pair of hiking socks as well), and a warm beanie
  • Body warmers (the ones that heat up as soon as you open them) – I used these countless times when I worked construction during the winter. They work fast and definitely help with comfortability
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp (good to have when daylight hours are shorter)
  • First-Aid Kit
  • I still bring bug-spray, but it probably is not necessary when it is colder
  • Knife
  • Waterproof matches
  • LifeStraw Water Filter
  • Bandana (it can be used in so many different ways….and it looks cool)
  • Paracord and carabiners
  • A LOT OF FOOD
  • A LOT OF WATER

Checklist For Winter

Frozen Waterfall on Algonquin
Frozen waterfall along the Algonquin Peak trail
  • Warm clothes and layers, layers, layers!!!! When I hike during the winter, I always wear UnderArmour, bring extra pant layers, wind/rain/snow pants, lightweight rain jacket, heavy jacket, two pairs of warm hiking socks, and a warm beanie
  • Balaclava
  • TWO pairs of gloves (unless you are 100% sure your one pair will not get wet)
  • Body warmers (the ones that heat up as soon as you open them)
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp (good to have when it gets dark early in the day)
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Knife
  • Waterproof matches
  • LifeStraw Water Filter
  • Bandana
  • Paracord and carabiners
  • Snowshoes designated for mountain terrain
  • A LOT OF FOOD
  • A LOT OF WATER
Frozen Beaver Meadow Falls
Frozen Beaver Meadow Falls

Look, I am no professional so my advice and checklist is based off of my own experience. There are still items I need to purchase for myself such as a sleeping bag. I will continue to update this post with items I find essential. A good rule of thumb is to pack more than you think you will need. It is better to pack with the expectation that you could be out in the woods for a couple days rather than packing for eight hours.

There are plenty of other sources online that can provide hiking checklists as well such as REI. Here is the link

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/day-hiking-checklist.html

RTW Note

I know this post was a little different than prior ones, but I feel it is important to share information about items to bring, being prepared, and any tips that I can give. As hiking continues to gain popularity, the more individuals I see unprepared and more stories emerge of people having to be rescued. Please study up on the ten essentials, items to bring according to season, and safety tips. Stay safe out there and have fun adventuring!

-Ant

 

 

 

 

Indian Head & Mount Colvin: Some of the Best Sights in the Adirondacks

An 18 Mile Journey Through the Adirondacks

What is going on my Road Trip Warriors!? I am extremely excited to be able to tell you about another trip I went on with my brother, Alex, and my best pal, Adam. The reason for such excitement is that the hike we undertook was THE most scenic hike I have been on thus far. Our trip entailed a beautiful waterfall, Indian Head, Fish Hawk Cliffs, and to top it off, Mount Colvin! It was a long, but rewarding day and it allowed me to understand the true beauty the Adirondacks have to offer.

Beginning Our Trek at the Ausable Club

We hit the Ausable Road lot around 8:30AM (8/20/18) and put on our boots, got our bags together, and headed a half mile up towards the Ausable Club. On the way up we were able to admire the beautiful golf course the club offers with the mountains towering beyond it. Once we hit Lake Road, we turned left in-between the two tennis courts and continued between some smaller houses for a bit. Soon, we reached where the sign-in sheet was at the beginning of the dirt road. There are many different trails in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) so be sure to jot down your information here. At the bottom of this post, I will include a list of all the trails/mountains that can be hiked that I came across. After signing in, we walked past the wooden AMR sign and down the dirt road. This dirt road extends for about 3.5 miles and after walking just about 2.5 miles, we reached the sign for Indian Head and Mount Colvin.

Trail to Indian Head

We followed the trail which was adjacent to Gill Brook. Eventually, on our left we were able to observe a beautiful waterfall. We stopped to take pictures and continued to make our way. As we continued to walk through the woods, we came across a sign. The trail split and to our right was Indian Head where as to our left was Nippletop Mountain and Mount Colvin. We had heard nothing but amazing things about Indian Head so we decided to hit that location first. The trail was not difficult whatsoever. The occasional easy rock scramble and a gradual ascent. We reached Indian Head at roughly 10:30 AM and had the place to ourselves. When I first laid eyes on this iconic destination in the heart of the Adirondacks…it was almost surreal. Tucked away in the valley below was Lower Ausable Lake. Beautiful dark green trees cover the mountains on both sides of the lake. The lake was void of any human activity giving it a complete stillness, and there was a very light breeze. We decided to enjoy the serenity of it all before we took dozens upon dozens of pictures and videos.  If I have any recommendation to anyone whom enjoys the outdoors, it would be to visit Indian Head in the Adirondacks as it’s beauty is unparalleled.

Indian Head First Photo
Indian Head Overlooking Lower Ausable Lake
IMG_3344
Admiring the View

Onward to Fish Hawk Cliffs

After eating and hanging out at Indian Head for about a half an hour we decided that we would hit Fish Hawk Cliffs. Seeing that it was along the trail we were following and only a short distance from where we were, it only made sense. We followed a steep, but short descent to the cliffs where it allowed us a new vantage point of Lower Ausable Lake. From here we could see an individual paddle-boarding among the glass-like water. Yes, I was extremely jealous because I have always wanted to do such an activity in a secluded location. As far as taking photos at this location, we did not take any. The reason being is that it was just another view of what we saw at Indian Head and we wanted to advance towards Mount Colvin.

Mount Colvin, Here We Come

We left Fish Hawk Cliffs and followed the trail that pointed us towards Colvin (wooden sign that says “Colvin”). The trail was muddy, the surrounding plants were bright green, and different colored fungus were littered among the plants. Not before long, we reached a split in the trail. To the left the sign stated that Nippletop Mountain was 1.9 miles away. To our right the sign stated that Mount Colvin was 1.1 miles away along with Blake Peak being 2.4 miles away from our position. Always being overeager, we planned on hitting both High Peaks and headed towards our right.

In my opinion, the climb on the trail was rather forgiving. It would ascend gradually for significant time with a sporadic flattening of the trail allowing our legs to..somewhat recover. This trail was very muddy and we had to watch our step so we did not sink into 4 inches of mud/water. As we made our way through the woods, we realized that the sign we saw stating Colvin was only 1.1 miles away had to be incorrect. It did not seem like there was an end in sight. We came across a few tricky rock scrambles that were quite steep. While climbing these, a group of three hikers whom had just completed Colvin crossed our path. They insisted that we did not have much further to go and we joked how the sign had to of had the mileage wrong. After one last rock scramble, we had reached the summit of Mount Colvin (4057′).

This peak is at the smaller end of the 46 High Peaks, but offers astounding views of the surrounding High Peaks. From here the Dix Range is visible, Lower Ausable River, and Indian Head. We had this spot to ourselves as well and soaked in every minute eating, telling jokes, and taking pictures.

Mount Colvin 1
View From The Summit of Mount Colvin
Mount Colvin 2 (Lower Ausable Lake)
Looking Down Upon Lower Ausable Lake and Indian Head
Mount Colvin 3
View of Surrounding High Peaks
Mount Colvin 4 (Geo-Tag)
Mount Colvin Geological Marker

A Slight Error in Judgement

After talking it over and being the ambitious bunch that we are, we figured that Blake Peak was in our grasp. We started heading on the trail towards the second mountain that was roughly a mile or so away according to the sign. We descended further through mud and towards a valley between Colvin and Blake. Eventually, we finally saw how far we would have to hike down into the valley to then climb Blake Peak. After checking the time, the unanimous decision was made to head back to the car. Being about 6.5 miles from the lot, it would take significant time to get back. We had not planned to be hiking into the late evening either. Sometimes decisions have to be made whether you like them or not. Blake Peak is not going anywhere and we will be sure to come back for it!

Gear

I am not going to provide a picture of what I brought for this trip. The reason being is that it is essentially the same as the picture posted in the previous blogs. Some of the important items that I brought included:

  • Canon Camera
  • Five Water Bottles (I forgot to fill up my large water 32 ounce plastic containers)
  • Wheat Thins, Larabars (fantastic and filling granola bars), almonds, and a peanut butter sandwich
  • Knife
  • First-Aid
  • Paracord
  • Bug-Spray

Other Trails/Mountains Accessed from the Ausable Lot

  • Noonmark Mountain (Non High Peak)
  • Round Mountain (Non High Peak)
  • Dial & Nippletop Mountains via Leach Trail (High Peaks)
  • Upper and Lower Wolfjaws (High Peaks)
  • Cathedral Rocks (Hiking Trail, can include Pyramid Falls)
  • Gothics & Armstrong (High Peaks)
  • Mount Colvin & Blake Peak (High Peaks)

End Note

That is about all I have to say for this adventure. I hope it was as enjoyable to read as it was for me to write about. Thank you for whomever took the time to read this. Remember to get outside and take on some wild adventures my Road Trip Warriors! Until next trip,

-Ant

 

 

 

Adirondack Park: Hurricane Mountain

An Improvised Trip…

What’s going on Road Trip Warriors!? I have been trying to fill in this last month of summer with as many hikes as possible and it was noticed that many other people are as well! I took off with my friend, Adam, to the Adirondacks yesterday with the intention of doing Haystack Mountain, Saddleback Mountain, and Basin Mountain. It is a 16.5 mile loop that starts at the Garden parking lot near Noonmark Diner. We arrived there at 7:00 AM and it was absolutely full. Since I do not tend to get discouraged I decided we would go to the Ausable Road lot and hike the Dial/Nippletop Mountain loop…..that lot was also overflowing. Then I decided that maybe the Adirondack Loj would have open spots…you get the point. Luckily, the Adirondack Park offers many other beautiful mountains besides the High Peaks. I had read about Hurricane Mountain before and I knew that the peak sat at an altitude not much less than a High Peak (3678′). I decided that this was the best alternative.

The Climb

The trail is located on Route 9N a few miles East of the junction of Route 9N and Route 73.  It is past Baxter Mountain and the trail is on the left side of the road. There are signs on the side of the road that will point you in the right direction. The trail begins between two metal posts with a red sign stating that the trail is 2.5 miles and has an elevation gain of 2000′. This sign is inaccurate as the trail is 3.4 miles to the summit. Do not be discouraged as the hike is relatively easy. The trail initially begins with a couple switchbacks, nothing too steep. After this, the trail becomes flat for a ways and there are some bridges over a swampy terrain. Do not forget to look around, there is always something beautiful to see.

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View of the wilderness along the trail

The trail begins climbing again and just under 3 miles into the trek you’ll be granted with an amazing view of the surrounding mountains. You will also be able to view the fire tower sitting on the peak of Hurricane Mountain. It looks further away than it really is and at this point, you are just about there. From the trailhead it took us about an hour and twenty minutes to reach this point. We stopped and took numerous photos.

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Views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains
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View of Hurricane Mountain

That tiny thing on the summit is the fire observation tower. After our brief ten minute break, we pushed on. After overcoming a few rock scrambles we were on the summit in less than twenty minutes. The summit of Hurricane Mountain was a genuine surprise. I would not say that I had low expectations, but I did not think that the sights would be as grand as a High Peak would offer. I was glad that I was wrong. It had 360º views and you have the option to climb the fire tower (no more than six people at a time). In the far distance, you’ll be able to see Lake Champlain in its glory. The lake is quite large stretching for 120 miles with borders of New York, Vermont, and Canada. It was a little breezy up there, the sun was out, and it was roughly 75ºF. I could not have asked for better weather. Again, we took countless pictures as we relished the far stretches of land this mountain allowed us to see. 

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Hurricane Mountain Fire Observation Tower with Lake Champlain in the distance
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Enjoying the Adirondacks

The Descent

I am not going to spend too much time going over the descent as it is pretty self-explanatory. We followed the same trail back down and in an hour and a half we were back at my car. The total mileage for the day ended up being around 6.8 miles. 

Gear

I have decided from here on out that it would be helpful to fellow Road Trip Warriors out there if I listed off the gear I bring for each of my excursions. I do not want anyone to ever be underprepared for the wilderness or duration of a hike. I also do not want people to have to suffer through carrying too much gear (although it is always better to be over-prepared than the alternative). Unfortunately for this hike I was carrying much more than was necessary as I initially planned for a much longer trek. The photo below shows items that I had packed in my hiking bag (a 35L Eddie Bauer bag). 

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In the photo:

  • The plastic bag is for my garbage
  • Wind/Rain resistant pants
  • 3L Poland Springs water, I also brought a filled 32 ounce bottle
  • Adhesive body warmer
  • Knife
  • 50 foot paracord rated to hold 550 pounds
  • Three carabiners (those metal clips on the paracord)
  • My two trekking poles 
  • Citronella bracelet to repel mosquitos 
  • ADK park map
  • LifeStraw (if I ever ran out of water, can be used to drink water found along trails)
  • Fire starter and waterproof matches
  • Whistle
  • First-Aid kit (small)
  • Notepad and pen
  • Bug sprays
  • Multi-tool

I also brought extra socks, shorts, shirts, UnderArmour, granola bars, almonds, peanut butter sandwiches, and cooked rice. I was slightly over-prepared for a 6.8 mile round trip hike on a moderately trafficked trail. I would suggest carrying a smaller day pack filled with a significant amount of water and snacks. I also would bring a basic first-aid kit (should always have one), bug spray, and trekking poles. The trekking poles are always helpful considering the weight it takes off the knees descending a mountain. I saw many individuals on my way down going up the mountain in sneakers and not carrying much on their backs. Although this hike is not too difficult, I strongly recommend always wearing either trail shoes or hiking boots for grip and to protect from sprained ankles. I strongly recommend this hike to anyone looking for a good workout with generous rewards only 3.4 miles away from the trailhead. Remember to pack-in-pack-out and happy hiking my warriors!

-Ant