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

I went down there with my 4 year old and we wished we’d worn water shoes and bathing suits. There were folks jumping off the rock cliff and swimming. It was beautiful.

Completed this hike 7/7/18 and it was a challenging but very rewarding trail. My first tip would be, although maybe obvious to some who know the area, that the trail begins on the side of the road where there is a bench. There is a sign at the bottom of the bench that says "trail" with an arrow pointing in the right direction. Well, we walked right past it and all the way around the roundabout before we realized......I parked right next to it! Maybe less microbrew the night before a hike may be in order. Once you descend for a bit Marble Mountain will begin in earnest, and I have hiked quite a few steep trails. This one ranks up there, it is relentless. But along the way there are several cement blocks on either side of the trail for you to rest on if needed. Very little in terms of view until you reach a large cement block on the right. That is where you can get the first view, and it really does help to keep you motivated. From there you will continue with a moderately steep trail until the large pile of rocks. The trail to Esther is on the right and easy to find. From here the trail will get narrow and very muddy so be prepared for that, especially if it has been raining prior to your trip. It is an easy trail though in terms of elevation gain. Very little in terms of view but you cross a beautiful bog along the way. And then suddenly, you are on the summit. The only view is of Whiteface but makes for an interesting picture. Also, it provides motivation for the hike still to come. Double back down the trail and back to the stone pile and you're off to Whiteface. From here it is a fairly typical ridge line walk with some ups and downs but nothing too crazy. There are some cool picture opportunities as you pass the ski lift on the left. And its a great ret spot. As you approach the huge stone wall of the highway there is a bit of a challenge climbing up a few rocks and boulders. But this is where the views really begin, you can almost forget that you are still ascending. Once you are above the highway it is open views in every direction to the summit. Absolutely breathtaking on a clear day! The summit was crowded, more so than I like but you will have the satisfaction of having climbed your way to the top. Inside the observatory there are a bunch of chairs that make a great place to fuel up before starting your descent. There was no water available unless you hiked down to the shop. We passed on that as we had enough for the return trip anyway. The descent back down to the intersection with the Esther Mountain trail was "Cake", looking back at the experience now, compared to what Marble Mountain will do to you. It IS as steep as you remembered it being on the way up and will be a mile your quads, ankles and knees will remember the next day! We lamented its "soul crushing" nature all the way back to the car (a bit dramatic but it didn't feel that way at the time). Second tip: don't forget to turn at the gravel road heading uphill to stay on the trail back to your vehicle. We did miss this and ended up hiking a half a mile or so down the snowmobile trail marked with blue trail markers. This was likely because we were still whining about Marble Mountain and daydreaming about the beers we earned. All in we finished in just a tick under 7hrs. Used 5L of water between two of us, bugs were non-existent (pleasant surprise).

Started at the ASRC, clocked only 3.6 miles to the summit. 9.77 including a detour to summit Esther.

Challenging incline at the beginning but worth it!

A unique hike. The first 0.9 miles in is pretty flat then a steady climb for the next 1.4 miles to the top of marble mountain. At that point the climbing continues up and up as you approach the trail split to Esther (marked by a large boulder and enormous pile of Small rocks, can’t miss it). Esther to the right, Whiteface is straight. I’d recommend hitting Esther and then coming back for Whiteface since it’s a much better place to spend more time. Esther is muddy and unmarked but you’ll see a plaque at the summit. Wooded with partial views. From there going up Whiteface is a gasser. Once you come to the memorial highway road you’ll walk along the back of the wall for a while before a long rock scramble to the top. Views on Whiteface are unbeatable. You’ll be there with people who drove up, except it’s much more rewarding for you. The ascent down whiteface is pretty relentless on the toes in the boots but the hike overall with a 30 minute break on Whiteface took us 7 hours round trip.

Easy short walk to breathtaking views. Great hike with kids or if you are short on time.

hiking
11 days ago

Challenging full day trip. Tough out the gate with steep elevation gain to get to Mt Marble, with some false peaks on the way. Trail splits with Esther to the right with some muddy sections and many, MANY bugs of all kinds. Esther’s main view is of Whiteface itself, and it looks quite far knowing you’ll end up there in a few hours. Back on main trail to Whiteface is flat to moderate until last 1/2 mile with sudden elevation gain where rock climbing skills are handy. Views from Whiteface are simply stunning. Some complain about tourists who simply drove up the mountain, but I was able to enjoy the view quite well since I was satisfied with the climb. Note: at the time, water and bathrooms were unavailable at the weather observatory, but a short hike down to the castle will provide both.

2nd highest summit in New York State. Mostly Full Sun. Bring water, spf 40 and bug spray. Steep grade is challenging, but slow and steady wins the race!

There are some parts of this hike that I absolutely loved and would do again in the heartbeat, but Marble Mtn really gets you right off the bat. I found the trail to be really dusty and slippery with pebbles, but once you get past that it’s not so bad. The trail to Whiteface is beautiful and lots of different terrain keeps it interesting. Definitely check out the ski lift to the left, it’s really neat and a good time for a break before the last hurrah. Summit is crowded but lots of interesting people to talk to. And now, Esther. I absolutely loved this trail and this mountain. So beautiful, quiet, and lovely. Trail is wicked easy to follow.
Hiked 7/2 (4&5 46ers)

13 days ago

Great trail, without the crowds! Great view!

Started at the Wilmington reservoir parking. GPS mileage of 12.4m and RT 7:30. From the reservoir trailhead, the first mile is gentle grade along some predominantly mnt bike trails, which then accents Marble Mnt. The hike up marble and to the Esther junction is a consistent climb, with nothing being to technical. Hike into Esther wasn’t bad, trail was easily identified and there were some great views of the whiteface summit. Hiking up to whiteface from the Esther junction looked daunting but wasn’t bad. You’ll pass the ski lift sight, a meander if the veteran highway and the summit is visible from that point toward.

Sitting at the summit you will be greeted by all the tourists that paid the $16 to drive up there and will mostly likely be cheerful, clean, and wanting to take thousands of photo opportunities. The view is spectacular, if you can look beyond the fact that it could be a crowded summit.

Decent was consistent

There are no water crossings and 4L of water was sufficient for me.

The creeks were beautiful with a number of little waterfalls. It is a steady climb where the trail is a creek bed at times. There is a loose glacier midden field in the trail bed at times. The pond is peaceful with many water lilies.

great hike that pretty much anyone can do, just have to pace yourself. marble mountain is by far the hardest part but at least you get it out of the way right off the bat. once thats done is smooth sailing until the whiteface summit. I did it the day after a prettyy heavy rain storm so the trail was really slick most of the way, for at least a mile I was walking in somekind of a stream or mud. Make sure to take that quick detour to the abandoned chair lift at the summit of marble mountain, great place for a snack before the final push. GTX boots and poles highly recommended for this one...have fun!

Whiteface is a fantastic hike. As others have said, once the trail starts it is a constant uphill hike, which makes sense since it's a mountain..but still don't expect too much level terrain to rest your legs on. I started from the ASRC and it looked like parking filled up around mid-morning or so.

Left from the research center at about 6 A.M. with very rainy and wet weather. The first mile or so going up the old ski trail is the hardest, and is most definitely the steepest. Trail after that to the fork is moderate with a few steep spots. Trail up to Esther is very easy to follow, despite not being marked. Because of the rain, the trail up the Esther was mostly water and tons of mud. View at the top was disappointing due to cloud cover, vegetation at the top makes it hard to see also. Decided to hike Whiteface on another day and reached the research center at about 10 A.M. All in all it was a pretty easy trail, but I would definitely recommend boots.

Whiteface was definitely unrelenting, but a beautiful hike all around. Weather couldn't have been better yesterday for it either. Summitted in about 4 hours starting from the trailhead, not the ASRC. The Esther trail seemed a tad overrun so we decided to push forward to Whiteface. Glad we did - we were digging deep at the end on this one!

hiking
1 month ago

Could have been better marked. Can see Whiteface perfectly from the summit.

We left from the ASRC and ascended up Marble Mtn to the Whiteface trail. There isn't a trail register at the small parking lot at the ASRC, just a small "Trail" sign pointing down a path. From there you come out to a gravel 'road' that leads you to 2 'unmarked' trails. The trail to the left says it's for bikes or snowmobiles. The trail straight ahead is the Marble Mtn trail you want to follow. It starts ascending immediately, after almost a mile you reach a small lookout spot and continue to the Whiteface trail. There is a sign at the herd path for Esther, which is unmarked but easy to follow. Not much of a view at the top of Esther, other than a small spot at the summit where you can see Whiteface in the background. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the summit of Whiteface from the time we got back to the main trail from the Esther summit. There was some snow and ice as you approached the road up to Whiteface. Views at the summit were beautiful. Overall a great hike.

1 month ago

An incredible fusion of nature and man made spectacle

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail right in Wilmington. If you want to get all the way to the top, it's actually 4 miles round trip. I recommend the full hike as you get better exercise and good views! The whole connection of trails is great for dogs.

Very easy, short walk to spectacular views.

Nice moderate hike with beautiful views on top. It's a good one if you're in the area and looking for
Something relatively short and not too strenuous. It usually takes me 1.5 - 2 hrs. You do get beautiful views on top of the ski slopes side of Whiteface and out to Lake Placid and Keene.

very challenging trail but totally worth it

May 26th, 2018. Hiked this trail despite the chance for thunderstorms. Luckily the storm missed us and cleared up just enough to catch some views at the top. The Whiteface trail is 95% clear of snow and ice, and the mud wasn't really an issue. The trail to Esther however is a mud pit. This trail is not glamorous, it's straight up the mountain.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous trail, the incline is well paced and the view is breathtaking!

May 5, 2018. We started at the Atmospheric Research Center - just my 12 year old son and me, with snowshoes on our packs. Trail was dry and beautiful -- misty morning with some spitting rain. A few muddy spots but not bad at all compared with a lot of other Adirondack hikes. After the Marble Mountain summit where the ski lift used to end, we saw more ice. The ice started to accumulate and it was hard to walk, sometime we had to pull ourselves up by the trees on the edge of the trail and thinking "how will I come down this." People with microspikes passed us. Then snow started to replace the ice at upper elevations. We put on our snowshoes, which have metal teeth beneath, and things got much better. The bootpack right now is very narrow, and if we stepped on either side one leg would slide off and twist you while your other leg still had purchase -- tough walking... keep one foot in front of the other and be careful where the bootpack is crumbling. We post-holed in more then 3' - 4' of snow. My got one leg in so deep we had to dig it out -- even with my help, we couldn't pull him out of the compacted snow. I post-holed to my waist several times. Snowshoes were helpful, but very awkward if you slid off the boot pack. I wrenched one knee near the top. The arete is magnificent right now -- some snow still around, but many rocks exposed and the weather turned clear just as we were getting up there. We reached the summit, but I was unable to go back down the trail because of the pain in my knee and we had to give up on Esther, which we were saving for the descent. At that point I could only take small linear steps, so we walked down the road, 5.5 miles (I think) of steep downhill pavement back to our car (which is nearly harder on your legs than taking a trail!). The road is mostly clear of snow but not yet open to cars, and the amazing Iron People were already riding up it on their road bikes.
We recommend you take microspikes and snowshoes at this point. Snowshoes alone might be enough given how much snow is still on top and if it doesn't freeze again. They bite nicely into the icy spots. Given the forecast, we think there will be some snow for at least another couple of weeks, particularly in the shaded trails on upper elevations.

May 5, 2018. We started at the Atmospheric Research Center - just my 12 years old son and me, with snowshoes on our packs. Trail was dry and beautiful -- misty morning with some spitting rain. A few muddy spots. After the Marble Mountain summit where the ski lift used to end, we saw more ice. The ice started to accumulate and it was hard to walk, sometime we had to pull ourselves up by the trees on the edge of the trail and thinking "how will I come down this." People with microspikes passed us. Then snow started to replace the ice at upper elevations. We put on our snowshoes, which have metal teeth beneath, and things got much better. The bootpack right now is very narrow, and if we stepped on either side one leg would slide off and twist you while your other leg still had purchase -- tough walking... keep one foot in front of the other and be careful where the bootpack is crumbling. We post-holed in more then 3' - 4' of snow. My got one leg in so deep we had to dig it out -- even with my help, we couldn't pull him out of the compacted snow. I post-holed to my waist several times. Snowshoes were helpful, but very awkward if you slid off the boot pack. I wrenched one knee near the top. The arete is magnificent right now -- some snow still around, but many rocks exposed and the weather turned clear just as we were getting up there. We reached the summit, but I was unable to go back down the trail because of the pain in my knee and we had to give up on Esther, which we were saving for the descent. At that point I could only take small linear steps, so we walked down the road, 5.5 miles (I think) of steep downhill pavement back to our car (which is nearly harder on your legs than taking a trail!). The road is mostly clear of snow but not yet open to cars, and the amazing Iron People were already riding up it on their road bikes.
We recommend you take microspikes and snowshoes at this point. Snowshoes alone might be enough given how much snow is still on top and if it doesn't freeze again. They bite nicely into the icy spots. Given the forecast, we think there will be some snow for at least another couple of weeks, particularly in the shaded trails on upper elevations.

This was one of my favorite hikes. We went for Whiteface first through Marble Mountain then went to do Esther (which didn't have any views to be honest).

Whiteface was amazing though!!

Nice easy walk through the woods to a scenic Ricky overlook. Great little hike for those short on time.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike yesterday, April 27, 2018, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend it for the time being. I did it as a double summit of Whiteface and Esther via Marble Mountain, and had a really hard time with the snow. I consider myself a pretty careful hiker but the number of postholes on the trail (especially leading up to Esther mountain) was crazy. I had to dig myself out of some of them cause they were more than hip deep.

Save this hike for the summer when all the snow is gone or in the winter when it’s all iced over.

If you do decide to do this hike, park in the parking lot of the atmospheric science and research center in Wilmington, NY. The trailhead is marked with a little wooden sign that says “trail”, which will lead you down a gravel road. The start of the trailhead isn’t marked, so when you come to a sign that has an arrow pointing left for a bicycle trail, go straight up. This is the start of the Marble Mountain trail which is 0.9 miles. Again, the start of this trail won’t be marked, it’ll just look like a path that goes straight up the mountain. There’s no sign in or registry.

My daughter (7) & I planned on just hiking Marble Mountain and scoping some of Lookout to prep for Whiteface later this year. We ended up getting up Lookout pretty quickly & decided to take a shot at Esther & succeeded. This was an awesome hike! The snow was packed down well & we had no issues. I thought the views were pretty nice! We're stoked to have unexpectedly been able to check this one off the bucketlist!

The toughest part of this hike is Marble Mountain. It's a straight shot up with no relief.

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