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An exceptionally beautiful area and stunning views. The tower and summit were frozen and with ice along the upper parts of the trail on the rock scrambles, microspikes are a necessity. A great hike all around.

Completed 10/30/18 - the trail is long and gradual. If you like to get the climbing out of the way, this trail is not for you. There was a couple inches of snow from the loj and once we reached the top there was more than a foot of snow. Clouded-out conditions once we reached the top, but the alpine zone was unbelievable, even without the mountain views it felt unreal. I wouldn't do this hike without spikes or snowshoes in the winter. Probably don't need snowshoes right now since there was huge rainstorms past couple of days, but waterproof hiking boots and spikes will be much needed. Lots of hidden puddles, mud, and run-off all under the snow tuesday made this trail a lot more daunting. The overall experience and trek of this hike made this my favorite journey I've ever embarked in Nature to date, the high peaks are surreal.

Mount Marcy was a great hike. My wife and I just hiked the mountain on Nov. 1. The temperature was high 30s and a mix of precipitation. The snow started halfway and got a bit deeper as we went up. The trail changed from thick mud to seemingly endless boulders. There was a lot of snow covered ice and we needed to put on the microspikes to get traction on the rocks. Water streamed down the entire trail and could be seen in spots not covered in snow. There are a couple river crossings that required rock hopping. The water still came over our boots. My feet were wet for most of the trek thanks to leaky goretex boot linings. Wool socks made this more tolerable.
I'd say the trail wouldn't be technically difficult on a good summer day. However, the ice and snow made it a tougher and more time consuming trek. The mileage also made Marcy a physical challenge.
The summit area was completely covered in thick clouds that poured icy rain. We could barely see the trail behind us through the heavy fog. One must be careful not to lose their way in these conditions. Needless to say, we never encountered another soul on the trail throughout the hike. It was still worth the journey.

I'm an early Boomer who just had spinal fusion surgery in April....so I was a little apprehensive after reading reviews. We started at 7:30. Rainy and chilly in the parking lot. It stopped raining because it turned to hail and ice pellets. It's hard work after the first few miles. The rocks and roots and mud made it quite slippery. And worse when the snow started. We made it to Indian Falls where we bailed as the stones were almost underwater and we didn't have 'croutons'. The trip back down was actually harder because of more snow and mud and ice. We were the first ones out and back that day. If you want to avoid crowds go on a rainy cold day. I was surprised that I wasn't tired over the next few days. I'd definitely do it again on a sunny day.

hiking
25 days ago

Great hike and great view but giving 4 stars because I don't think it was all that dog friendly towards the end. My dog and I hike a fair amount and run trails all summer too, so we are not inexperience.

It was much too cold to cross Lake Jimmy on the submerged planks so we took the nice little side trail around it. The first 40min or so were quite easy although a bit muddy. Snow appeared after that and then about 50min into the hike it got hard. Maybe the last half mile or so was scrambling up fairly steep rocks and my dog had a hard time figuring out where to go. We did make it up and I'd say it was worth it, but I'm not sure if I would do it again. You can see some pictures on insta if you are curious https://www.instagram.com/p/BpVsOZvg6L0/?taken-by=ihavesmallhands

short, with some what of a steep hike with an amazing view. would be nice for a picnic.

Actually icy spots on the trail today. Time to start getting the winter gear in the pack. Very enjoyable hike. Some steeps but not too long. Great views from the tower. The communication towers nearby detract from the natural beauty although it is nice to have a signal.

I did marcy in the outing of September. Although the trail was very long, it wasn’t difficult. Nothing crazy steep, or terribly hard. Very easy to follow. But not going on a busy holiday weekend, the trail was very busy which was annoying. I would highly recommend doing Indian Falls on your way up and down. It’s 5 seconds off the trail. I would also recommend doing Tabletop while you are right there. I didn’t do it but is only .7 mi away from the trail. Adding only 1.4 miles to your day and +1 to your 46er list. The top was beautiful. You hav ran amazing view of the MacIntyre’s and the Great Range and Haystack.

Started from the lot at 6:40 and got back at 15:50. I was somewhat surprised it took me so long as I was really breezing down the last part. Upper sections were icy however, and the crampons were of great help. A lot of mud and water after Indian Falls; the ice started maybe 1.5 mile before the summit (not all over the place but enough to make you ponder your steps). Just a few people on top and met maybe 40-50 people going down - a manageable population for such a long hike.

We were bit nervous considering the other comments to complete this hike in November. However, we found this hike to be beautiful, diverse, and really achievable. We are in our late 20s/early 30s and are fairly fit. We reached the Summit within 3h30minutes, and completed the trip in 7 hours with about 30+ minutes of breaks.

Indian falls is only a few steps off the trail and beautiful. A rewarding trail, particualrly with kind people to meet along the way. You can do it!

Always enjoy this hike any time of year except spring but only because the black flies will eat you alive.

There isn’t much that I could add to what others have said. This is a tough trek, but incredibly rewarding. Make sure you are prepared: water, food, layers, and water filtration. It’s long, but amazing!

The trail is challenging due to the distance. Some scrambling but not super large boulders. The day was wet and muddy-careful not to slip. Once I reached the summit it was windy and cold. The view was limited due to the cloud cover. I will return on a clear day.

Best East Coast hike I've ever done. The trail was wet most of the way which made for some tricky footing in the middle section, but even the steeper portions weren't technical to ascend or descend. Arrived on a Friday at 10 AM and plenty of parking was left. Got to the summit at 1:15, back to the car at 5:30 after lingering at the top and at Indian Falls (also a must-see) on the descent.

The crowds, that’s the only real complaint I have about this one and the only reason I’d skip doing it again. Get a super early start using a headlamp and it’ll be a lot more enjoyable. Just don’t plan on having the summit to yourself for long. Granted, it was Columbus Day weekend, but I easily passed 100-150people who were heading up as I was heading down.

As with all trails in the Adirondacks, this one has its muddy spots, but it’s not as bad as other trails I’ve been on recently. Also, if you’re looking for a challenge and some fun rock scrambles, you’re not going to find it with Marcy. Marcy is very consistent and gradual all the way up.

I will say the view at the top is great, even on a semi-cloudy day. The clouds on the day I was up there were coming and going and made for some interesting pictures and views.

I am 49, an ultra runner and pretty fit. This hike took me 4 hours up and 3 1/2 down. I took zero breaks and only spent about 10 minutes on the summit because it was an incredibly cloudy with no view (and cold!). The last mile is strenuous as it pretty much becomes rock scrambling. This is a great hike but do not underestimate the elements and the time it may take getting up/back.

hiking
1 month ago

As previously stated the drive to the trail-head is basically a two-lane dirt road to a single-lane dirt road. There are some spots in the single-lane road to pull over to let oncoming traffic by. Drive slowly (10-15 mph) as there are ruts. I like to fly down dirt roads so at times it felt my vehicle would shake apart! :)

The trail-head itself serves not only Pillsbury Mountain but also Pillsbury Lake, Cedar Lake, and West Canada Lake via the French Louis Trail. It can accommodate about 15 vehicles so get there early if you want a spot. Otherwise you may have to park a little further out at the Sled Harbor clearing. This will add 1.8 miles to your hike.

I am not sure if this is legal or not but I did see some campers along the way in our of the way spots. The trail-head itself contained a couple sleeping in their sleeping bags in the (open) bed of their pickup truck!

The hike itself is mostly uphill with lots of free flowing water so bring your water-proof foot gear. Can get slippery at times when the water flows over the rocks. The transition from deciduous to pine was quite dramatic a very cool. There was a spot about 0.5 hours in that looked like a micro-burst had touched down where some trees had been felled and moss was growing from the branches.

There is nothing much to see on the way to the fire tower but the view at the top is spectacular. The cab to the fire tower is closed but the stairs are not so enjoy the view especially the Columbus Day weekend which appears to be peak foliage in the ADK. Another perk of this hike is the absence of highways and roads which means no road-noise as you hike. This is one of the most peaceful hikes I have done.

First of all, the drive in was an adventure unto itself. Hard-pack dirt on Jessop River Road (we came from the southern/Speculator end). Old Military Road is crusher-run (small stone) and is pretty much the width of a single pickup truck, don't expect to be able to turn your vehicle around until you get to the parking area; the ability to pull to the side for an oncoming vehicle is also very limited. We were the third car at the trailhead; when we returned from the summit there must have been 15 vehicles.

The hike itself is wonderful, in fact its our favourite of the firetowers so far! Currently (10/05/2018) the trail is saturated, there's flowing water in a lot of places, and more so at higher elevations. LOTS of mud to sink into, so bring extra socks if your boots aren't as waterproof as you'd like! Very manageable though with careful foot placement. The switch from deciduous forest to coniferous is fairly dramatic, the change in smell is amazing; we were VERY sad to leave the scent of the pines during the descent.

As others have mentioned, the firetower is in a little disrepair and the cab is locked. Views from higher up are stunning; you definitely earn this view. We clocked in at 3.8 miles.

Amazing hike. It was super wet since it rained a lot the day before but after the first one or two miles I just accepted my fate that my feet were gonna be soaked. Left at 7:30am and came back to my car at 13:30. Took me 3 hours to go up, 30 minutes at the top and 2 hours and a half to come back. I did not take breaks going up or down except at the Indian falls since it was beautiful and relaxing. The view was impressive because of the fog with the mountains coming out. My legs are still super sore and I would certainly recommend this hike, foggy or not.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. From Seattle and stopped for a few hour break. Didn’t finish but loved the hike and area

great trail. the first part of the trail is a nice walk on an old road. after the road it is very steep all the way up to the tower. some of the rocks get slippery. the views from the tower are amazing

I loved this trail! It was tougher than I thought after reading its only 2 miles...ha ha. But the view was more than worth it! Amazing sunset from above!!!

hiking
2 months ago

One of my first mountains that I hiked. It was challenging for me and the last half mile was intense. But the view was worth it. Just over 2 hours to complete the climb!

walking
2 months ago

Super fun, beautiful walk in the woods! Very easy and flat trail for our hike-loving eleven year old dog and three kids that were tagging along. It was well trafficked the day we went, but the beautiful lake and the loons calling made it feel like it was our own special place.

Wonderful, although heavily trafficked, hike to a breathtaking view. Bring a head lamp if you are getting a late start, and a windbreaker for the summet. Proper hiking shoes with ankle support highly recommended, as you are mostly hiking up boulders to the top. There are a few places to camp near the start of the trek; bear-proof cannisters are required and can be rented at the lodge.

So the Hike Begins at the back of Parking Lot 1, and continues to the Marcy Dam. However, they were doing some construction at the dam but no biggie. However, when you cross the bridge initially do NOT go left, I made that mistake and I went down the truck trail for 2 or so miles before realizing my mistake. I then went back onto the correct trail and signed in at the dam sign in area. The hike is a little mucky/muddy but if you have some decent dry boots you'll be fine expect to have your foot submerged once from a misstep but other than that great hike. Made it to the top and got some bomber views. I was gonna go down the Lake Arnold side but decided against it because it would have been even more muddy and I didn't have a physical map, just my phone and the app. All in all took me about 8 hours because of my detour and completed 19 miles with a 30 minute break at the top and a couple 5 min breaks on the trail.

Definitely a challenging hike but well worth it. I'd done Mt Washington a couple weeks earlier in December and I found Marcy to be significantly more difficult than any of the other state high-points in the northeast. I completed the hike with snowshoes on my pack but never put them on. A state ranger let me know on the way down that you can actually be fined for not wearing them with ten or more inches of snow.

Hiked this in early may. There was still snow, but it was warm (70s by afternoon). There had been a rainstorm the night before, causing the rocky ascent to be pure ice after the first mile. It was amazing at the top, though.

hiking
2 months ago

What an enjoyable hike
First two miles are a pleasant walk in the forest when you get two miles in the last mile is more difficult but nothing too difficult
Lots of moss and spots that look like fairies belong there
The tower was recently restored and VERY tall
Not crowded got there at 945 am and just one other car
Only encountered three other groups of people the whole day
I give this trail two thumbs up

on Chimney Mountain Trail

2 months ago

Fantastic hike! Roots, rocks, earth underfoot. Not difficult other than steadily steep with a few level parts. Take your time, it is a short hike and well worth the effort. Incredible views. Rock formations atop are incredible! This spot is a false summit as there is a trail heading out to the real summit which has a 360 view. We opted out this time. Wish we did not but there’s always tomorrow!

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