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This was a very challenging trail. If you are not prepare and fit don't do it. If you are afraid of heights don't attempt it either. It's a very crowded trail with a lot of dogs. I met a lot of hikers on this trail, some were friendly, others rude. I seen a lady with a 6 month baby on her back. This is definitely not a trail for that.

My husband and I hiked the loop with our dog, camping overnight at Jimmy Dolan Notch. There's been a lot of rain this month, so there was water everywhere, little creeks and waterfalls. We came up via the eastern leg of the loop. It started off fairly easy, but turned into one of the tougher hikes we've done. Several spots where our dog couldn't make the jumps (he's got stubby little legs), and we had to ferry him up the rocks or carry him up balanced on one knee as we pulled ourselves up with tree roots. Not easy with our packs on. Between the challenge of the dog and the fact that our camp stove crapped out on us, we had to call our trip a little short, and we just hiked back down the next morning via the western leg. The descent was easier, the elevation change was definitely steadier on the western side of the loop.

Overall, this was a gorgeous, well-marked hike, and we fully intend to come back (without the doggo) and try it again. Challenging, beautiful, and well worth the drive from NYC.

My husband, son and I hiked this trail up and back in 1.5 hours. Took the short trail up and long trail back. Small summit, but still beautiful. Our almost 5 year old had no issues at all navigating the climb. We avoided the crowds by starting out around 4PM on a Saturday. Nice hike overall. Enjoyed the quiet and views of the trail throughout.

We consider ourselves to be average hikers in decent shape. This was a 20 mile day that took us 13 hours. I’ve done a few multi peak hikes in the ADK but this has the most elevation I’ve done in a day. Pretty steep everywhere. We parked in the Ausable club hiker parking near 73 and went up the Gill Brook Trail to hit Colvin first. Lots of waterfalls for the first mile or so.
I can see why most people say to skip Blake if you’re not trying to be a 46er. Although there are some views during the hike down there isn’t much to see at the top. To do Blake you also need to summit Colvin twice. The back side of Colvin is a very steep climb.
Lucky we had our water filter with us too. We were out of water by the time we hit the Elk Pass campsites. The two lakes and streams looked big on the map but are actually small ponds. There is no other opportunity for water nearby.
The longest uphill climb of our day was Nippletop but we were also rewarded with the best views of the day.
It’s only 6 miles out from Nippletop but you have to go over 3 other mountains on the way. Dial, Bear Den, and Noonmark. I haven’t seen Aspen Groves on any other peak like the ones on Noonmark.
The final 3 miles were steep and pretty brutal on our tired legs. We were very happy to be done and felt pretty good to have conquered this hike

With overnight gear, this is a trek. Don’t pay attention to the mile markers on the trail - use your gps. Plenty of mis cues. Be prepared for serious ascents and technical descents. Kind of a blast but a mother ef for sure.

Fun all the way up

Hiked Suagloaf, Plateau, and some of Twin last year. If you're looking for a challenge, I would definitely recommend hiking these mountains. Did it as a day hike and I was there for a good 6-7 hours. I know everyone's skill level is different but this one really pushed my limits.
Be prepared to do some dangerous rock scrambles, which are made even more difficult when wet. And to possibly be very sore the next day,

I did the hike with my 5yo son yesterday, a very hot day. I fed him constantly, hydrated him constantly, stopped often and he kept going all the way to the top. Congrats Issei!!
WARNING. You need to know what you are doing, do not attempt this if you are not an expert or your child is reckless. NEVER look away from them. My son is very disciplined, a good listener and stops EVERYTIME I tell him to do so. Nonetheless children that age are unpredictable and disaster could be around the corner. It is up to you to eliminate risk. Took 4 1/2 hour on white/yellow/green/red. I think the full loop would have been too much. Start early on summer days. Gets pretty hot soon. Even on the top. We used one gallon of water between the two of us.
I gave it 4 stars but not for the trail itself but because the conditions the people left the hike in. Graffiti defacing rocks, plastic everywhere... C’mon people!! Carry your own garbage!

Definitely not an easy trail for some, but my 8 year old made it through. I suggest the Short, steep, rocky trail up, and then the Long, less rocky, less rough on the knees way down. I can't imagine the short trail down with all those rocks. View was not great, weather wasn't clear (hence only four stars). Not a lot of room up top, but a decent amount to chill for a bit.

The trip was incredible, however we were disappointed to find no Macy’s at the summit

on Mount Jo Loop Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail for beginners and families with kids. Suggest taking the long trail up and the short trail down.

Great trail I love it

It was fine except that when your finished your legs are KILLING you

Great hike that was really well marked. I have the worst sense of direction and get lost on a lot of well marked trails, but I did this one solo and when I got turned around I immediately found my way quickly due to all of the markings.
It is a workout but loved every second. Slid down one of the rocks after trying to follow a path forward that was too steep, but quickly recovered.

This is easily one of my favorite hikes near NYC. The only reason I give it 4 stars is due to the amount of people on the trail. It can be a zoo if you get there after 9am. So go early. But if you want a short hike with a little challenge and seriously rewarding views, this is the one. You also have the option to extend the hike out to the fire tower, if you want more mileage and dodge fewer people. After the hike, I love to head to Cold Spring for some lunch, a rewarding beer, or a little shopping. I heard the trail will be closed down next year, so get there while you can.

Great hike, but pretty crowded on the trail. I would only recommend for weekday when it’s slightly less busy. Parking lot fills up early on the weekend.

An exhausting day! Took me 13 hours including break and walk up from lake road and down at the end to return to my car. The steep downhill of Elk Pass and Colvin were brutal on my knees. Start as early as humanly possible and bring tons of water, food, and a headlamp just in case!

hiking
11 days ago

First time back since my first visit in November and lemme tell you it’s just as much of an escape from the city as it was than back then! The wind in the summer was a lot less crazy, so when I got up to the top to the tower it wasn’t as sketch. Went solo so wanted to see how quick I could get to the tower and back from the breakneck trailhead, made it under 5.5hrs! Near the fire tower I was startled by a noise and all of a sudden saw a little doe and was able to snap some pics of it. Even though it does break up to allow you your own space in nature (crazy concept to think being so close to nyc!) but I’d suggest getting up there before noon to avoid congestion and the peak heat, tho it’s really not too bad between the trees. Biggest suggestion, bring at least two more bottles of water than you’d thought you’d need in the first place, will not regret it...! Only thing that’d make this hike perfect was a swimming hole (and less people, but that’s dreamin big lol).

Challenging relatively short hike with a wonderful view at the top. We took the longer route up and back. Some areas with rocks to navigate and some wooden ladders to reach the summit. There were some slippery rocks due to recent rain but overall the hike is very do-able with some careful attention to footing. We added on the south camp loop around the lake which was easy.

Second time up Blue in July. Did this on a Monday morning. Trail was quite busy with families and summer camp groups. Trail etiquette was not very good with lots of candy/gum wrappers, groups with music playing on speakers, failure to yield trail to descending hikers. But I guess that comes with the territory, with a short hike to a fire tower so close to vacationland.

I dashed up the trail and made the summit in 57 minutes, and descended in just about 30 minutes.

15 days ago

Wow! What amazing views! I cannot wait to return in the fall and just sit at the top taking in the scenery. Definitely start with the white trail because it is quite a challenge. It’s mostly rock scrambling...I wouldn’t want to go down that way. It’s definitely some of the best scrambling that I’ve done in the area. There are so many places to stop and enjoy the views along the way. Once you get to the top with the flagpole it only gets better. There are at least 2-3 more places further up on the white trail that were less crowded where you can sit and enjoy the wind and take it all in.

Gorgeous moderate hike. If you are looking for views this is a great pick. The trail is moderate and offers nice portions that are great for trail running. There are also many nice little overlooks so you can find your own spot to relax and take in the views.

12 hours from parking lot to parking lot. Did Dial-Nippletop-Colvin-Blake-Colvin. this give you a long but fairly easy walk out in the end. Good views from all but Blake.

If you want a challenge, this is the one. If you want the full experience of the trail, take it to fire tower, but that makes it a much longer hike

Only did part of the loop. Ended around where the beaver pond is, but I think this is such a fun hike!! I like the little natural water spigot. And the quarry itself makes for fun rock throne photos.

Everyone always takes the Van Hovenberg Trail when they go up Marcy... You are missing 95% of what the area has to offer. Avalanche Lake is stunning and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. This should be the one and only trail to take when going up Mount Marcy.

The trail is long and difficult. It would be preferable to do it as a 2 day trip. Avid, athletic, and experienced hikers however can get it done as an 11-12 hour day hike.

My new favorite way up Marcy. Highly recommended.

Always a beautiful trail. A few lookout points and pretty walks.

hiking
16 days ago

Followed previous reviewers advice and went up short trail first and took longer trail down.A lot of rocks heading up but nothing too hard.We were fortunate enough that today there was only about 5 people on the trail besides ourselves so it was nice and quiet and we got to enjoy the summit.

My first hike ever, it was *amazing*! Great difficulty.

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