The Seward Range: Seward, Donaldson, Emmons, and Seymour is a 21.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tupper Lake, New York that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
On one overnight trip grab the entire Seward Range and another four 46er peaks This trip is done in an overnight and could be the longest trip of all the 46er climbs you've done. You will start by following the Blueberry Foot trail from the trailhead to the the Ward Brook Trail where you can set up camp at POI #2. The herdpath for the main Seward peaks begins on the east side of the first stream the Ward Brook trail crosses. The trail up Seymour starts in the same place but follows the Ward Brook trail briefly before heading away from it (use the gps track as a guide). On Seymour you will climb part of a slide on your way to the wooded summit. It doesn't matter what day you choose to take either route. If you have a really early start it might be good to knock off the main Seward Range as I did and then save Seymour for a quick climb the next day after a good rest. The main Seward Range is a 8.5 mile round trip climb from the campsite while Seymour is only 3 round trip. Mainly flat with a few small hills. Once you get past the second lean-to (Ward Brook) and take the path marked with a broken teapot, that's when the trip begins. It's 1.7 miles of pretty steep terrain to the summit. It's unmarked but there is enough of a goat trail to follow up the mountain. The hike starts off easy pretty flat and small hills but the problem was the leaves had fallen just the right amount because you couldn't see the rocks and tree roots on the ground. So every other step you were tripping over them for the first 5.7 miles. There are 2 sets of Lean-to's. Blueberry is the first, Ward Brook is the second. .5 miles afer Blueberry lean to is a stack of rocks which is the marker for Seward Mtn, Donaldson Mtn, and Mt Emmons (unmarked trail). If you stay on main path you'll come to Ward Brook lean-to's. .3 miles past that is another stack of rocks with a broken tea pot on top. That's your marker for Seymour. It is an unmarked trail but there is enough traffic to keep the path defined. Follow the stream up the mountain looking for stacks of rocks and ribbon tied to trees to keep you on track. It is hard going, steep rock face with lots of blown down trees to make it harder. You'll hit a false summit but it is only another 10 minutes to the real summit. The sign is on the S.W. side of the mountain.
It's a hard climb up these three peaks. It's a long hike; it took my group 12 hours going up by Calkins Brook and then down by Ward Brook and was 16.5 miles. The mileage is around the same if you go up and down by Calkins Brook. I would not recommend going down the Ward Brook Herd Path (unless you're also doing Seymour) as its even more steep and rough. There's steep slabs of rock that were wet when we were there, making the going slow and treacherous. There's also a lot of fallen trees, boulders and mud wallows to negotiate around. To find the Calkins Herd Path, look for a path that goes left from the truck trail where there is a cairn with tin cans on it. The path was easy to follow in the summer when we did it, but it may be hard to spot under certain conditions. When you get to the ridge there is another cairn; the path right goes up Donaldson and Emmons, while the path on the left goes up Seward. Although the three summits are completely in the trees there are still some nice views along the ridge and on Donaldson's summit. Take note that in the winter Corey's Road is closed beyond the gate and a winter hike would require an additional 3 miles (one-way) of road walking.
Hiking and camping.
This is a very hard climb. 15 miles 10 hours. It is very muddy and parts of it have a lot of blown down tress. It is umarked however the path is defined enough. You shouldn't have an issue following up. Use Calkins Brook to head to the ridge/summit. Take your time, some parts are steep and wet and some muddy parts are very deep. There is a cairn that marks the ridge. Go to the right to knock out Donaldson and Emmons, back track and continue towards Seward. Be careful. The rocks are slippery and steep. The expressway on the other side heading down is even harder but faster. Once you hit the main trail, another 4 ish miles and your home. Good luck.
14 OCT 14
Seymour Mountain, I knew it was going to be long and a little difficult but nothing could have gotten me prepared for this climb. After parking, changing clothes, checked in we started the walk. Good thing I did a little research. The walk started off easy pretty flat and small hills but the problem was the leaves had fallen just the right amount because you could not see the rocks and tree roots on the ground. So every other step you were tripping over them for the first 5 miles. You walk along side of private property which is marked very well. You'll pass a busy beaver damn. We got to a lean-to and took a few pictures and kept on walking. We kept walking and saw a small pile of rocks which was the path for the first three mountains of the Seward range (Seward, Donaldson, Emmons). We kept walking, hit another lean-to (Ward Brook) and just a few minutes past that was our turn off.It was marked by another small pile of rocks with a broken rusted tea pot. That was our path marker up the mountain. This path was unmarked and it wasn't great but it was good enough. It was only 1.7 miles to the summit and most of it follows the stream up. It was hard going, lots of blown down trees, and once you start nearing the top you'll face a large rock face which was difficult but not impossibly. This large rock face was the hardest part of the climb. It's not to long after that you'll come to a false summit and another 10 minutes to the real summit. I got there, took my picture by it and that’s when I realized my glasses were broken. They were missing a lens. The sign for Seymour Mountain is on the S.W. side. It is a wooded summit but there are some views. I spent a few minutes up there relaxing and taking in the view and turned around to come back down. If you bring a cell phone, there is very little reception out there.