Protect the Adirondacks promotes foliage hikes

A hiker takes pictures of brilliant fall foliage from Owl Head Lookout on a Saturday afternoon in September 2020. (Enterprise photo — Peter Crowley)

NORTH CREEK — Protect the Adirondacks has put together hiking guides to 25 hikes that are easy, moderate and challenging, and lead to prime locations to see the fall colors in all corners of the Adirondack Park.

The list includes short, easy hikes of one mile or so, such as Azure Mountain, north of Paul Smiths, Coney Mountain outside of Tupper Lake, Cook Mountain in Ticonderoga, Balm of Gilead outside of North Creek, the Bloomingdale Bog outside of Saranac Lake, Cobble Lookout in Wilmington and Black Bear Mountain near Inlet and Old Forge.

Moderate hikes of 2 to 4 miles include Poke-O-Moonshine, Catamount Mountain and Silver Lake Mountain south of Plattsburgh, Haystack Mountain outside of Lake Placid, Owl Head Lookout near Elizabethtown, Goodnow Mountain in Newcomb, Moxham Mountain in Minerva, Hadley Mountain outside of Lake Luzerne, Five Mile Mountain north of Bolton Landing and Owls Head Mountain in Long Lake.

Longer, more challenging hikes that top five miles round trip leading to great fall color viewing sites include Lyon Mountain north of Plattsburgh, Jay Mountain outside of Keene, St. Regis Mountain outside of Paul Smiths, Snowy Mountain south of Indian Lake and Pillsbury Mountain north of Speculator.

“These hikes range from just under 1 mile to some that are 4 or 5 miles in length. Some of these hikes are well known, others are off the beaten path, but they all lead to great places to view the fall colors in the Adirondack Park,” said Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks.

Hikes close to the


¯ Azure Mountain: This is a short, moderate hike north of Paul Smiths that leads to an open, rocky summit with a historic fire tower.

¯ Bald Mountain: Outside of Elizabethtown in Essex County, Bald Mountain is a challenging hike with numerous small lookouts that lead to views of Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge.

¯ Bloomingdale Bog: Outside of Saranac Lake, Bloomingdale Bog is an easy, flat trail that runs atop of an abandoned railroad bed through a vast wetland and bog complex.

¯ Catamount Mountain: Outside of Silver Lake in Clinton County, Catamount Mountain is a steep and challenging 1.9-mile hike to a large, wide open summit with 360-degree views.

¯ Haystack Mountain (Ray Brook): Between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, Haystack Mountain is a 6.6-mile (round trip) hike in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area that leads to an open rocky summit with views to the north and west.

¯ Lyon Mountain: Just outside of Plattsburgh, Lyon Mountain is a challenging 7-mile hike (round trip) on a newly constructed trail to a spruce-covered mountaintop plateau with a fire tower that provides a 360-degree-view that includes the High Peaks and Montreal.

¯ Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain: Just south of Plattsburgh and north of Willsboro, Poke-O-Moonshine is a 4.6-mile hike (round trip) on a trail that gradually gains elevation and leads hikers through varied forests, around beaver meadows, wetlands and ponds, to a rocky summit with a fire tower that provides panoramic views of the Champlain Valley and northern Adirondacks.

¯ Silver Lake Mountain: In Silver Lake, Clinton County, this is a moderate 1.8-mile (round trip) hike over a steep and rocky trail that leads to a craggy mountaintop with sweeping views of Silver Lake, Taylor Pond and the mountain and ridges of the northern Adirondacks.

¯ St. Regis Mountain: Outside of Paul Smiths, this is a 6.8-mile hike (round trip) that winds through a dense forest and leads to a wide-open summit with a fire tower.

¯ Balm of Gilead Mountain: Outside of North Creek in Warren County, Balm of Gilead Mountain is a 3-mile hike (round trip) that leads to a mountaintop.

¯ Baxter Mountain: In Keene, Essex County, the hike up Baxter Mountain is short and easy and leads to a summit with a series of lookouts with sweeping views of the High Peaks.

¯ Cobble Lookout: Outside of Wilmington in Essex County, Cobble Lookout is a short, easy hike that leads to an open rocky cliff area with views of the surrounding High Peaks and other mountains.

¯ Coney Mountain: Just south of Tupper Lake in Franklin County, Coney Mountain is a 2.2-mile hike (round trip) that reaches a wide-open summit with panoramic views.

¯ Goodnow Mountain: In Newcomb, Essex County, Goodnow Mountain is an easy hike on an interpretive and educational trail to a small mountain with a fire tower that provides a panoramic view.

¯ Jay Mountain: Just outside Keene in Essex County, Jay Mountain is a challenging 7-mile hike (round trip) to an open ridgeline trail that provides scenic vistas on the way to a rocky summit.

¯ Owl Head Lookout: Outside of Elizabethtown in Essex County, Owl Head Lookout provides views of Giant Mountain, Bald Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge.

¯ Owls Head Mountain: Outside of Long Lake in Hamilton County, Owls Head Mountain is 6.2-mile (round trip) hike that ascends to a mountaintop summit with a fire tower and a panoramic view.

To see the entire list and guides — including maps, information about hiking conditions and pictures — visit https://tinyurl.com/z5ysuncd.


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