5 Sweet Peaks With Sweet Peeks
What, the High Peaks are closed!!!!???? Well, no, they are not closed, but it is highly recommended that you stay off the higher elevation trails while they dry out for the season. The DEC, ADK, and other trail crews work very hard to keep the trails you love so much from deteriorating during the months where water and mud are present in abundance. Excessive mud causes unnecessary erosion and can damage a trail quite a bit. Much of the excess trail erosion comes from those hiking around the mud and not through it. This widens trails and adds to erosion over time and simply widens the muddy territory.
Let’s look at the positives of mud season. The leaves are still off the trees giving views that are not there in the summer. There’s the warm smell of spring in the air, and you don’t have to bundle up quite as much. This also gives you time to enjoy the smaller mountains and lower elevation trails that surround the Schroon Lake Region and see something a bit more off the beaten path. Take a gander at these 5 sweet escapes in the region and don’t forget to check out what else we have in store for you when you find yourself wanting more.
This gem of a low peak can be found and accessed from the Putnam Ponds State Campground. The campground is still closed for the season but right about this time they are starting to ramp up and clean up for a successful summer season. Hiker parking is found within the campground by following the campground road to the left, you can’t miss it. From the parking area you will access the trail to the far back and hike along a very popular trail around Putnam Pond. Once on the west side of the pond you will access the Treadway Mountain Trail and enjoy one of the most scenic hikes in the region. The open trail dries out fast as it gets warmed in the spring sun and open views are quite literally jaw-dropping.
This little guy is located right off I-87 at exit 28. In fact the trail goes under the Northway by way of a hiker culvert, an interesting experience in itself. This smaller summit rises to a whopping 1638 feet in elevation, but the views are quite rewarding. At 1.2 miles from your car you can be up and back in no time, with ample time to enjoy an additional destination, but be sure to hang around a bit and soak up the sun’s rays on your shoulders.
Located in Ticonderoga, you can be at the trailhead in a blink of an eye. Built and maintained by the Nature Conservancy this route doesn’t get its due credit for a go-to destination. This forest trail will bring you easily and moderately to a summit with viewing opportunities at a few different locations. It will be 1.75 miles to the end of the trail, where your best views can be enjoyed.
Enjoy this short hike on the same day as you enjoy your stroll up Cooks Mountain. Located off Route 9N south of Ticonderoga you will find this trailhead at the Rogers Rock State Campground. While the campground is not open this time of year, you can easily walk the campground roads to the back portion where the trailhead resides. To the top of Rogers Rock is around 1.25 miles over a trail that skirts the open rock ledges above Lake George. Popular for rock climbing, this rock face will surely become a hiker’s favorite as well.
Pharaoh Mountain is the big boy of the region. Towering at almost 2600 feet in elevation, it rises high above many of its neighboring peaks and involves a 10-mile, round-trip commitment. Pharaoh Mountain was once a fire tower peak, but even without the tower, the mountain is pretty superb. Sweeping views await you atop this massive land mass. But not only will you get an amazing payoff, you will also enjoy vistas out over Alder Pond, Crane Pond, and Glidden Marsh. While this trail can be a bit daunting for some, only the final 1.5 miles is truly climbing a mountain, the rest is a gentle stroll through the woods.
Mud Season hiking - what a perfect way to warm up those hiking muscles and dust off the winter cobwebs. Get out there and enjoy spring hiking in the Schroon Lake Region, these mountains are open for business!
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