Gore Mountain via Schaefer Trail is a 10.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Creek, NY that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
A hike up old roads, trails and ski trails to reach the summit. From the trail register the trail skirts the Ski Bowl and then head left into the woods following blue markers along a gentle grade towards Roaring Brook. About 30 minutes or so in you will see Roaring Brook and at about 1.2 miles in you will begin to lose topo as you descend a bit and then very quickly begin to ascend again around a few ledges. In another 0.2 miles you will reach the bridge - just look for the blue markers, you can go under via a rock hop or continue up and cross the ski trail if the water is running high. Soon you will see a wooded summit, this is a false summit. Continue on the Schaefer Trail and take a hard right at the intersection with the red trail. After this you take a small dip but then continue a climb again shortly thereafter. At 3.4 miles you reach the Ives Dam clearing (dry) and the trail turns left, crosses a meadow and here the real "up" begins. You will begin to cross back and forth over the ski trails and have some steep sections to climb until you reach 4.0 miles where the foot trail you have been following will end and you will turn right and follow the wide Lower Cloud ski trail until you reach the service road. The service road will take you the rest of the distance to the summit and the firetower just beyond. This is a developed summit where you can have your lunch at a picnic table.
This hike seriously surpassed all expectations. We went on the best foliage week of the year. Such great views over the water. The hike wasn't too difficult- long (11.1 miles) but relatively easy. At the beginning, be sure to pay attention for the blue markers. Paths intersect and make it a bit tricky. There were only a few other hikers on the trail, all of which were solo hikers. There is a cool waterfall and stream so lots of opportunities for cool pictures. The firetower does have a saw horse in front of it. There are great views on the lookouts below the towers. It took us 2.5 hours up and about 1.5 hrs for the way down. I'd definitely recommend this hike in the fall.
The total distance on this app says 10.1. The sign at the trailhead says 5.8, which would make it 11.6. Not sure which is correct. Total time out and back for me was just under 5 hours and that included 30 minutes at the top.
I would agree with classifying as moderate. The first 3 - 4 miles is a gentle gain in elevation. It isn't until after the Ives dam that it becomes taxing. Even after that about half is on a service road to the summit. Although the steepest part being on the road certainly makes it easier than most.
There are nice views after you hit the service road and I enjoyed lunch on the flat at the warming building just below the fire tower. Unfortunately the fire tower was closed. No view at the tower with access secured.
This is a nice walk in the woods with nice views up high. The service road finish along with a closed tower make it a 4 for me.
Hiked from Ski Bowl to summit of Gore Mountain. Blue DEC Trail was well marked. After passing a complex of mountain bike trails, the trail follows the course of Roaring Brook with its cataracts and mini-waterfalls. After intersecting two bridges for equipment traveling on service roads, the North Creek Reservoir is encountered. Steady climbing thereafter until the trail meets up with gravel service roads of Gore Ski Area. The gravel road to the summit is steep in sections, making for a rapid descent on the return. We were the only people on the summit. We saw multiple peregrine falcons, and picked many bolete (porcini) mushrooms. Actual mileage was 11.1 miles.
We did the climb in 4 hours, lovely trail front part mixes with ski trails and bike trails so look for the blue trail marker. Then I am guessing so u can view the stream the trail winds a bit, levels out around mile 2 and climbs slowly from the pond through some quiet woods with a chance to see some wildlife. Around mile 4 there is a very steady climb to a gravel road which takes u to the top. There are not any vantage points til you reach the gravel road which takes you to the fire tower. Good views from the top with picnic table available. I think this trail is not as popular so if your looking for a relaxing climb with fewer hikers this route is for you.