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Hiked up Black Mt on Saturday 9/22/2018. A crisp, clear morning perfect for hiking. I took the 2.5 mi trail up to the summit in 1 hour. The trail was easy to follow and the ascent was gradual/moderate with no really steep sections.
The views at the summit were amazing! Even with no access to the firetower. I took some nice photos from the lookout right below the summit. Then took the trail around the other side of the tower to another rock outcrop for more awesome views.
After 15 minutes I started down the other side to make the 7.7 mi loop hike. Soon after leaving the summit there is a side trail to the right with nice views towards Lake George. After that I zigzagged down the trail and came to the signed trail junction with the blue blazed trail that returns toward the parking area.
Now, it was obvious that this section sees much less use, as the trail was very faint and almost non-existent in places. I came to a lean-to and it seemed the trail ended there. But after some searching, I went down to the pond and found where the trail continued.
The trail was more visible after the lean-to and after a bit intersects with a yellow blazed trail that finishes the loop back to the road.
The whole trail was very scenic and I'm so glad I took the long way back. Another hiker and I were trail running most of the way back and I made it back in 1:18. Pretty good time for me.
A great loop hike overall, which I highly recommend. I would come back here again.

A nice steady climb to the top with some nice bedrock patches on the second half of the climb. My 5 1/2 year old was able to do this hike without too much difficulty. On the way down we found an entrance to the old cable tram carve out which can also be used as a trail and is actually easier. While the second half is steep (6/10), there are plenty of safe ways up and down. I would not rate this as a hard hike because it's so short in distance.

Great hike. Very nice views of the high peaks.

Really cool beginner trail. This is where my GF and I got started and it introduces you to a lot of terrain that you will experience on bigger trails. Our dog had a blast and there are great camp sites around

hiking
7 days ago

This is a busy trail specially on nice weather. This is a moderate hike. weather condition changes at the summit. It was below 40's windchill at the top today

Always a great hike with a wonderful view of the Adk and Lake Champlain.

Giant Ledge is probably one of the most accessible hikes in the Catskills in that it’s fairly short and easy and you are rewarded with some of the best views in the region. I’ve hiked it at night for some awesome stargazing as well as backpacked in and stayed overnight at the designated sites up on Giant Ledge. Caught a great sunset and sunrise on that trip!

I'm relatively new to hiking and have been aiming for moderate trails over easy, to challenge myself, gain experience and build endurance. Well this trail definitely helped with that. Steep hike with extremely rocky terrain. I found going up to be challenging but fun, but going down was extremely tough for me. The rocks are tough on the knees and feet. I'm thankful I invested in a good pair of hiking boots and trekking poles or it would have been a lot worse for me. The trail is beautiful, but I have to admit, I had my head down most of the way, because you have to watch your footing. There were some pretty intensely muddy spots on the trail, but that is to be expected with the amount of rain we've been getting. Bugs were not an issue at all except for the black flies at the top of Panther. Trail markers were easy to find. The ledges were some of the best views I've ever seen. We made friends with a little hungry chipmunk on the ledges and had lunch with a snake on the top of Panther. It was not too crowded, as we started at 7:30am. There were about 3 cars there before us, one being the trail steward, who stayed at the ledges. This was definitely a challenge for a new hiker but exactly what I was looking for. Sore today for sure, but still thinking about the lovely views at the top.

Nice trail. Great views!!! Some Rocky areas were harder/slippery and some trees have fall on the trail. Good variety of views and landscapes

Great hike. Did on 9/16/2018 with 7 kids age 5-11. 1:40 to the top and 2:30 down the lake side and around through the ponds.

Easy to start off. Then goes into a rocky, consistent incline with several rock scrambles. About 3/4 of the way up you come to a steep, narrow cut out in the rocks, just big enough for one person to fit straight up. After that is another steep climb up rocks. To the left is a smooth rock and to the right is a space so narrow I had to take my pack pack off and go up sideways. If you are terrified of heights like myself I do not recommend this. I had to turn back because it was a straight drop to my right. There is a nice false summit a little before this part with beautiful views and plenty of places to sit and eat.

First portion is a steady moderate hike after you cross the highway via a steel walkway. After you cross the road, the intensity increases to moderate to steep at times. We are novice hikers and we decided to go for it and it took us approximately 1 hr 15 minutes to reach the summit. The views are rewarding! Especially seeing the highway we crossed over!

I’d recommend hiking boots for sure, lots of water, snacks and breaks as you need them. I hiked with one hiking pole and found it to be very helpful. At the summit they do have a place to refill water bottles.

beautiful views!!

First off, the distance RT is much closer to 4.5 - 5 miles, the trail has some switchbacks that are a bit off the path on here. Second, the hike was fun. There was some scrambling, which was a a bit tricky, but myself and my father had no issues. I loved the rock scrambles, makes this hike a fun one, different than other scrambles I've done. Once you get up onto the exposed rock, the trail can be very tricky to follow. There are a few trail markers and some rock cairns, go slow and look for these. Have some sort of map just to be safe.

Definitely moderate plus. Quite a bit of scrambling is involved, but well worth it for the views. Very interesting terrain. We got off trail once or twice, but quickly recovered. Probably not recommended for young children. The distance to summit seems longer than the listed 3.3 miles. Otherwise an excellent gem of a hike!

hiking
15 days ago

Did this on 8/18/18. Nice new trail work, lots of information and clearly marked paths. Easy, quick hike to the top and the fire tower was open with a steward available for questions. It was VERY busy. Lots of large groups, lots of families with kids (kid-friendly hike), but also a large group of 20 or so people. Due to popularity I probably would not return unless it was off season.

Loved this hike! We started at the trailhead, following the red DEC discs up to the (unimpressive) summit. Trail was wide, and clearly marked; fairly gentle to start, but eventually became quite steep. Descended along trail on south side of the summit; single-track, slightly overgrown, steep in places. Blue trail is clearly marked with DEC discs, and offers a nice stroll through the woods past the ponds. Yellow trail to the left takes you back towards the trailhead.

Definitely for the endurance exercise oriented person. There is no leisurely strolling or switch-backs on this hike. Mostly straight up-hill the entire route. Nice views at the top with a one-of-a-kind visitor center where you can warm up.

The first ~60% of the hike is a fairly boring slog up an old access road. Once you hit the spring the trail turns into more of a real trail which is quite nice. There is some sort of church at the top with nice viewing platforms. Took approximately 3 hours to complete. Beware in the parking lot at the trailhead. Someone vandalized my car doing over $1,000 worth of damage.

Love everything about it. The only thing was that when I got to the top, it was so foggy I couldn’t appreciate the view. But will definitely do it again.

Started early to avoid the heat .... nice and shady walk. Great view from the Giant Ledge ... came across a baby snake on the way down ... brilliant day!

The best hike I've found so far within a reasonable driving distance of NYC.

It is simply the best hike I have taken. The views are astonishing. Highly recommended.

Started by the parking lot of North Lake and took the loop trail to Artist's Rock, Sunset Rock, Newman's Ledge, North Point and Ashley Falls. We stopped several times for photos which tacked on an hour or two to our hike. My phone died on the way out so our recording is incomplete. We started out at 11am and it was extremely foggy. I actually didn't realize I parked next to the lake until we came down. it was so foggy I didn't see it or the signs. The first two look outs were all fog so not much to see. By the time we got to Newman's Ledge, the fog cleared and the view was gorgeous. Don't forget the bug spray. The mosquitoes were ruthless. The trail itself, aside from the look outs was beautiful. I never grew bored of the landscape. Beautiful trees, rock formations and different kinds of mushrooms throughout. I would do this trail again but would be better prepared next time.

This was such a fun hike. Very rewarding views at Giant's Ledge and a really helpful NYNJ Trail Conference steward up there. If you continue up to Panther Mountain, you get even more of a workout but you also get that perfect alpine smell.

Love this place. Great views on clear days. Places to cook and feed the family and great for kids

great hike up and down the mountain, lots of steep climbing up rocks at times. definitely higher end of moderate rating. family friendly too. we were unsure if kids in our group 5 and 7 years old, would be able to do it, and they made it to the top successfully and safely! highly recommend with beautiful view of the top. as mentioned before, you can drive and park up at the summit too. we saw a wedding ceremony take place at the top as well.

Awesome hike! North Point was in clouds when I went, so Newman's Ledge packed a huge punch - such an amazing view!! Will definitely be doing it again soon.

Great hike, but busy paths. Several vistas make the incline worth the effort.

A solid hike that offer some tricky terrain and decently tough inclines. Slick ground toward the top makes it a little tricky and the way up and down. Good views and a visitor center (with restrooms) at the summit. No water fountains but can use the restroom sink to refill.

There’s a flowing spring toward the middle of the trail that is okay to drink from.

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