Gore Mountain via Schaefer Trail

HARD 73 reviews

Gore Mountain via Schaefer Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Creek, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,604 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

A hike up old roads, trails and ski trails to reach the summit. From the trail register the trail skirts the Ski Bowl and then head left into the woods following blue markers along a gentle grade towards Roaring Brook. About 30 minutes or so in you will see Roaring Brook and at about 1.2 miles in you will begin to lose topo as you descend a bit and then very quickly begin to ascend again around a few ledges. In another 0.2 miles you will reach the bridge - just look for the blue markers, you can go under via a rock hop or continue up and cross the ski trail if the water is running high. Soon you will see a wooded summit, this is a false summit. Continue on the Schaefer Trail and take a hard right at the intersection with the red trail. After this you take a small dip but then continue a climb again shortly thereafter. At 3.4 miles you reach the Ives Dam clearing (dry) and the trail turns left, crosses a meadow and here the real "up" begins. You will begin to cross back and forth over the ski trails and have some steep sections to climb until you reach 4.0 miles where the foot trail you have been following will end and you will turn right and follow the wide Lower Cloud ski trail until you reach the service road. The service road will take you the rest of the distance to the summit and the firetower just beyond. This is a developed summit where you can have your lunch at a picnic table.

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

Hiked 11/9. 2 hours and 40 min up, 1 hour 50 min down. The high points: well marked mostly, great scenery with waterfalls early and some stellar views at the top. The trail itself I didn’t find “hard”, just long and gradual with only a few steep spots. Spikes were needed for the last half after you reach the pond. The low points: trail was washed out from last weeks storm. Lots of debris and it was easy to lose the trail in spots. At the top, you just hike service roads and ski trails to the top, but it is sparsely marked. Those who ski the mountain should know to follow the cloud trail to the warming hut and the tower is close by. The tower is closed though, which was disappointing after a fun hike.

paddle sports
2 months ago

beautiful waterfalls, challenging terrain

This is definitely a 10 mile hike, 5 up/5 down. Trails in good shape. Only boring part is the last mile walking up the maintenance road. Great partial views from the top.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

This trail is fun. However, it’s very long and you can’t go in the tower. Still doesn’t beat the scenery from the top of Gore without all the Mts in the distance being snow covered. A recommendation is pay attention to the foot trail signs. Multiple times I went off the trail maybe 15ft not knowing which direction to go in. Once you make it to Gore Mt follow the graveled road up. The views are pretty spectacular.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

Nice trail- took longer than I expected and was challenging in a few spots at the bottom section near the stream where it is rocky; also at the top once you get to the ski maintenance roads because it is pretty steep, even though you’re walking on a gravel road (it’s not scary-steep, but it is tiring). Hike down a side road along Cloud toward the big Gondola and you’ll find an overlook platform and a labyrinth maze.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike! Nothing too difficult at all. Took us about 5 hours plus a 20ish minute break. 10.6 mile round trip

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

I did this as part of the fire tower challenge but the tower is not able to be accessed . Finding a gondola lift to sit in was cool and we did a video from the ski lifts at the top . The waterfalls area is super pretty and I would hike back in to that area again but I have no desire to hike this to the top again. It’s long and I didn’t like the gravel road . Bugs were not too bad today .

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked this trail on 6/12/19, with blue skies and 64 degrees. Using the numerous waterfalls as a left handrail on the ascent, the going was fairly easy and scenic. However, I absolutely agree with Martha’s review. DEC is too stingy with the blue trail markers and what they have are too sparsely spaced. Even though the tower is closed the views are still worth the effort.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this 1 week ago. Trail well marked until top however hiker must remain attentive due to numerous intersecting trails at the bottom and sparsely traveled footpath above. Wet muddy sections with 1 area apparently flooded by beaver activity? Well placed birch logs assisted crossing. More permanent resolution will be needed. Trail markers disappeared about 1 mile from top and summited via ski trail/access road. Great trail until top road (despite mud) with stream perfect for resting by. Nice views. Follow Alltrails map to trailhead as Firetower book was misleading.

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Fri Sep 21 2018

Enjoyable hike. Pretty waterfalls along the trail on the way...makes the hike interesting. I crossed Roaring Brook too soon and ended up hiking by one of the ski lifts. It made the hike shorter but steep.The ground was full of little garnet pebbles, so that was cool. Beautiful views, but the firetower isn't accessible. I followed the blue trail down. I would do it again. DEC signage puts it at just over 11 miles round trip.

Mon Aug 06 2018

Nice trail with a variety of scenery and picturesque waterfalls. The trail was very faint in places the first couple miles, but the blue markers helped. Some good views in spots at the summit, but it would be so much better if the fire tower were accessible. A gradual accent with no really steep sections. I really liked this hike to get away from the crowds.

hiking
Sat Jul 14 2018

Hiked this July 1. Hottest weekend of the year. Trail is awesome, easily accessible and easy to follow. First several miles easy incline that follows a beautiful brook with waterfalls. It was perfect to wet our hats and shirts on the way up. Gets a little steep towards the end but views make it all worth it. Even though it was really hazy due to the heat and humidity, views were incredible. Will definitely do again hopefully on a crystal clear day. Total hike time was 3.5 hours but stayed up top for awhile and played I. The waterfalls on the way down. Total trip time 5 hours. Definitely not for beginners.

hiking
Fri Jun 15 2018

Hiked 6/14/18. Took Schaefer trail blue markers to the Gore summit. Trail can be tricky at times with markers, due to the trail not being groomed. Very very lightly trafficked, my buddy and I were the only people on the trail during the 5 1/2 hr trip. The first 3 miles or so was fairly easy with a few cool waterfalls where we hung out on the rocks by them. The next 2 miles was on service road that led up to the summit. Took Cloud all the way up where we saw the fire tower. However it was inaccessible and closed because of no protection on the ledge. A little disappointing , couldn’t really see any views other than a few spots. We hopped on the ski lift and got a decent few of some of the High Peaks. Overall trail was forestry where you connected to other parts of the woods. 11 miles round trip took about 5 1/2 hrs to complete. Highly advise bringing a partner and not hiking alone !

Wed Oct 04 2017

It's a great hike with spectacular views but you really have to look for the blue trail markers in some spots, especially near the brook. What a great view at the summit!!

hiking
Mon Sep 11 2017

Very nice walk thru the woods, along the stream and then steep road/ski trail walk Great views while walking the ski trail Sadly, no access to the fire tower Great views and lunch spot at the warming lodge

Sun Sep 03 2017

beautiful trail, great day, not super technical​, but long enough for a day.

hiking
Tue Aug 22 2017

Bug spray is a must!

Fri Mar 03 2017

Tower is inaccessible. DEC got lazy about a mile from the summit and stopped marking and cutting trial. I just followed the steepest sections of ski hill and made it to the top.

hiking
Sun Jan 15 2017

Great hike up the mountain, only made it about half way (lots of snow and ice with a dog) in January. It was a good challenge in the winter time, hard to see the trail but with tree markers everywhere it made it easier. Only two other people out on the trail.

hiking
Sat Oct 08 2016

This hike seriously surpassed all expectations. We went on the best foliage week of the year. Such great views over the water. The hike wasn't too difficult- long (11.1 miles) but relatively easy. At the beginning, be sure to pay attention for the blue markers. Paths intersect and make it a bit tricky. There were only a few other hikers on the trail, all of which were solo hikers. There is a cool waterfall and stream so lots of opportunities for cool pictures. The firetower does have a saw horse in front of it. There are great views on the lookouts below the towers. It took us 2.5 hours up and about 1.5 hrs for the way down. I'd definitely recommend this hike in the fall.

Sun Sep 25 2016

The total distance on this app says 10.1. The sign at the trailhead says 5.8, which would make it 11.6. Not sure which is correct. Total time out and back for me was just under 5 hours and that included 30 minutes at the top. I would agree with classifying as moderate. The first 3 - 4 miles is a gentle gain in elevation. It isn't until after the Ives dam that it becomes taxing. Even after that about half is on a service road to the summit. Although the steepest part being on the road certainly makes it easier than most. There are nice views after you hit the service road and I enjoyed lunch on the flat at the warming building just below the fire tower. Unfortunately the fire tower was closed. No view at the tower with access secured. This is a nice walk in the woods with nice views up high. The service road finish along with a closed tower make it a 4 for me.

hiking
Sat Aug 27 2016

Hiked from Ski Bowl to summit of Gore Mountain. Blue DEC Trail was well marked. After passing a complex of mountain bike trails, the trail follows the course of Roaring Brook with its cataracts and mini-waterfalls. After intersecting two bridges for equipment traveling on service roads, the North Creek Reservoir is encountered. Steady climbing thereafter until the trail meets up with gravel service roads of Gore Ski Area. The gravel road to the summit is steep in sections, making for a rapid descent on the return. We were the only people on the summit. We saw multiple peregrine falcons, and picked many bolete (porcini) mushrooms. Actual mileage was 11.1 miles.

Wed Aug 05 2015

We did the climb in 4 hours, lovely trail front part mixes with ski trails and bike trails so look for the blue trail marker. Then I am guessing so u can view the stream the trail winds a bit, levels out around mile 2 and climbs slowly from the pond through some quiet woods with a chance to see some wildlife. Around mile 4 there is a very steady climb to a gravel road which takes u to the top. There are not any vantage points til you reach the gravel road which takes you to the fire tower. Good views from the top with picnic table available. I think this trail is not as popular so if your looking for a relaxing climb with fewer hikers this route is for you.

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