Big and Little Pisgah Mountains

These small peaks are somewhat obscure with no real trail to the summit. GPS, map and compass, and navigation experience is a must.

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in Indian Lake follow Route 28 toward North Hudson for around 1.4 miles to Chain Lake Road on the left and drive Chain Lake Road to the gate at the end. The distance to the gate depends on the time of year you visit. There is a gate that is often closed for mud season, but during non-mud season you can get through to another gate about a mile further in.

Trail Description

From the gate you will start your hike along the forest road. You will either be by the outer gate during mud season or the inner gate which is by the old hunting club house. Continue on the road until you are on the SW side of Big Pisgah which ends up being the height-of-land along the road before it starts to descend to Mud Pond. This is a great place to start with very open woods. As you get closer you will come to the open face of the mountain with a grassy coverage and outstanding views. The summit is a bit higher and doesn't have as nice of views but many more can be had from the open areas just below.

To continue to Little Pisgah head off the NW ridge and descend gently to the col and climb the easy slopes to the open summit and the survey disk. There are seasonal views from the top but if you descend directly toward Mud Pond you will have additional views on the way down. The forest on this side is jumbled with loose rock so take your time; you should pop out of the forest someplace near Mud Pond and follow the road back to your car.

Elevation

2102' (Big Pisgah), 2013' (Little Pisgah)

Approximate Round Trip Distance

6.25 miles

Estimated Round Trip Time

Family with Young Kids

  • Not recommended

Experienced Hiker

  • 3.5 to 4 hours

Inexperienced Hiker

  • Not recommended

7th Lake Mountain Trail

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 28 and Limekiln Road in Inlet follow Limekiln Road to the Moose River Plains Road. Follow the Moose River Plains Road for around 2.75 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Trail Description

This trail is also a snowmobile trail and mountain bike trail. Make note that it does not go to the summit of Seventh Lake Mountain. Starting from the Moose River Plains Road you can hike this trail to the 7th Lake State Campground if one was so inclined. The trail is simply a corridor trail connecting two communities, and it does continue on to Raquette Lake. As a hiking trail, it can be used as an afternoon stroll, a dog walking trail or as access to the wooded summit of 7th Lake Mountain. The terrain is very wide and under most normal conditions dry. There are a couple wetlands along the way offering interesting views out over the mashes and the possibility of birding.

Round-trip Distances

Up to 8-miles, one way

  • Family with Young Kids

Dependent on distance

  • Experienced Hiker

Dependent on distance

  • Inexperienced Hiker

Dependent on distance

Mountain Pond and Cork Mountain Loop

This is a unique loop trail that utilizes foot trails, multi-use trails, and a forest road. At the trailhead, follow the forest road to the left for about 0.1 mile to a foot trail on the right. Hop onto the foot trail and enjoy a walk in an attractive forest of mixed conifers and evergreens. There will be a decent climb as you approach the Vista Trail, which comes in on the right. The footing is a bit slippery in spots.

Mountain Pond comes up soon on the right. A small climb after the pond will bring you to an obscure trail on the right that leads to Cork Mountain. The hike up Cork is a bit steep and can be tough to follow. There may have been a view from Cork at one time, but it appears to have become quite overgrown. Returning to the loop trail, take a right and continue a short distance to the old forest road you started on at the beginning of the loop. Take a left and hike back to the beginning.

Location

From the intersection of Route 28 and Big Moose Road in Inlet, continue on Route 28 west toward Old Forge. Continue for 3.6 miles to a very obscure trailhead on the right. This is part of the old multi-use trail that follows Route 28. A large kiosk map sign sits back from the road.

Distance

4.5 mile loop

It can take 5 hours to complete this hike.

Vista Trail Loop

The Vista Trail has become much more over grown over the years and hence has become much less popular and maintenance has fallen to a minimum. Start by following the Sis and Bubb Trail for about a quarter mile to where the Vista Trail comes in on the left. From here you will start climbing and at times quite steep over slippery open rock.

Once on the ridge there are several ups and downs as the small bumps bring you many obstructed views out over Fourth Lake. The trail at the end descends steeply and comes to an intersection with Mountain Pond. Take a left here and continue down to an old forest road and take another left. This old forest road is part of a multi-use trail system that follows along Route 28. Follow this trail system back to your car.

Location

From the intersection of Route 28 and Big Moose Road in Inlet continue on Route 28 west toward Old Forge. Continue for 1.5 miles to the trailhead for Sis and Bubb Lakes on the right.

Distance

5.6 miles round trip

It can take more than 5 hours to do this hike.

Black Bear Mountain Loop from Route 28

Black Bear Mountain is the big brother, so to speak, of Rocky Mountain. Located so close to the village of Inlet, this peak gets some pretty serious attention from hikers; the summit can be a very crowded location. Black Bear Mountain from Route 28 is the most popular approach, but a secondary approach can be found leaving from Uncas Road. Using the Route 28 trailhead you have an excellent opportunity to create a loop for a slightly longer outing.

How to get there

Follow Route 28 west out of the village of Inlet and in no time you will see the trailhead on the right. This is a large parking area, paved but rough. The Black Bear Mountain Trail is to the right side of the parking area.

Trail Description

One of the nice features of the Black Bear Mountain Trail is that you can loop over the top and connect to another trail making for an interesting day in the woods. The loop will add on time and distance to the trip, but you will get to see different lays of land and spend some time on a lightly used and soft trail. You also have the option to descend via your route in, once you have reached the summit.

From the trailhead you will start off walking along an old rocky woods road and quickly come to a split in the trail, take the right at this time, you will return left at the end of the loop. From here the old road continues for a bit before it turns into more of a foot trail and goes through a wet area over a long attractive boardwalk. At this point, the trail will start to ascend, at times quite steeply. The trail from Seventh Lake will come in on the right in a col between Black Bear and a lower summit; the Seventh Lake Trail can be easily hiked right past and not even noticed. The final approach to the summit is a bit more interesting, as rocky footing starts to be introduced as well as your first views. The summit of Black Bear has several viewing areas to spread out amongst the crowds of people who often frequent this peak.

If you wish to continue on the loop, please read further and have a great trip.

The loop continues over the top of the mountain; it can be hard to locate off the summit, but look closely for markers on the trees and you will find the way. The trail will drop off the summit on a very narrow trail. The trail is easy to follow but in many cases ends up being steep and slippery. The descent is through a different forest type than you were in on the way up. You will be down off the mountain quite quickly and come to the Uncas Road Trail on your right. Don't follow here but head much more left along a grassy trail that shadows the base of Black Bear Mountain. Through this area the forest opens up into mostly hardwoods with wildflowers blooming all around. The lower portion of this loop is quite flat, and for being as flat as it is, there are not too many wet areas to navigate through. It will be 3-miles back to the trail you started in on, but those 3-miles moves by quickly. Once back at the trail intersection you pass on the way in, you will have about 0.75 miles remaining to your vehicle on Route 28.

Elevation

2442'

Distances

Route 28 to the summit = 1.9 miles
Full loop = 6.3 miles

Family with Young Kids

  • 2-hours to summit
  • 4-5 hours for entire loop (loop might be a bit much for most young children)

Experienced Hiker

  • 1-hour to summit
  • 3-hours for entire loop

Out of Shape Hiker

  • 1.5 hours to summit
  • 4 hours for entire loop

Winter Overview

Black Bear is an excellent destination for snowshoeing and does get some moderate winter attention. It may be too much of a hike for young children under winter conditions. The back portion of the loop get very little use in winter, it may require the user to break trail under difficult conditions.

The mountain trail is not recommended for cross-country skiing. The lower portion of the loop could make for a nice cross-country ski if conditions were good.

Kunjamuk Cave

This is a very mysterious cave that keeps everyone wondering if it was manmade or not. Check it out and decide for yourself. The cave itself is about 15 feet deep and 8 feet wide with a small window opening near the top.

How to get there

At the intersection of Route 8 and Route 30 in the village of Speculator, look for Elm Lake Road. Follow Elm Lake Road for 1.8 miles to a dirt road on the right. This dirt road leads to Kunjamuk Cave; park off Elm Lake Road.

Trail Description

Many people park near the cave and walk the short spur path to it, but it is much more interesting to walk or mountain bike the road to the cave. The entire walk is just over a mile, which is very easy and perfect for all types of hikers and visitors.

The road continues past the cave and eventually comes to Old Route 8. This secondary trailhead is another excellent option for visiting the cave, and it is equally friendly for the entire family. The distance is similar as well.

Distances

It's 1.2 miles to the cave. Most people can get there in less than a half an hour.

Winter Overview

This would be a nice introductory snowshoe or short cross-country ski destination for the entire family. Be aware that snowmobiles may also be using the trail.

Directions

The cave is 2.2 miles NE of the village of Speculator. From the intersection of Route 30 & 8 in the village of Speculator, head NE on Elm Lake Road for 1.7 miles, and make a right onto the dirt road. Follow for another 0.7 miles to the cave.

Make your way from Northville to Lake Placid NY on this multi use trail, both for hiking and cross country skiing.

The Nature Trail at the Hamilton County Building Complex in Lake Pleasant is a well maintained trail system. The shaded trail begins behind the Soil & Water Building (behind the tennis courts) where a sign marks the trail. The walk is a 1/2 mile loop.

Directions

From Speculator, drive 3.0 miles west on Route 8. Make a left onto South Shore Road, and then a right onto County View Drive. The Hamilton County Soil and Water building is on the left. Find the trail behind the building on the left.

This Adirondack trail is steep in places. The trailhead begins off short blacktop road at state camp just North of Lewey Lake outlet on Rt. 30. Lean-to on Cedar River at 6.9 miles. The Trail connects to Northville-Lake Placid Trail near Cedar lakes.

Directions

From Indian Lake, drive south on Rte 30 for 12 miles. The trailhead is on the right side of the road, before the bridge that connects Lewey Lake and Indian Lake. If you come from Speculator, drive north on Rte 30 for 12 miles, crossing over the bridge mentioned above. The trailhead is on the left side of the road.

8.0 mile hike one way, easy Adirondack hike. This trail follows an old lumber company road, which continues all the way to Speculator, but is fairly well used and maintained past Round Pond, and as far as Wakely Brook.

Directions

Take Big Brook Road south for exactly 6.1 miles. Cross a bridge over Big Brook on right off Big Brook Road. Drive another .2 mile, and pull off and park on the side of the road.

Cathedral Pines

In the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, Cathedral Pines is a short .1 mile hike that loops through a stand of magnificent of old growth virgin pines.

Along the loop stands a plaque in honor of Malcolm L. Blue, a local who was killed in action during WWII. The Plaque reads: "This tree created by God and old when our Country was born. Fine and clean and straight - gained like the boy himself, is dedicated in memory of 2nd Lt. Malcolm L. Blue, Navigator of the Liberator Bomber with the Eight Air Force. Killed in action over France, June 2, 1844. Few men have earned so fine a memorial."

Don't let the length of this hike deceive you, the pine trees are so large that it take up to three adults to wrap completely around them. Great hike for families with small children. 

Directions

To get to the trail head, take Route 28 .9 miles SW of the Eight Lake Campground entrance. Look for the trail on the north side of Route 28.

4 mile Adirondack hike, moderately easy terrain. This hike culminates at an isolated grove of enormous white pines that are 200 to 250 years old and have trunk diameters that exceed six feet.

A 1.8 mile easy Adirondack hike. An old road leads to this popular lake that has beautiful blue-green water and a picturesque shoreline.

Great Camp Sagamore Lake Trail

This interesting loop around Sagamore Lake starts and ends at the Great Camp Sagamore. Many of the trails around the great camp are open to the public, which visitors do not realize.

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 28 and Sagamore Road follow Sagamore Road for 3.75 miles to the entrance to the great camp. Parking may be available here next to the old barn and sheds, if not you may need to continue a bit further up the road to the main parking area for Mohegan Lake.

Trail Description

From the main lodge entrance you will need to follow the main road to the left for about 0.1 miles to the trailhead which will be on the left. Starting here will bring you in a counterclockwise direction of travel. Travel in either direction, no one way is better.

The trail starts out very easy on a flat grade as it passes through a very attractive mixed forest. You will pass through a clearing and look for the trail on the opposite side, this is a bit of an obscure area and the trail can be easily mistaken as a woods road to the left.

Soon you will come to a major stream crossing where the bridge has been in slight disrepair but is planned to be fixed in the near future. Crossing can be a bit tricky and slippery, just take your time. On the opposite side of the bridge you will be again on an easy course with a slight climb and long easy descent. As you near the end of the trail you will have an excellent viewing area on the left that will afford you looks out over a bay to the great camp itself. The trail will come to a bridge which you will need to cross and take a left back through the great camp area and your car.

Distances

3.8 mile loop

Family with Young Kids

  • 2 to 3 hours, loop

Experienced Hiker

  • 1.5 to 2 hours, loop

Out of Shape Hiker

  • 2 to 2.5 hours loop

Winter Overview

This is an excellent snowshoe or cross-country ski destination for the entire family. The gentle terrain and occasional small hill make for a fun filled afternoon on a pair of skis. The trail gets moderate winter use, so on many occasions it will be packed out for use.

This historic hike into Cedar Lakes, is known as the "French Louie Trail, honoring the famous "French Louie", guide and trapper. He spent much time in the Cedar Lakes area during his short lifetime. The trail is a pleasant hike, starting as a road and ending in a well traveled foot path, which parallels the Miami RIver.

 

Directions

Location: 9 miles northwest of Speculator. Take Rt. 30 N 8.2 miles from Speculator. Left onto dirt road past Mason Lake. Follow dirt road 3.2 miles to junction at Perkins Clearing, marked by a DEC sign. Turn right and end at Sled Harbor, 5.1 miles from Rte 30, where you should park. Walk 1.2 miles N on the trail to Pillsbury Mtn, where you'll find a locked gate at the trailhead for Pillsbury. This is the start of the trail into Cedar Lakes.

You'll cross Rock Pond outlet on a 200-foot boardwalk and follow a historic road as you do the 8.4 mile round-trip walk to these two beautiful ponds.

Directions

From Blue Mountain Lake, drive south for 0.8 miles on Route 30/28 toward Indian Lake. Make a right onto Durant Road and follow it for 0.25 miles. Make a left onto the approach road, at the state Department of Environmental Conservation trailhead.

Sargent Ponds Loop

Sargent Ponds are located in the approximately 45,000 acre Sargent Ponds Wild Forest and are open to all kind of outdoor activities from mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, fishing, trail running, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hunting.

The Sargent Ponds Loop makes for an excellent outing for the entire family. One of the nice things about this loop is it can be hiked in its entirety or only in parts. With three very distinctive ponds along the loop, a visitor could visit one or all of them depending on what they have in mind.

For this entire loop it would be required for the hiker to walk North Point Road for 1.5 miles back to their car, unless a second car were available to spot. However, as a visitor to the area a second car might not be an option. With that in mind, the road is a nice walk at the end of a day, but an out and back to Upper Sargent Pond might just be the ticket.

How to get there

You can find these two trailheads off the Forked Lake Road in Long Lake. Start at the three corners in Long Lake drive south toward Blue Mountain Lake on Route 28N/30. North Point Road will be on the right, in 3.0 miles – drive down North Point Road. There will be a fork in the road a few miles in; right leads to Forked Lake Campsite, left to the trailheads. The trailheads will both be marked with state DEC signs on the left side of the road. The first trailhead is at 3.1 miles from the intersection with Forked Lake Road; 1.5 miles separate the two trailheads.

Trail Description

Starting from the eastern trailhead and hiking in a clockwise direction, just because. After a surprisingly quick 1.2 miles over a somewhat heavily used trail you will come to a trail intersection on your left, with only one sign. The sign points to Lower Sargent Pond; left is a 0.2 mile trail to the shore of Upper Sargent Pond. Upper Sargent Pond is worth the short hike, if for no other reason than to just look out over the calm waters. This is a fabulous place for a picnic or to wade out and cool off on a hot day. The waters are very shallow allowing hikers to wade out well beyond what most ponds offer.

Returning back to the junction, and go left toward Lower Sargent Pond. This segment of trail is a little more serious with small ups and downs, possible wet crossings, and sections of trail that are very narrow and getting overgrown. Along this route you will begin to see a long marshy area to your left which is part of Middle Sargent Pond but not actually the pond itself – no trail leads to Middle Sargent Pond. At 2.7 miles you will come to another intersection - right is to Grass Pond (the trail you will need to return to) and left is to Upper Sargent Pond. The sign reads Upper Sargent Pond 0.1 miles. A trail then continues along the northern shore for about 0.2 miles to a lean-to if you wish to see it. The trail also continues straight and ends at the Shore of Raquette Lake, 4.0 miles away.

Retrace your steps to the intersection, take that left toward Grass Pond and continue the loop. This will bring you along a well-maintained trail and the western trailhead. It's only about 0.6 miles to Grass Pond, whose shore is just that, grass-covered, wet and mossy. It is challenging to reach open water, however, with that being said, it is a great place to do a bit of bird watching. Great Blue Herons, red-wing blackbirds, and numerous species of song-birds frequent the tall grasses. The slap of a beaver tail or the laughing cackle of a pileated woodpecker could be heard in the distance. The remaining 1.3 miles to the road is a nice, mellow stroll. Small rolling hills dot the landscape and add to the experience. Once at the North Point Road you will need to get back to your vehicle if a second car is not available. It's a 1.5 mile walk along the windy, somewhat well-traveled road, back to the other trailhead.

Distances

Loop = 6.8 miles

Family with Young Kids

  • 4 to 5 hours, loop. This hike as a full loop may be too extensive of a hike for young children; consider a shorter version with an out and back to Upper Sargent Pond

Experienced Hiker

  • 2.5 to 3 hours, loop

Out of Shape Hiker

  • 3 to 4 hours, loop

Winter Overview

This loop makes for an excellent snowshoe trip, as well as a decent cross-country ski outing. Parts of this loop get subtle use from snowmobiles, so it may have track set for you. If not, you can expect heavy snow and fresh powder.

Owls Head Mountain - Fire Tower

This rather prominent peak in the Long Lake area is made up of four separate summits, two of which are referred to as the horns. These horns give the mountain the look of an owl's head – a great horned owl's head to be a bit more exact. Atop its tallest summit sits a fire tower that was erected in 1919 after the original wooden one was abandoned. The tower then became inactive in the 1970's. Under the help of Friends of the Owl's Head Fire Tower it has been restored and is open to the public to enjoy. Owl's Head has outstanding and vast views from the cliffs, if climbing a tower is not your cup of tea.

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in the Town of Long Lake follow Route 30 toward Tupper Lake. Continue for about 2-miles to Endion Road on the left. Follow Endion Road for 2-miles or so to the trailhead for Owl's Head on the right. A large parking area is located at this point.

Trail Description

The trail starts out climbing right from the start as it makes its way up through an open hardwood forest. It doesn't take too long before the trail begins to moderate and follow a course through a draw of two adjoining ridges. An attractive wet area with a long boardwalk is located through this area. After a mile or so you will come to an intersection with a side trail to Lake Eaton on the right, avoid this and make a left up over a small rise.

From this point the trail continues to be moderate but over classic wet footing. The trail then begins to climb steadily over eroded settings as it makes up some elevation. This long section of climbing slowly mellows out in a col between two of the smaller peaks of Owl's Head. Unfortunately the trail then descends off this high ridge into a shallow valley at the base of the true summit. In this valley is the site of the observer's cabin, where only the concrete footers remain, and a pail. The final push to the summit is very steep with a bit of slab rock and tall steps introduced. As the trail starts to moderate again, the base of the fire tower comes into view and the screams of joy from all the kids should be ringing in your ears.

From the partially open summit, Long Lake can be seen below with Blue Mountain in the background. From the tower a 360 degree view is afforded with mind blowing views of the Central Adirondacks and High Peaks Region off in the distance. The Seward Mountains stand tall over everything in the area. The large dome of Kempshall Mountain (a former fire tower peak) sits along the Shore of Long Lake. In the distance the towers of Blue Mountain, Wakely Mountain, Snowy Mountain, Goodnow Mountain and Arab Mountain can be faintly determined.

Elevation

2812'

Distances

Trailhead to the summit = 3.1 miles

Family with Young Kids

  • 2 hours to summit

Experienced Hiker

  • 1.5 hours to summit

Out of Shape Hiker

  • 2 hours to summit

Winter Overview

This makes for an excellent snowshoe for the entire family. While under fresh snow conditions it can be a very demanding outing. The steep upper slopes also add a bit of a challenge with snowshoes.
This trail is not recommended for cross-country skiing.

Directions

Location: 4 miles SW of the Village of Long Lake. Take Rt 30 N from the village. Travel 3/10 mi. past the Long Lake bridge and make a left onto Endion Road. The Trail Head is on a sharp curve on the R side of the road, 1.6 miles from Rte 30.