Haystack Mountain Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews
#28 of 177 trails in

Haystack Mountain Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ray Brook, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until March. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1847 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

From the trailhead start a mellow hike through an attractive forest passing below Little Burn Mountain to your right. As the terrain begins to climb the footing remains very nice. Eventually you will swing hard north and follow closer to a stream on your left. The climbing begins to kick in as you approach the Haystack Mountain Trail on the left. From here you will cross a dam and begin a much more aggressive climb. The terrain steepens considerably and the footing becomes much more eroded. Views begin to appear as you climb higher and top out at an open rock ledge.

hiking
6 minutes ago

McKenzie and Haystack share the same trail head from the Ray Brook side until you reach the marked split in the trail - left Haystack - right McKenzie. Haystack was my 2nd mtn in Day 1 of my Saranac Lake 6er challenge. The trail to the summit of Haystack was fairly easy, muddy and rocky along a eroded trail until you reach the dam. Once over the dam the trail begins it's steep and steady climb to the summit. The views from the summit is only 180, but still nice as you southward towards the High Peaks. Of the 6 Saranac Lake 6er mountains IMO I would rate this climb (last mile to the summit) as the 3rd toughest McKenzie and Ampersand being 1 and 2 followed by Haystack, Scarface, St Regis and Baker.

hiking
3 days ago

The first portion is very easy with some terrific views. The very last portion before reaching the summit is quite steep but doable. The view at the top is pretty nice but the views on the way up sort or overshadow it. It was a nice, fairly challenging hike and it's part of the Saranac 6 challenge that I'm doing.

hiking
6 days ago

First two miles are pretty easy, though I felt like we went down just as much as went up. Once you hit the last mile or so, you start to go up. It gets pretty steep, and it doesn't seem like it's going to end! Hike wasn't bad though, took myself and my dad about 2.5 hours to the top, 5 hours total round trip after sitting at the top for a bit and taking our time on the way down. There is not a bald summit, there is a rock ledge where we had lunch and you do get a great view, but of only one side of the mountain.

hiking
9 days ago

9 days ago

Great trail as rocks are not to tough on feet/ankles. Took about 4.5 hours with nice lunch break at top. Hardly any mud at all today as it hasn't been raining. Really enjoyed the hike as it was just what I was looking for exercise wise.

hiking
19 days ago

The first couple of miles were muddy with several puddles. It had rained all of the previous day. Most of the time, there were rocks you could step on to try to avoid the mud. Thankfully, the rocky ascent to the summit was mostly dry, otherwise it would have been tricky to find safe and dry footing. The last third was quite steep with some scrambling. It was steeper and more difficult than I thought it would be, but I am fairly new to hiking, so my opinion is probably different from more experienced hikers. I brought my small dog, but she is pretty agile and didn't have problems jumping up and down the rocks. She usually had to turn around and wait for me to find a way up. I did have to lift her up and down a few times over some steeper rocks and streams. It took me about 4 hours and 15 minutes round trip, but I took my time, especially on the steep descent, and let my dog stop and sniff frequently. Overall, it was a fun hike on a beautiful day with wonderful views at the top.

20 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

28 days ago

Great trail. Would definitely do it again.

29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty gentle incline. Trail is incredibly muddy (2017). Great views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Muddy but worth it

1 month ago

Good views at the top!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Hiked up after a week of straight rain fall, and was still raining. Did the jackrabbit trail up McKenzie and took the herd path up to Haystack, but had no views because of thick fog. Motto for the day "just keep swimming," very wet.

hiking
1 month ago