EveryTrail is now a part of AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail

HARD 24 reviews
#18 of 161 trails in

Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bolton Landing, NY that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.8 miles 2837 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

rocky

A great loop hike that brings you along the shore of Lake George then over 3 small peaks on the Tongue Mountain Range This is a wonderful hike. You will park at the southern trailhead for the Tongue Range, Clay Meadows next to a quarry. From there you will follow a nice trail around the shore of the lake to Montcalm Point where you'll have great views of the Narrrows. Then you'll gradually ascend the southern end of the Tongue Range over 3 nice peaks with great views over the lake below.


1 month ago

hiking

This was incredibly hard if you do the entire 12 mile trail, which we did. You need a lot of water. At least 2.5 quarts per person and plenty of food. Start early! We started at 11 and ended at 6:30. We had to do this at a fast pace. The views are spectacular. You can see the lake from many different angles. After the tongue mt lean to are the incredible views. We never found a Montcalm point sign. It's unclear if we saw that but maybe we did since we did the whole loop. All in all it took forever, and we are exhausted. We did go in the lake near the end and that was delightful.


1 month ago

backpacking

This hike was great. But the mileage was way underestimated. We did the whole loop and our fit bits registered about 20 miles of hiking. The views are breathtaking though. Even saw a rattle snake but he just went the other way! We camped at 5th peak and the view of the mountains was great but the lake view is obstructed. Would have been nice to sleep on first peak! Watched the fireworks on the forth of July and again they were obstructed which was a bummer but from first peak they would be amazing! Still a great and strenuous hike worth doing! Bring lots of water and be prepared for the ups and downs!


2 months ago

backpacking

This hike was hard! My boyfriend and I are relatively new hikers, and this was our most challenging adventure yet. We started from the clay meadows parking area and decided to do the ridges first. There are really 5 ridges that you hit, all with spectacular views of the lake and islands. The last ridge gives you a view of Monte Calm Point, which looks a lot closer than it feels when you are hiking down to it. The walk back along the lake is much quicker and easier, and luckily for us wasn't too buggy.
All in all I would say this hike is closer to 13 miles if you include stopping to swim at the point. If you'd rather not tack on the extra mile, just start the loop back. On it theres plenty of camp spots and places for a quick dip.
It took us about 11 hours from start to finish, with breaks for lunch and a swim. Beautiful, difficult hike with some serious elevation changes. Bring plenty of water, we ran out on the last two miles.


3 months ago

Did this on saturday with my boyfriend and our dogs-awesome hike, great views!! Just wanted to say that this is more like a 13-14 mile hike. We finished in about 6 hours, but we move pretty fast. I highly recommend this one!


4 months ago

hiking

This hike was very challenging. My boyfriend and I did not realize what we were getting into but we don't regret it. The 5 peaks were very steep at time times but the views were beautiful. The tongue loop was flat and swampy in some areas. I would recommend this trail if you are looking for a challenge. We only saw one person and it was in the very beginning of our hike. It would be fun to camp out on the loop but we did it all in one day, it took us about 10 hours but we did it in 14 miles.


4 months ago

hiking

3 of us hiked the entire loop in one day.... We went backwards around the loop... Was not easy at all my body hurt for days but all those views in one day was well worth it....


4 months ago

hiking

Hiked this starting out at 8am from the Clay Meadows trail head. The ascent up to the ridge line trail in the first couple miles is a great way to start off the hike. From there the trail continues along the mountain range, where you'll ascend to the summits of 4 or 5 mountains, before descending into the small valleys between them to repeat the process. Once you hit the end of the summits you descend down to the lake and follow the shoreline back up to the trail head. It took me around 5.5 hours to complete the entire loop, with 3.5 or so spent on the trek out along the ridge line due to all the ascending and descending, the 5 mile hike back along the shore is a welcome respite / cool down which takes another couple hours at a leisurely pace. This early in the season the shoreline portion had many boggy areas due to snow melt and high streams and water lines, and the trail was hard to find occasionally due to tree fall over the winter, but is was definitely a great way to spend half a Saturday!


10 months ago

hiking

Four of us backpacked starting at 9AM from the Clay Meadows area to MontCalm pt, back going clockwise. The first stop was the lean-to for a snack and our first vista of Lake George.. [This would be an ideal place to spend a night for those willing to carry up enough water]. The trail continued over several rocky ups and downs and we arrived at French Point in time for a leisurely lunch. The views of the islands below were beautiful in full sun but a bit windy and seasonably cold so we took cover on the leeward side of the top. On the way down we saw remnants of a recent forest fire, scarring the ridge from a lightening strike or from a careless hiker. The remaining walk to Mont Calm was tough and the last decent felt extra long and hard since the destination seemed sooo close from above (it psyches you out a bit.) My buddy in the front swore he hear a bear rustling in the brush (which made me hyper-tense later in the evening while trying to sleep in my exposed hammock. Fortunately no bear came and we also kept all food highly in a lofty bear bag.
Montcalm is a perfect camp. There were a few fire rings and soft, level pine floor. No one else was there either day. The water was filtered from the lake and is tasty and obviously bountiful. An owl was screeching at us about 20 feet away and was loud and un-nerving as it reminded us we were in the wild. We made a small fire to cook some steaks, but the wind came up soon after and we soon tamped it down. The sunset and morning views were glorious. The hike back was along the lake and offered many choice views. The trail was very dry this season and not swampy. We ended up tired and a bit sore, but a highly recommended hike for anyone in decent enough shape to lug 30-40 pounds over about 14 miles in two days.


1 year ago

We didn't do the whole loop. We parked on Rt 9 and went up the 5 mile trail, and rather than proceed to the water level we turned to end up on the 5th peak. It was a difficult hike up a rocky trail it also rained so I was worried about slipping. The peak was beautiful and I was glad I did it.


1 year ago


1 year ago

This was my first overnight hike so I didn't know what to expect. I went for the loop clockwise. The first half was intense but provided some amazing views of lake George and surrounding peaks. The ups and down were rough but overall I feel it had a good flow. Every time I was getting near time for a break I reached a nice rest spot on the trail. So if your comfortable hiking this distance then I wouldn't get too bogged down on the difficulty. I recommend 4-6 liters of water. Montcalm pt was a great little spot for a quick swim!


1 year ago

hiking

Mostly agreed with the last poster. Parked at Clay Meadow on a Sunday evening, started out with a light hike to Fifth Peak to watch the sun set (so beautiful) and set up in the lean-to. Got a late start in the morning, which was a mistake because 1) it was the end of summer, so it got up to maybe 80F, and 2) we'd made the unfortunate mistake of only bringing about 3-4 liters of water each, which caused us to run out around mile 10 of 14. The peaks were actually really beautiful and just about worth the effort despite the heat and "relentless ups and downs" that I had heard about before. The final five miles were actually mostly miserable, since not having water combined with a somewhat gloomy swamp area made it feel much much longer than it actually was (about 2-3 hours, since we were pretty exhausted from the rest of the hike). So, essentially, this hike is not for inexperienced.


2 years ago

hiking

overall great hike. the views from the top (first 9 miles) are amazing. there are many spots on the trail that offer beautiful views that look down at the south end of the lake. the last 5 miles wasn't anything like the beginning, walking low along the water. the whole trip is very strenuous and there are lots of mosquitos. we also came across 2 rattlesnakes. overall, it was a great, exhausting hike. if I could make one suggestion is to do it in the fall to avoid the bugs and the heat.


2 years ago

snowshoeing

Snowshoeing this mountain was insanely difficult, but it had more to do with the time of the year we went than the trail itself. Once there is a good thaw I recommend you be very careful even if it snows again. We had a very slippery walk back down because the whole trail was basically an ice slide with a little bit of snow over it.


2 years ago

Phenomenal. I started early in the morning, heading east on five mile point trail. It was beautiful, with light rain and fog. The waterfalls were beautiful. I wish I'd planned more time to lollygag around the. Then I headed toward Montcairn point; when I reached the first viewpoint I knew the ups and downs of the peaks were worth the huffing and puffing.
Look out for adorable little orange geckos. I saw a peregrine falcon and some very big centipedes. No snakes to be found! Even on the sunshine warm rocks. There are some odd little insects; they look somewhere between a grasshopper and a moth, rustle through the underbrush and make clicking noises that gave me a little jump at first.
Montcairn point wasn't marked and is easy to miss because the trail is windy as it turns northwesterly. Lots of rocky downhill. Wish I'd had poles to for the knees.
Amazing way to spend the day alone in the wilderness. Definitely going again. Hopefully on snowshoes :)


3 years ago

hiking

Did the Clay Meadow to Montcalm Point to 5th Peak loop today (mid August). Took about 7 hours. We pressed the pace because we started a bit later than planned and didn't want to get caught out in diminished daylight..
It was a beautiful 75 degrees and low humidity. Views were spectacular, and we had a great trip. Saw only one small garter snake, but brought a long walking stick along and made lots of noise, especially along the rock slabs and trail near the exposed outlooks.
I agree with other posts that the trails are not particularly well marked (especially from the direction we went), and that the hike is not for the faint of heart. Ups and downs were pretty strenuous, especially if you are going to try and do it in a single day.

The views and the changes in scenery are among the best we've scene. Will definitely do again, starting early and taking more time on stops to relax. Definitely worth the trip.


3 years ago

hiking

This was my first backpacking trip and although it is a very strenuous trail when with packs, it was unbelievably great. On the first day my boyfriend and I started out at Clay Meadow and traversed the 5 peaks until we got to Montcalm Point, where we camped for the night. This took us about 7 hours with packs to complete, with a few rests in between. The views from the peaks are absolutely spectacular, but the ups and downs are truly brutal, with a few areas where you have to sort of sit and slide through some of the descents. We brought 6 huge bottles of water thinking that we had overpacked, but it turned out that we had brought just enough water for the two of us, and were even a bit dehydrated after the first day. The campsites at Montcalm Point are wonderful, with fire pits and ample space to pitch a tent right by the lake, where you can swim as other reviewers have said. The sunset from the lake is a serious sight to behold, and it was an amazing place to camp for the night.The second day we covered the 5.7 miles from Montcalm Point back to Clay Meadows, which was extremely wet and muddy and not very plesant despite some incredible waterfalls and lake views. Definitely make sure to bring a ton of bug spray because you will absolutely need it for this portion of the hike. The last thing I will mention here is that we did see a couple of rattlesnakes near the trail - and they did rattle at us to let us know that they were there. Overall this is nothing to be afraid of because they are not aggressive creatures; we made some noise when they rattled and tried to take a long route around them or wait for them to move away from the trail, but I think it is very important to watch where you're going and make sure you don't accidentally step on one.


3 years ago

hiking

Today a friend and I set out to hike the Lower Tongue Mountain loop. We started at Clay Meadow parking and headed up to 5th Peak. From there we worked our way south going up and down many times over many peak with AMAZING views. This was the best hike I've been on so far. There are only 3 significant peaks, but a few smaller ones in between each. Every peak and every side trail leads to more beautiful views each time. Some parts are a little tricky. We had to climb down steep rocky areas and slide down a few safely. Once we got to Montcalm Point we took the trail along the shore back. Anyone who hikes from Clay Meadow to the point then up and over the peaks better be in amazing shape. If you're in good shape hiking the route we took is well worth it. We started the hike at 9:30am and finished at 7:30pm. 14.07 miles in 10hrs4min


4 years ago

hiking

You have to love those rattle snakes...I went on an overnight back packing trip...my friend had an attack of heat exhaustion...we hiked a bit more and set up camp....the next day on the way down the loop we found a snake skin of a 4 foot snake... crossing the trail...2 minutes later I came in contact with a 4 foot black snake with a rattle on his tail....I almost stepped on him!!!!!...I was a foot from him holding my foot in the air (as I was about to step on him until I noticed him)...he was probably 3 to 4 inches in diameter...My boyfriend told me to step back...My response was "get the camera"...when you come off the mountain and line up with lake George...you can go swimming but watch out for them water snakes! Fabulous experience and trail!!!! 5 STARS!!!!!!!!


4 years ago

hiking

We did this trail in late March a few years back and used it as a way to get our High Peak legs back from the winter slumber. The trail is long with quite a bit of up and down as you enjoy the peaks but it is a very enjoyable hike with varied terrain, scenic crossings and summit views. We will do it again.