Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Adirondack Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

One of the more challenging loops in the Lake George area. Strenuous length of 13 miles. I personally chose to take Northwest Bay Trail first to Montcalm point & tackle the peaks in order of First, French Point, Fifth. The paths are lightly trafficked & are hard to follow at points. Trail markers are also faded & sometimes hard to locate. The beautiful views fade as you march towards Fifth peak, so if I were to do it again, I would start with Fifth, going towards French & First, to "chase the views." Might also be nice finishing with flat forest trail at the Northwest Bay. Your choice, enjoy!

backpacking
14 days ago

The reviews about trail markers are accurate. This trail needs some help. However, it is not an LGLC trail system as one reviewer wrote, it is the state DEC. This is a hard hike, best done over three days to enjoy the views.

Beautiful views and some of my personal favorites in the Adirondacks. The trail between Algonquin and Iroquois isn’t spectacularly maintained and can get pretty muddy and thin. Overall a great hike and I would absolutely recommend it.

This way is the best route if youre going to do all of these peaks versus going from the other way! So glad we did the loop as wolfjaws first then down the line and even added on saddleback at the end too as just a mile detour!

Gorgeous views along the way but the final stretch of this trail (down to the point) is poorly, or not at all, marked. Very frustrating to find a trail that has had he markers removed. Glad to have finished my 12ster but would like to see the LGLC work on the markers.

Great hike! Great view!

My 3rd hike(started this past summer) and 1st winter hike ever. I consider myself fit and fairly healthy. I haven’t done any conditioning in several months though. I decided to take this range on with a group. My legs felt like tree stumps most of the hike, but I made it through the whole range. There were some areas that were difficult but overall, it wasn’t bad.

Very challenging but absolutely gorgeous trail. Lots of amazing vistas and camp spots along the way. The actual length of the trail is 16 miles.

Did this hike over two days. Started at Deer Loop and finished at Clay Meadow. No rattle snakes sighted. Stayed at Fifth Peak, lean too was in great condition! We did about 7 miles on the first day in about 4 hours with 40 pound packs. We did a little over 13 miles the second day over the course of about 9 hard hours. Trail is very poorly marked and the last stretch is not as flat or as quick as described here. I got my 12ster done and that was what mattered!

Very tough trail. Hiked it for the first time the other day with some buddies and my brother. Ended up getting lost towards the end in the dark. But thankfully we worked together and ended up at the top of the mountain. Everyone made it out safely. Don’t do what we did.

Treacherous, but fulfilling to get my first 4 46ers. Seymour was slippery, but well-trafficked. Doing Seward Range the next day, only saw one other hiker. The Ward Brook herd path is IN a stream for a good bit of the ascent, along slippery, moss covered rocks. Felt more like bouldering than hiking at some parts! I've got quite a few nicks and bruises-- Good trekking poles are a must! I went down Caulkins Brook herd path to spend another night at the Hemlock Hill lean-to, and as others have stated, found Caulkins Brook herd path a much more pleasant hike.

backpacking
7 months ago

This hike was pretty brutal. For those doing an overnight with gear I'd suggest getting an early start so you can make it further than 5th Peak on your first day (assuming you opt to do the loop clockwise — and you should definitely do the loop clockwise). The many peaks are very rough on the legs — especially the downhills — and if you leave most of the peaks to the second day like I did they will punish you. As other reviews have mentioned the ~5 mile lakeside portion of the trail is flat and quite easy. I'd also agree with the other reviews that this is probably closer to 15 miles and that it's easy to occasionally lose the trail if you don't keep an eye out for markers.

Despite the difficulty of the hike, the incredible views of Lake George made the strenuousness all worth it! Notable wildlife I saw included a flock of wild turkeys very close to Montcalm Point. The camping sites along the trail are pristine and were utterly empty during my trip. Nothing beats waking up, opening your tent and being greeted by a panoramic of this enormous lake dotted by its many forested islands far below. If you have some friends who are up for the challenge this trail makes for the perfect weekend getaway with beers around the campfire and swimming in the lake.

Algonquin and Iroquois are great, but Marshall is a lot of added distance/effort for very little payoff.

It was longer than anticipated. We did the red trail, to the yellow, to the blue and looped back to the yellow to the red. There were many beautiful spots. The trail was tough in some spots, but not too strenuous. I would love to go back and do the yellow loop.

Exceptional hike.

8 months ago

Trail not well marked

Difficult hike with spectacular 360 views at the summit. Worth the climb for sure

If you are driving up you can not go up after 530pm

Great trail for both the experienced hiker/backpacker seeking a challenge and those looking to get into backpacking. The full loop is definitely for experienced hikers. We staged cars at the Clay Brook and Tongue Mt. Range trailheads and departed clockwise toward Montcalm Point, with goal of reaching 5th Peak shelter that evening. Two very important things to note about this trip if you're planning to backpack: you will need to carry all of your water or a filtration system as there are no reliable sources along the trail until you reach the lake (there are some streams but they were all dry or had brackish/stagnant water), and you will very likely encounter rattlesnakes, so tread cautiously.
This hike features 3 summits that provide breathtaking views of Lake George and the surrounding mountains and terrain varying from leisurely to strenuous. If you're new to backpacking, you can reach the 5th Peak shelter via the Clay Brook trailhead (about 3 miles with 1400' ascent), camp, and pack out the next day. The views from the ridge behind the shelter are incredible at sunset; highly recommend setting up a tent back there. Lovely variety of vegetation and rock formations to enjoy, and trail is very well marked with the exception of the last mile or so back to Clay Brook trailhead.

backpacking
8 months ago

Parking lot fills up even on weekdays. Most actually hike the Dix range. If you like to be away from people this is the trail for you, saw a pair of people going up and saw no one coming back. Many wet spots, however lots of small creeks to filter water. This really is a great hike, not steep with lots of shade. The black flies were minimal, just in evening. Hiked Skylight, Gray and Haystack from panther gorge tent site. No one was in the lean to

A beautiful hike overlooking lake George with some challenging climbs. Great spot for a solid day hike

I was unfortunately unable to finish this hike. Experienced the absolute WORST bugs I have ever encountered hiking....ever. Non stop mosquitoes, nats and horse flies the entire time. It was miserable. So bug spray is a must. And don't attempt it in 100% humidity bc there is zero air flow for a lot of the trek. But at least we got to go swimming.... I'd like to try it again on a much cooler day...

The Tongue mountain loop is a great trail with plenty of elevation gain, rocky terrain, and views of Lake George, but beware of Timber Rattlesnakes. We started our hike at the Clay Meadow trailhead and continued straight up to 5th peak (about 3 miles). Along the way we saw our first rattler. At the peak the views were not great, but they get better. Just wait. Along the ridge running southwest towards Montcalm Point you will reach two more peaks with stunning panorama views. This is where we saw our second rattlesnake. The trail along the ridge is full of rugged rocky outcrops interspersed with grassy meadows. Once we reached Montcalm point (7.7 miles) it was a relatively easy and flat 4.8 mile trip back to the trailhead along Northwest Bay. Total distance 12.7 miles; moving time 6:05; elevation gain 3,325ft. Distances were recorded on two Garmin Forerunner 235 watches.

Did this as an overnighter (8/17-18/2017), staying at Blueberry Lean-to area. Packed in Day 1 and did Seymour. Day two, did Seward, Donaldson and Emmons and then packed out. The gps profile of the three peaks definitely does not do it justice; that was tough and very muddy 4 miles! Both Hedpaths were very easy to find and follow. There are many very picturesque waterfalls on/in and near the trail up Seward so be sure to break off the herdpath to check them out periodically if you have the time. Great views from Seward and Seymour and certain spots on the Donaldson and Emmons.

Long but interesting hike. Started at Elk Lake (had to park 2 miles from trailhead as lot was full) and took the trail to Panther Gorge. Go over a few ridges including the Colvin ridge where you just drop back down to original elevation. Turned right at junction in Panther Gorge where you have about a half mile to the turn off to Haystack. Continued to the summit of Haystack along a challenging but fun trail. Rated as one of the steepest trails in the Adirondacks. The views from Haystack are absolutely spectacular. Only saw one other couple at the summit so almost had the entire rock dome to myself. Could see a crowf of people atop Marcy so glad I picked this one instead. Long hike out as a day trip but if you camped at Panther Gorge you would have a choice of some of the best peaks/hikes in the entire park. Highly recommend.

Easy.

I saw so many great birds. Including falcons!

Nice hike in to a gorgeous lake. The rocks near the lake are fun to climb on as well. Perfect distance and easy to get to for those coming to the Adirondacks from the south.

Caulkins Brook ascent was much more enjoyable than Ward Brook trail. I would definitely recommend starting the 3 Sewards from Caulkins trail. For what time you would save by ascending/descending a steeper section you lose on the Ward trail because you still have to hike out to the DEC trail which did seem a bit tedious. Trail was on the muddy side- couldn't touch the Santanoni Range on its mud- but still worth mentioning.

Seymour has the best views of the 4. NOTE: Seymour has a false summit after the slide scrambles-very close to the actual summit.

Like other herd path hikes (Dix range, Santanonis, Marshall, etc) trail was well traveled and easy to find. In fact, with the placement of the lean-to's at the bottom of said herd paths, I had never seen so many hikers out on a herded trail... Felt like a DEC maintained trail with the amount of people out there.

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