Gore Mountain via Schaefer Trail is a 9.3 mile lightly 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.

9.3 miles
2,604 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips


trail running








over grown



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.

2 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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 !

Wednesday, October 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!!

Monday, September 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

Sunday, September 03, 2017

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bug spray is a must!

Friday, March 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.

Sunday, January 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.

Saturday, October 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.

Sunday, September 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.

Saturday, August 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.

Wednesday, August 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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This trail is pretty flat and mellow until the 4th mile. Honestly, if you were in good enough shape, you could probably run most of it. I wasn't a huge fan of the fact that the NYDEC trailblazers stopped towards the top and you were expected to take the access road to the top.
Also to get to the trailhead for the Schafer Trail, take your first left after the first entrance to Gore Mountain.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

True. This trail is actually 5.8 miles each way. Follows a nice brook most of the way until you get to the ski trail area. Here you must trudge up loose gravel roads (I'd actually prefer steep rocks and roots) within the ski trail are until the tower and ski summit. The tower has a lot of radio equipment on it. The stairs were open as well as the hatch to the lookout cabin but I did not go up it. There were Warren County Sheriff signs on the nearby buildings and radio towers warning about climbing and touching equipment due to RF exposure. So I played it safe and just enjoyed a few descent vistas from the ski trails.

Friday, July 26, 2013

This is NOT a 9 mile as the overview states. The Schafer Trail starts at the old beach at the base of Gore. This trail is 5.8 miles one way. The trail itself is an easy trail through the woods. About a mile into the hike you will start to hear the sound of waterfalls, absolutely beautiful site, but to get some good shots at the first one you have to go off trail and you must be very careful if you venture out on the rocks, which I did just for the photo ops. There are a few spots on the way up to go off trail to get some photos, but for the most part there is very little photo ops on the trail. Right before you come out of the wooded path, if you look to your right there is an old abandoned gondola. Once you are out of the woods you will walk the gravel road to the summit. This is a steep ascent toward the end. The fire tower itself is closed to the public and is full of communications equipment. Once you are on the gravel road there are some AWESOME photo ops. Overall this was a great hike.

mountain biking
Friday, August 24, 2012

Gore is one of the best trails I have been

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

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