Explore To do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
17 hours ago

Easy out and back trail. We went in the evening after a light rain. Not many people, and doing the trail in the evening gave it a very different feel. The falls are beautiful.

My partner and I did the loop as an overnight. The first day, we started out from the Clay Meadows parking lot around 1:30pm and headed up to fifth mountain via the red trail. The trail was fairly steep, but not too bad. We got to the junction with the blue trail with plenty of time to spare, so we dropped our packs and continued along the red trail in hopes of a dip in the lake. About two thirds of the way down, we decided we were content to stop for a snack at a nice view point and then head back up. Anyone filtering their water should note that the stream at the junction of the blue and red trails is the last reliable water source until after the trail fully descends from the mountains and reaches the lake maybe 7ish miles in. The fifth mountain lean-to was basic, but quite clean and we'll maintained with a composting toilet nearby. The views near it were spectacular, with an excellent vantage point for the sunset. The next day, we continued along the trail, coming across two rattlesnakes, cool, shady forest, and plenty more stunning vistas. Definitely recommend going out to Montcalm Point for a swim--though we didn't want to hang around outside of the water, due to biting black flies like you'd get at the beach. All in all, an excellent hike!

Hiked the trail “backwards.” Started out going left on the paved trail. Slow easy incline for the first half following cool ruins and a nice creek. Elevation started to pick up and then we started to hit the viewing points. Steep rocky decent. Awesome mushrooms the whole way and a few wildflowers.

Always a great hike that's close to home

hiking
1 day ago

Nice short hike. A little buggy but with bug spray it was no problem. Steeper at times than you would think for a “Easy”. But worth it- pretty views of the mountains, Saranac Lake and the town.

Great hike.the views from the top are awesome.

Tougher than I was expecting as it is a steady incline nearly the entire way. The view is absolutely worth the climb and the fire tower is incredible from the top. 2hrs roundtrip.

I rate this 5 stars because it is a very peaceful, challenging walk, or run. It's not a hike in the sense that these are all old carriage paths, so footing is easy. It is very hilly however. Also, forget the trailhead and enter at the main entrance to the castle. Go up the road about a quarter mile, just past the lake their is a red carriage barn on the right, turn right and park in that lower lot. The description on alltrail says it's a .9 mile trail, but there is actually a total of 5.6 miles of trails. There are no DEC type trail signs, however all of the trails are out-and-backs or loop around. It's impossible to get lost. Some of these trails are challenging if you are not used to hiking. For flat trails stay around the lake near where you park. That's a short loop. Dogs are allowed, but must remain on a leash. If you want to enjoy the view you'll have to go up to the castle.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful hike through the Gorge! A moderately difficult hike mainly due to slippery rocks, stairs, and tourists stopping to take pictures. The view of the rocks and waterfalls along the path were wonderful. I will definitely be back!

Not as easy as the local reviews say it is! Definitely a challenge, but so worth it!

very much a disappointment . 4.5 hours round trip and was hoping for breathtaking views. all you can see from the top is big pine trees. what a waste . been on much better hikes than this that offered so much beauty . just before you get to the top you can see a little of the mountain ridges across but mostly obstructed

trail running
2 days ago

Very peaceful. Markers for the loop are hard to follow.

hiking
3 days ago

Buck is a great day hike for those who are in reasonably good shape and looking for about 2000 vertical feet of elevation gain in about 2.5 miles. We went on a mid-summer Monday and were joined by about 10 other groups of hikers. Definitely popular, but not for those with small kids. We found lots of bolete mushrooms on our hike and they were quite tasty when we cooked them up on our return.

nature trips
3 days ago

We went to the overlook point n saw and we were not thrilled and then we drove to the gorge trail head, We started the hike and its less than a mile once we reached the falls it was surely a great feeling. We went after heavy rains so we could see decent amount of water but if you go in mid summer I doubt if you can hardly enjoy the falls. The gorge trail head is right next to Cayuga so we spent some time there as well, worth a visit!!

DON'T TAKE THE INDIAN TRAIL... We started hiking gorge and from Jacob's ladder we headed back on Indian trail, the gorge trail as the name suggests is awesome but gets crowded but worth it. The Indian trail has maybe 1-2 viewing points and it doesn't have anything that makes us feel that we are at a glen... So just make sure you get back in the gorge itselff

Beautiful hike. Not the most interesting or challenging trails, but the payoff at Indian Head is one of the prettiest views in New York in my opinion. A great hike

Did this last year with my 4 year old son - definitely more moderate because of rock scrambling, although short - we needed more bug spray as the way down follows a stream!

Cliff and lake views- nice

This trail was absolutely gorgeous and exceeded my expectations. Sam’s Point was a nice but very crowded lookout point. Once you get to the top past Sam’s Point the landscape is really interesting with all the dwarf pitch pine and wild plants lining the paths. The ice caves were really awesome and that was a nice short trail, but again, it was really crowded. Once we got onto the footpath for the falls it wasn’t nearly as crowded. We did pass some hikers along the way but it was mostly private most of the way. And the scenery is gorgeous. There are also lots of delicious wild blueberries lining that open part of the trail. You’re on an open mountain side overlooking the mountains ahead for most of the trail leading to the falls and the views are amazing but you’ll be exposed to the sun so coverup and wear sunblock if it’s a sunny day. There’s a point where you go through a little faerie fern forest and I thought it was just magical. Afterwards you go through a patch of white birch and then the falls are spectacular. We didn’t do the entire loop. We just went to the falls and back the same way but I plan to go back and finish the loop. Overall I thought it was a beautiful trail with some interesting terrain changes which kept the trail exciting. And if you’re like me and are really into plants you’ll love checking out all the different plant life along the way.

hiking
4 days ago

This trail is relatively short and easy compared to most other ADK towers. It was worth the hike. Check out my full write up along with pictures and things to look out for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/sprucemountain/

My son and I did Porter first, which was muddy in spots, but otherwise a really nice detour before going up Cascade. The views from Porter were better than expected. Cascade was spectacular! The rock scramble at the end was a good time. We stayed longer on Cascade, and had some food. The path from the trailhead is uphill from the start, with only a few very short level areas. It is also very rocky, and on the trek down this was a bit of a challenge. There were people of all ages and skill levels on the trial, and most people were very friendly and encouraging on the way up and down. The parking areas around the trailhead were packed by 10:00am, so get there early. We spent about 5 hrs on the trail, 4:19 minutes of actual hiking time. Two of my apps agreed on mileage, 7.1 for Cascade and Porter. Great hike and amazing views!

Great, steep hike, fun rock scramble at cascade, porter was super muddy

hiking
5 days ago

Last of the Saranac 6 complete! Saved it for last because we figured it would be easiest. After doing 3 others over the past day the hike was a little more than I expected. The trail on the right as you go up is pretty steep. Some nice views at the top - ran down the other trail on the way back down to see it was much more gradual.

Always a favorite. Great with my kids. We went early to beat the crowds and was worth it.

Great trail with an even better view. Not too heavily trafficked. It is unmarked so double check what directions you use. Great hike!

All in all a beautiful hike. We stayed true to Cascade. If you are new to hiking ( like many we passed as we made our way down) preparation is key. It’s definitely a hike, not a stroll. Wear appropriate footwear! I’m incredibly proud of our 4.5 year old son who made it to the summit and back with no assistance. Took us 4 hours car to car, with a nice break at the top and a few on the way up. We cruised down with ease. Parking was not an issue for us as we arrived early enough. View at the top was beautiful.

Great hike! Lots of steep inclines. Well worth it, though, the view at the summit is amazing!

Not a long hike but definitely a challenge! For most of the way up, it’s a steady incline to keep the heart pumping. The last quarter or so of the trail is quite steep. There are a few tall rocks to climb over. The view is definitely worth it! The way down is a bit challenging in spots. I would do it again.

DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE PROPERTY.

The last 5 miles along the lake are beautiful, but seem to take forever!

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