Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

birding
19 days ago

This was my second time here. I love this trail! This time we found a lookout that offered a much better view than the lookout ledge. Great time!

Extremely challenging especially in these winter like conditions we are still experiencing in NYS. I would like to experience it again when the weather is nicer. Also, we did the loop trail but AllTrails glitched while we were out there so half of the hike is missing. We did this in 11 hours if you are starting the timing from the registry.

Completed this hike yesterday. Great view on Nippletop! This hike took me 10 hours. I used spikes, snowshoes, and crampons. Came back through Gill Brook trail for as long as I could before getting back to Lake Road. A bit over 15 miles..

cross country skiing
1 month ago

My wife and I went for a Nordic ski in late March and it was a blast. The trails are scenic and easy to maneuver, and have a good mix of easy and challenging skiing. We will definitely do this trail again!

Took nearly 5 hours on snowshoes. It was a nice day barely any ice, and trail was broken.. as previous reviewer said false summit has nice views. Actual summit is in the woods. Someone wrote on the marker so you know when you’ve hit the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked on Feb 18/18. Only one other on trail who i caught up with at summit. Trail not particularily well marked though the other hiker broke trail which made finding my way easy. Little snow but lots of ice ,some very challenging, a few ice covered scrambles that required thought on how to climb
False summit has nice views, actual summit is in the woods. There is supposed to be a marker at the summit but could not be found. Likey some jerk took it for a souvenir. Decent was like the assent with a few challenging spots.
My first winter solo.Enjoy

great hike

Brutal winter hike if you go take alltrail's suggestion and do Nippletop first, but i imagine its a matter of preference if you want to get most of the climbing done asap. Trail from Elk Pass up to Nippletop is mostly ice. You will need decent spikes for this. Regular microspikes wont cut it as the couple a few dozen feet behind me found out (they had to quit halfway up because they couldnt make it up a particularly icy spot and i didnt have rope to help them). Also make sure to wear snowshoes since whatever isnt ice is 3-4 feet of fluffy snow, and if you stray 3 inches off the narrow packed down trail you will immediately posthole up to your waist. Once you get to Nippletop Summit the views are amazing and definitely worth the strenuous climb. The trail to Dial and over Bear Den is pretty easy from here (but keep your snowshoes on), with a little more climbing up to Noonmarks shoulder. There are also plenty of spots steep enough on the descent that you can literally sit down and butt slide 20-100 feet at a time to save energy (just use an ice axe or trekking poles to steer and stop) and have some fun. The only downside to this hike is the long approach up the access road you have to walk, but otherwise the views and the trail are 10/10

hiking
5 months ago

This was a beautiful walk/hike. It is very easy with amazing scenery. The reservoir is a great sight.

hiking
5 months ago

Trees covered summit, not much view along the tree except a ledge near the summit.

hiking
7 months ago

Trail needs to be marked and cleared up big time.

Great Hike. Hiked Lake Rd to Gil Brook Trail. Lots of little waterfalls along the way. Took the short trip to Indian Head before returning to Elk Pass trail. You walk by a few nice ponds before heading up Nippletop. Fairly steep but not to bad. Great views. Very windy when I was there. Trail over to Dial is easy. Small rock ledge to see some views. Then it Was Bear Den Mt, the shoulder of Noonmark, and some small Mt that didn’t show up on my map. Great views though. After that it was a hike back to Lake Rd and out. The hike was 14 1/2 miles. Including breaks it took about 9 1/2 hours.

Beware that no dogs are allowed and this restriction is strictly enforced. The parking is across the highway from the Roaring Brook access to Giant Mt. and is at the southerly of the two junctions of Rt. 73 and Ausable Rd. (not "Ausable Club Rd.") On a busy weekend, you will likely have to park on the highway. From the parking area, walk 1/2-mile up the road past a golf course. Just before reaching he large clubhouse, turn left and down between two tennis courts to the gate house and trail register.

This hike has a little bit of everything in it...

Starting out from the Ausable golf club and trekking down Lake road is a nice (but fairly long 4 mile) start to warm you up if you don’t like getting out of the car and immediately inclining.

We looped counter clockwise to get the long road trek out of the way first and took a detour, adding less than a mile, to the loop by checking out Indian Head and Fish Hawk cliffs. It’s 100% worth the effort when you’re so close and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

From there until you get to Elk Pass it’s not too bad but I’ll admit it was a pretty tough stretch to scale Nippletop as you gain over 1,000 feet in a mile or so. However once there it’s totally worth the view. Has to be one of the top in the peaks. We spent a good 40 minutes at the summit and then descended to Dial which was another 3 miles.

The road to Dial was pretty gradual and like Nippletop had a great view. From there we continued our descent and passed over Noonmark shoulder and had a pretty cool time walking through the newer stretch of trees grown after the fire years back. The shoulder also had some nice views and it’s really the only time you’ll have to ascend again.

From there the last 4 miles are pretty steep downhill until you’re back on Lake road with only a mile left to the club.

I personally like to get all the heavy lifting done in a short span and the real challenge here is the 1,500 feet you’ll gain in one area going up Nippletop. The rest of the hike can pretty much be dedicated to great views and enjoyment.

I’d recommend reserving 8-12 hours for this hike. We spent about 1.5 hours on summits and taking pictures and we moved at a somewhat slower pace than we had planned and it took us about 10 hours total.

There isn't much of a view at the top (like another commented I walked right past the summit without realizing it) but the trail up is beautiful. Most of the path is a nice stroll through a pine forest that gets steep near the top. I went the day after a major rainstorm so it was quite muddy but that was unavoidable. It's a nice hike and a decent work out. I would recommend it to anyone that's looking for a nice walk through the woods with some harder parts mixed in. There is a false summit that has a nice view.

A nice hike.

Great hike! 15 and 16 for me :) We went up clockwise via Bear Den then Dial and Nippletop. I like getting elevation out of the way first and this was a good route for me. The decent from Nippletop was steep (wet from snow melting) but doable it eventually levels out. The elk to gill brook was pretty flat and I enjoyed a cool but long flatter decent. If going counter clockwise seems you'd walk flat a long way before ascending Nippletop. The hike from Dial to Nippletop was fairly flat, easier ascents and had some snow. Views at Nippletop were spectacular. If I had to do this again I'd go clockwise.

hiking
8 months ago

Scarface Mtn was my 3rd Mtn of the Saranac Lake 6ers on Day 2. Signed in at the trail head at 9:45 a.m. and reached the summit at 11:45 a.m. at a moderate pace. Pleasant start thru the pine forest with gentle rolling hills. Be on the lookout for an occasional train when approaching the railroad tracks. Right before the bridge over Ray Brook is the Capt. John Paul McKay memorial bench on the left. As you continue you'll come upon the remnants of an old foundation just before the split in the trail - go left. From the split your journey gets gradually steeper, but nothing like Ampersand or McKenzie Mtns. As you ascend you'll reach the only landing with a view before continuing along a narrow heavily wooded path to the true summit (marker on tree) within a gathering of pines. I walked right by the summit marker for about 20 yards before I realized I passed it. Three down - three to go to complete the Saranac Lake 6ers.

This trail was my first high peaks adventure, and reminded me that I am no longer a young pup.

It was a blast! We took the "clockwise" loop. From what we experienced, and what the other hikers that went the "counter clockwise" direction looked like climbing the final ascent to Nippletop, I'd say we took the easier route. Our route was a climb right from the get go and got the engine pumping hard, but after the descent from Nippletop to Elks Pass it was a decent hike out with a nice flat road to finish up.

Bring lots of water (I went through 4Liters). The only suitable water source for filtering was Gill Brook on our descent. Elks Pass was kind of stagnant and questionable in terms of use in a filter.

If you have ailing leg joints, be sure to bring your braces. The descent did a number on my knees as well as my partner's knee and ankle.

All in all, it was physically painful on the body, but was well worth the views and exercise.

This trail was my first high peaks adventure, and reminded me that I am no longer a young pup.

It was a blast! We took the "clockwise" loop. From what we experienced, and what the other hikers that went the "counter clockwise" direction looked like climbing the final ascent to Nippletop, I'd say we took the easier route. Our route was a climb right from the get go and got the engine pumping hard, but after the descent from Nippletop to Elks Pass it was a decent hike out with a nice flat road to finish up.

Bring lots of water (I went through 4Liters). The only suitable water source for filtering was Gill Brook on our descent. Elks Pass was kind of stagnant and questionable in terms of use in a filter.

If you have ailing leg joints, be sure to bring your braces. The descent did a number on my knees as well as my partner's knee and ankle.

All in all, it was physically painful on the body, but was well worth the views and exercise.

walking
8 months ago

fun, easy to get to behind the old Howard Johnson. The trail follows the shore of lake placid which many don't get to see unless your lucky enough. The reservoir is really pretty.

This was my first high peak and it was tough but so worth it! You do have to park and walk down a paved road through a golf course for a
Few miles which was interesting. Trails were pretty clear and dry. I don't have much to compare it to but the view was breath taking. It took us about 4 hours to get to the top of dial. We were pretty slow getting up there So I'm sure a more experienced hiker can get up quicker. Can't wait for my next one !

Really cool hike. Ascent begins immediately on way up Noonmark shoulder to Bear Den to Dial, gradual fairly easy meander to Nippletop, fairly steep descend down Nippletop to Elk Pass and beautiful views of Gills Brook on the way back to the road. Summit was in the clouds on both peaks but great day hiking otherwise! From parking lot to parking lot took our group of three 9 hours and 40 minutes with multiple rest stops along the way.

mountain biking
8 months ago

For folks expecting a state park experience look elsewhere. These are what I would affectionately call "rebel trails". They are maintained by high traffic and little else (except for a small portion near SUNY Plattsburgh). This is very liminal space. So expect what you might see on such a trail. Four wheelers, beer cans, etc. If that doesn't offend your delicate sensibilities, it is a great trail and a lot of fun for mountain biking, off road vehicles, or just a hike through the woods.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice relaxing stroll through a woodsy area near downtown Lake Placid. Saw a few other people and dogs.

great hike, beautiful views. We did the counterclockwise loop, taking the third left from the road in ausable club and going up through fish hawk cliffs. We stopped off at Indian head 1st, a tiny but very worth it detour. then up the steepest section to nippletop first, and finally down to dial and bear. this way is great because if you get an early start you don't run into many people and there is less road time at the end. super enjoyable!

hiking
8 months ago

It was pouring the rain the entirety of my hike, which made conditions very muddy and slippery, so that might skew my review. I enjoyed the first two miles, which were easy and rolling. I particularly liked strolling through the pine forest, which made me feel like I was in a fairy tale. This trail was not as well maintained as others in the area, and some parts were a bit difficult to maneuver due to the slippery rocks and mud. When I reached the false summit, I couldn't see much because of the rain clouds. The actual summit was much further up the path than I thought it would be and was marked by a white disk on a tree. The trail became steep in some areas, but very little of what I would consider rock scrambling. My small dog had no trouble navigating the trail, although she had to wade through several puddles above her ankles. It took me 4 hours and 18 minutes round trip in the cool rain. This hike would've been more enjoyable in nice weather. Overall, it was worthwhile, although it probably wouldn't be at the top of my list in this area if not for the 6er challenge.

Rented bike just down the road from Cloudspitter and did the trail. Was beautiful and the free canoeing once you get there was a nice bonus.

snowshoeing
8 months ago

Very nice day hike in the winter.

Muddy but spectacular views.

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