Haystack Mountain Trail

MODERATE 117 reviews
#15 of 174 trails in

Haystack Mountain Trail is a 7.2 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
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,729 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

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.

10 days ago

Great hike with a little rock at the top to enjoy your view!

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful summit ! Last mile is very cardio worth it...

hiking
14 days ago

Terrific hike for someone looking to grind out a 3-4hr hike with a great peak. AT underestimates this hike, we clocked it at about 7.2 miles. Either way, moderate until about the last mile, and then it was game on. Challenging, but not entirely unmanageable. Taking some breaks, we definitely got it done with a reasonably aggressive level of exertion. Sweat through for sure, but a beautiful summit. We do tend to hustle up a bit, so maybe a slower pace would have been easier on the legs. Lots of different kinds of mushrooms to be seen too. Beautiful Colors.

9am start. Not terribly crowded. Trail well maintained.

Bugs were at a minimum (wore spray).

hiking
15 days ago

Flat for 2/3’s of the hike. The last 1/3 to the top is a grind of a climb. Great view from the top makes it totally worth the effort. Like others have posted, it’s a 7.2 mile round trip (more than what AllTrails has it mapped out to be)

backpacking
21 days ago

very fun hike and awesome views

hiking
1 month ago

Some beautiful woods and a well maintained trail but other nearby hikes have better views. The trail goes downhill for the better part of the second mile - not fun on the way back! 3rd of the Saranac 6 for me.

hiking
1 month ago

I completed Haystack previously from the Jack Rabbit trail which was a gradual incline and while it was over a lot of ankle rolling potential rocks it was pretty easy. The second time I followed this trail and was surprised to find it was a lot more challenging. Nothing too crazy but more than I was expecting. The wild blueberries at the top and the decent view made the effort worth it. We met some people at the top who thought they were on Mt Haystack - might have been a little off track. :) This is Saranac 6 Haystack not to be confused with 46er Mt Haystack (or even little Haystack - apparently people like the name Haystack!)

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect day for a hike. Very few bugs. Mostly dry, very well maintained trail. A bit of a steep scramble at the end, but doable. Enjoyed it!

hiking
1 month ago

I actually veered off towards McKenzie and came back on the backside of the trail which connects to the Jack Rabbit trail. The entrance was actually a bit tough to find and looks like that side isn’t travelled as much... a bit wilder and actually kind of nice. Glad that I went that way too because the climb isn’t nearly as straight up as the way this trail is showing which I took down. Well worth the trip as the view is great.

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful views. Several of our health apps said mileage was 7.5 not 6.2. Was easy to follow and today not to many hikers.

2 months ago

We used the herd path off the Jack Rabbit trail and it was such an easy hike. From the trailhead on Whiteface Inn Lane, we reached the summit in under an hour. No steep sections at all, a very friendly hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, very easy walk until you hit the slope. Then it's straight to the top! The dam/stream area is great to cool your feet off in on the way back, I always love switching out a fresh pair of socks after cooling off. Very nice views from the summit. 3 hours hiking, but spent lots of time at the summit after our group decided not to do MacKenzie in the same day. (Easily doable to complete both, time-wise)

hiking
2 months ago

A good hike, very convenient trailhead. Gets a lot of foot traffic so the trails are obvious. Starts along a river stream for a while before the trail split for Haystack and Mackenzie. I’d recommend doing both of these in one day (haystack being the shorter hike) so that you don’t need to hike back in and do those same couple miles to start again when doing Mackenzie (if you’re going for your SL 6’r patch that is, if not than anything works). Good views up top and not a difficult hike. Worth your time

very nice hike. not too difficult but great views for sure

hiking
3 months ago

6 months ago

Took nearly 7 hours on snowshoes. Had to break the 2nd half of the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful day for a hike, 3 hours in and out. This was my second of the 6er. We also completed Baker shortly thereafter.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice views from the top!! If u start from the jack rabbit trail located near whiteface lane you can find a herd path which will be a lot easier then the one from 86. Also McKenzie and haystack u can do it in one day. Cheers to winter hikers!!!

hiking
9 months ago

Enjoyed the hike. The upper part of the trail was slick due to recent snow and the small dam on the trail had no crossing point (had to cross on a fallen tree). Would like to do it when the leaves are in full color.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike and view at the top! The trail starts out pretty easily but drastically inclines as you approach the top. The dogs had a blast with good footing and lots of places to swim.

hiking
11 months ago

McKenzie and Haystack share the same trail head from Route 86 Ray Brook parking area 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 look 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
11 months 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
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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.

Friday, September 15, 2017

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
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Great trail. Would definitely do it again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Muddy but worth it

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Good views at the top!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

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.

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