Hopkins Trail is a 16.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Keene Valley, NY that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This is an alternative route up Mt. Marcy from the Johns Brook Valley. This can be combined with the Phelps trail to make a loop to and from Mt. Marcy from the Johns Brook Valley.
I've went on the Hopkins a Trail every summer for past three years in a row. Each time has been an amazing experience. This trail is great for anyone that also wants to camp in the wilderness since there are several campsites located throughout. There is also a convenient mountaineering store 2 miles from the trailhead that sells maps, bear canisters, and a bunch of other equipment. I usually hike to the summit of Mt. Marcy and back in about a 2.5 day trip, which allows plenty of time for rest, photos, etc. I recommend bringing waterproof shoes as it gets muddy at times, bug spray (mosquitoes), and a filtration water bottle as there is a river that runs alongside the whole route so it is very easy to refill. Trail is well maintained and marked and it is usually not very populated. The views from the summit of Mt. Marcy are also amazing. Definitely a trip I would recommend to anyone.
Alternative route by John B. valley also to table Top Mtn. still arealy good climb.Spring time the revine is wet your between two mountians.The veiw is great.
The trailhead to Hopkins Mountain is very low profile and non descript. If you are driving into Keene Valley on Route 73 from the Northway look on the right just south of the steel bridge over the Ausable River. As for orienting as to where that bridge is, it is .4 miles north of the Ausable Club and 2 miles south of the sign to Johns Brook Valley in the village of Keene Valley. There is a small green sign with the white lettering Hopkins and Giant via Mossy Cascade right off Route 73. There is no parking area so just pull off the road and park on the shoulder. There is no trailhead register to sign into, so for safety concerns make sure someone knows where you are hiking. A good idea is to leave a name and emergency contact phone number in a visible area of your vehicle dashboard. This is basically the same information you would leave in a trail register for purposes of an emergency search.
The trail initially skirts private property and hunting camps so make sure to follow the trail markers carefully. At one half mile into the hike, after hiking on old logging roads, the trail becomes less logging road and more forest trail. It is at this point when you will hear the wondrous sounds of water rushing through the Mossy Cascade. You are now hiking alongside a delicate waterfall. Stop all along the way here to admire the sights and sounds. The springtime is the best time to view and listen to the various waterfalls along the cascade. The snowmelt from the mountains brings the cascade to full glory. Make sure to bring your camera. The photo opportunities are plentiful. The trail alongside the cascade is challenging. You are hiking along the rim of the cascade and there is a considerable drop off. Be sure to know where your feet are going.
Once past the cascade your climb begins to the summit. The total ascent from Route 73 is 2120 feet. The distance to the summit is 3.2 miles. Expect to exert significant energy in this hike. If this is early in the being in hiking shape season you will definitely know you are doing a climb. In actuality you are ascending and descending into various cols along the climb so expect to take a few breathers along the way. At the 2.3 mile point you will see a sign indicating the Hopkins summit is .9 miles away. You are now in a ravine between Hopkins and Green mountains. The ravine is a drainage area for these two mountains and in the springtime can be very wet. Spring wildflowers abound here. Trillium, foamflower and the delicately wondrous pink lady slippers are here for the observant eye to enjoy. Finally, at the 3 mile point in the hike there will be a sign pointing to the Hopkins summit in .2 miles. A stiff up over roots and boulders through a fern filled glen brings you to the bald summit. There is a wow factor when you arrive at the summit ridge. It is solid anorthosite rock. The view is spectacular. You will be awed at what you see. The views are unobstructed in all directions except for the northeast. There are 22 major peaks that are visible. You can look right down on the Ausable Lakes and Johns Brook valleys.