McKenzie Mountain Jack Rabbit Trail

MODERATE 41 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

McKenzie Mountain Jack Rabbit Trail is a 6.4 mile out and back trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2152 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

McKenzie Mountain is a 3,861-foot (1,177m) mountain in western Essex County in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness area which spans an area of 36,200 acres. This loop trail starts near the Whiteface Inn Lane in Lake Placid at the trail head for the Jack Rabbit Ski trail. This trail continues for 1.9 miles where it meets up with the junction for McKenzie Pond, Route 86 or McKenzie summit. Up until this point the grade is light. Once you reach the junction the red markers direct you towards the summit and the trail soon begins a very steep climb over several false summits, some with excellent views. At 3.5 miles you reach the summit. You can turn around or continue down the backside trail (SOA) which descends steeply at first and then includes a nice gradual walk through the woods, down to the lake and eventually back out onto the road which is a short run to the original trailhead.

1 hour ago

birding
1 day ago

This trail is a beast. I saw an Oriole and a bluebird. Saw a few hawks at the summit.

The trail is in really rough shape in many spots. Great views from the ledges. I would rank this as more difficult than "moderate" as AT has it listed at. There is quite a bit of actual climbing involved.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Went after it rained. Very muddy. There is a long part that is challenging steep uphill rock climbing action almost. A bit difficult with slippery rock face. Beautiful scenic views, cool crisp air and not crowded at all. Challenging hike overall

21 days ago

30 days ago

not sure who thought it would be a good idea to build a trail up a stream but that's this trail. not a whole lot of fun really. challenging though. don't do it after a good rain super slick.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Jackrabbit was pretty muddy, however, it was worth it to take a quicker side excursion up the backside of Haystack which is far less steep than the southern side. Mckenzie had lots of run off and was muddy, but it was well worth the challenge and quick views on the way up. Beware of the false summits. There is a sign waiting for you at the finish if you have any question.

hiking
1 month ago

A great hike with some excellent views! the first 1.5 miles or so is extremely easy, with a lot of it being what looks like a private dirt road. The next mile and a half after turning right off the jackrabbit trail gets very difficult with a near straight incline. If you hike after the rain, many parts of the trail will be a creek and extremely muddy which can make it tough. Overall a very fun and challenging short hike.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

6/27/17
Was looking for a moderate hike to do if the weather wasn't the best because it was forecasting scattered thunderstorms. After reading some reviews that McKenzie didn't have the greatest views anyways I decided to give it a shot. Trail was fairly easy just muddy up to the Haystack/McKenzie fork. It began very gradually for the first couple miles before climbing. At the split for Haystack or McKenzie the trail gets more difficult basically an uphill rock climb. The fact that it had rained all day and was raining on and off during the hike didn't help. Some parts were very slippery. Overall not a bad or difficult hike. The summit is marked with a sign and some cut outs along the way offer okay views. Took 2.5 hrs to reach the summit in very wet conditions. Attempted to take the SOA trail back down but a pretty severe looking storm rolled in so I opted for the out and back route instead.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

First half of hike is easy. Second half is much, much more difficult. Summit nothing spectacular. Some nice views on way up. Second half does have quite a few challenging moments- I.e, rock climbing and muddy terrain. Expect a good work out.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was moderate for the first 2.3 miles but the 1.3 miles when you hit elevation was difficult since the trail is horribly marked and you get lost since it seems odd you need to rock climb to stay on the path!
The views were worth it but it took me longer than average to get to the top due to constantly getting lost!

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3 months ago

HARD hike. Very steep second half that doesn't let up.

hiking
3 months ago

Crazy! About 2 miles in is the fork to go to McKenzie or Haystack. We went to McKenzie. The last mile is straight up. Almost to the top and to the right is a small clearing/look out point. Great view!!! The top of the mountain is quite overgrown with a small viewing area. Totally worth the pain following this hike :)

3 months ago