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An easy hike I’ve been doing since I was little with my family. Beautiful views and the tower is pretty cool!

Beautiful hike with great views!! Heavily trafficked, but still worth doing!

Way way too busy. Can’t enjoy the hike or the summit. Another victim of its own success. Parking lots and sides of road over run with cars. Inconsiderate people plying music and partying in summit. Not fun at all.

I took the blue trail up. Starts off relatively flat and easy. Becomes steep with many scrambles towards the top. The summit has several spots for some great views. This was a nice pleasant walk through the woods with a good moderately challenging climb, depending on your skill level. Some may find the blue trail more difficult. I took the yellow trail down which saved my knees. It adds some distance to the way back but it was nice. There is a small area with a creek closer to the lot. I would do this again.

Great hike, excellent views the whole way

Long walk through the woods , not much for views until the peak

The first 2/3 were a fun hike with the last bit steep and challenging but worth the view for sure.

This hike starts out easy, and gets tougher right when you reach avalanche lake. It is lots of fun scrambling and hiking along waterfalls. It was too foggy at the top of Algonquin peak to see much, but I imagine on a clear day it’s breathtaking. Great views anyways, and highly recommended.

Great hike. Great view.

Our scout Troop 60 from Victor, NY hiked with Billy & Judy (and Milo) along a muddy and difficult McKenzie trail. Wish the weather had cooperated so we could have enjoyed the view, but had a great hike regardless. Boys did Baker Saturday and McKenzie and Haystack thru herd trail on Sunday. Looking forward to completing the other three and getting a patch.

The view on this is amazing especially in the fall

The view on this is amazing especially in the fall

I love this kind of hiking. It took us 1 hour to get tho the turn off for McKenzie. It took us 2 hours to summit from there. You definitely have to pay attention to your footing and it is an uphill workout. The last hour is rock scrambling and climbing. I would absolutely do this hike again to see the views at the top as this was a cloudy day. It took 2 hours to get back to the split. From there we turned R and went to the Haystack herd trail which was .4 miles up on the L. Haystack was a quick easy hike after McKenzie and we were back to our car in 7 hours total time with 2 of the sixers completed. The trail was very wet after a night of rain. I really believe we could have done it faster in better conditions. It is definitely challenging but not as dangerous as other reviews would lead you to believe. I was nervous because of the reviews and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this hike even with no views and our dog summited too.

The trail is only for advanced hikers because of the steepness and lack of maintenance of this trail. You will need sticks and prepare to be on all fours occasionally. Hugging trees and grabbing roots is necessary on the steep spots. We hiked after a rain and the trail was also slippery. The view at the top is worth the effort for a view of fall colors. There is much erosion of the trail and a very few places have only a very narrow remaining trail. Hug the mountain or a tree in that situation.

Absolutely beautiful hike

10 days 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.

I’ve hiked Haystack three times, one of which was a winter snowshoe using the Jack Rabbit trail - my favorite way to come in. I don’t know the mileage but it seems a much shorter trail. Fall is also great, summer my least favorite due to bugs and wet areas. The last push to the summit, a steep but short run, coming from NYS 86 in Ray Brook was a surprise considering the trail is overall pretty easy. A great hike!

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.

Awesome views took about 25-30 min to get up to the tower.

This was my first hike to a peak and fire tower, and my second hike overall (the first one was more of a trudge through the woods). Although not a high peak, the view was great and gave me a sense of accomplishment and the desire to do more. I went with my husband, who is an experienced hiker and it was very helpful to have his guidance and a hand to hold on some of the narrower rocks. I was worried about the rock scrambles because I had never done any before, but they were actually really fun. I would encourage any newbie like me to try this hike and if you have someone who is experienced to take with you, so much the better.

I did this hike yesterday. The first half of it (upto Whiteface landing) and a kilometer after that is as easy as walk in the park. But the rest of the hike is brutal, because most of the elevation gain is in that part. Compared to other trails in Adirondack, I found the trail markers on this trail to be very distant. This makes it much harder when you are going up and especially if you are alone. In the climbing segment, the trail is defined by a rocky channel through which water trickles down the mountain, and not some patches on the side that look like foot trails. This section could use more trail markers. When you are alone and traversing a steep terrain, backtracking is tough in case you loose the trail. I did lose the trail once while coming down. In other sections the trail markers are absent for very long distances, but the foot trail is more-or-less clear. If you are doing this one alone, allow yourself ample of daylight so that you are not in a rush and can take time to figure out the trail. It's rewarding once you do.

If you are doing this trail in wet weather, it will increase the difficulty further. It wasn't raining when I did it, but it was the rainy season. Lot of the rocks were covered with moss. Some of them were slippery. I did slip couple of times and injured myself a bit. The view of Lake Placid from above the tree line is awesome.

Definitely not an "easy" climb. About halfway up you hit rock and boulders. the trail from here is almost entirely on the rock - some of it quite steep. Some parts aren't marked well so stay with the boulders, you can see the path worn onto the rock.
Just past the fire tower is a balancing boulder. Pretty cool

There were many different elements to make this a great little hike! The pond was my favorite part, and the falls were beautiful. There was a small campsite near the falls set up with little chairs made from logs that my kids really enjoyed. We'll definitely go back again and again!

nice trail, great summit but tough to follow after dark, we did haystack first then to McKenzie via the herd path...if I knew then what I know now we would have used the jack rabbit trail heard path to summit instead of the rt86 trail head, would have saved several hours

our second summit of the day after Haystack, trail is in horrible shape, very wet and barely marked- definitely not a trail to do in the dark or if you're out of shape

Probably the best bang for your buck in the entire ADK. A very quick, fun hike (rock scrambles in places, many overlooks) that leads to a gorgeous open summit with views of the Fulton chain lakes and environs. Beautiful firetower. Really, a do not miss for anyone of almost any ability.

Beautiful easy hike

Dropped off one star due to amount of people on this trail. Went with my gf, 10yr old daughter, crazy akita and our maltese mix, started at 9am so had relative solitude on way up but had to stop literally every few seconds on way down to let people by who were going up. We have experience in the high peaks and the cats so the degree of difficulty on this one was relatively easy for us but it would be understandable how it could be considered hard for a new-ish hiker due to the steepness of some of the scrambles. The length of time total for the roundtrip for us was just over an hour. The disappointment with amount of people clogging the trail did nothing to take away from how fun this trail was for us with the scrambles and how quick it was to get up to such a great view. The tower is in relatively great shape other than people having defaced the cabin table-map. I hope to get back to this one for either a sunrise or sunset hike.

Nice hike for a warm day, or for lunch by the Falls.

Great hike from 8th Lake Campground via Bug Lake to Uncas Trail. beautiful along the lake. 8 miles. Easy to moderate hike depending on skill level. Took us 4.5 hours total with 30 minute break at the top. Walked average pace of 2.5 mph.

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