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Mount Redfield and Cliff Mountain via Calamity Brook Trail

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High Peaks Wilderness

Mount Redfield and Cliff Mountain via Calamity Brook Trail is a 18.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Newcomb, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 18.8 mi Elevation gain 4,101 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

This trail will start from Upper Works and take you over to Lake Colden and then up Mount Redfield and Cliff Mountain. This is a very long trail which can easily be broken up into 2 days. There are plenty of lean-to's along the trail and camping areas. Starting off at Upper Works head down the path towards Lake Colden / Marcy Mtn which is about 4.5 miles. Once you reach the Flowed Lands there is another trail register. Follow the red trail towards another 1.1 miles to Lake Colden Damn and cross it. From there head towards Up-Hill lean-to. It is a long and slightly up hill battle. Once you reach is area you will see a small Karin on the right side which marks the start of the trail from Redfield and Cliff. Follow this trail to a second Karin. From there go left for Redfield or left for Cliff. If you go left, the trail follows the stream nearly all the way up and will take about 1-2 hours. If your heading towards Cliff, it is only about .8 miles long but the first 15-20 minutes is a mud pit, then then next 30 minutes is pretty steep rock climbing but nothing to extreme. Once you feel you have reached the summit, keep going because the actual summit is another 15 minutes farther. Then you can back track all the way back to Upper Works, or you can spend the night in a lean to and hike several other mountains in the area.

Parking is free and there is an outhouse near the trail register.

Upper Works trailhead: Using GPS, enter Upper Works Rd Macomb NY. This trailhead is nearest Macomb New York. Use rte 28N. Turn on Tahawus Rd and follow to Upper Works Rd. Follow for about 8 miles. There are a few trailheads on this road, this on is at the end of the road.

Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (127)
Photos (846)
Recordings (124)
Completed (232)
Cono Damato
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Hiking

Long day. Beautiful trails for the first few miles. Not much mud. No bugs.

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Vil E.
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Great hike gradual for Redfield. Cliff was actually pretty fun time 12hrs clock in 18.1 miles

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Dave Pawlick
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Hiking

Both trails in good shape. We overnighted near Uphill Leanto. No bugs and was able to get through lower part of Cliff without getting too muddy. We didn’t think the “cliffs” were nearly as hard as we expected. A couple decent views while climbing Cliff and many nice views from Redfield. Only hard because it’s so long, but good weather before and during our climb is a key part of that.

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Michael Cushing
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HikingBlowdownScramble

I arrived at the Upper Works trailhead at 6:30am on Friday and got the second to last spot in the lot. Trail was pretty dry, I didn't sink in more than half way up my boot. Decided to do Cliff first. One section was difficult because the soles on my boots are pretty shot and I couldn't get grip. Saw a way to go left and around. The rest of the rocks were easy to get up. Some views before the summit if you turn around. Nothing at top. Redfield was longer but easier and had much better views to the east and south. No bugs. Returned to trailhead at 7:40 pm. Lot full, one camper and one car on road. Garmin logged 22.22 miles

Rachel Kelsey
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HikingGreat!MuddyRockyScramble

Great hike! Did the climb to Redfield but nixed Cliff Mountain as we were camping and wanted extra time at our site. The hike in was extremely muddy (as expected in the ADKs) so be prepared with footwear - boots are probably best but I got through carefully with trail runners. There are a lot of wooden planks, etc. to step on to try to avoid the mud, just be careful! The hike up to Redfield is a challenging up but fun and amazing at the same time. You follow a waterfall / stream the entire time and it's absolutely beautiful. Enjoy the trip up because honestly the peak is pretty anticlimactic - not really anywhere to hang out and chill, super buggy, can't see a ton - so we didn't stay long. Instead on the way back down we picked a big rock near the waterfall with a view and hung out there for a while.

Hayden B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Left at 6:30 AM, got to Lake Colden at 9:30 AM, left Lake Colden at 6:00 PM, and returned to the trailhead at 9:00 PM. This was my first time hiking from Upper Works to Lake Colden. The Calamity Brook Trail was a nice gradual uphill that didn’t wear me down too much but got me started at a good elevation to begin Redfield and Cliff. I did Redfield first, and I absolutely loved the climb. It was one of my favorite high peaks. You follow a stream for most of the way up, but it’s not slippery and easy to keep your shoes dry. The summit has a decent view looking east. Cliff was not as much fun. It was basically alternating flat sections of mud and steep cliffs. The cliffs are very doable for an experienced hiker, but don’t bring your dog on this one. Also, like all the hardest high peaks, no view from the summit. I chose to do Colden on the way out, which added 4 mi and 2000 ft of total elevation gain to the hike, but it offered a much better view than the two previous summits. It had steep slides like Cliff, but since it’s an official trail, there were steps built on top. I ended up finishing just after dusk. It was a hot day, and I used up all 4 L of water. Definitely bring plenty of water and a change of socks on this hike.

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Jenn B
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I don't know why people are saying no views off Redfield...I had am amazing view of the range. Awesome climbs for those who like to be challenged. Redfield is a lot of rock falls, touchy footing, and some deadfall. But the falls are beautiful. Cliff is awesome. Loved the climbing! Got me all excited to do the Trap Dyke again.

kelly muncil
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HikingBugs
Devan Bushey
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HikingBugsMuddyRockyScramble

Hiked both on 6/9/20. The Calamity Brook trail is really nice, well maintained & Lake Colden was perfectly still and beautiful. There is a right-hand turn off the followed trail to switch towards these trails, it's easy to miss. Went up Cliff first to get it out of the way. It's called Cliff for a reason y'all, just saying, prepare for some actual climbing. Glad to have done it first so it was more of a challenge than a dread. The mud pits to the cliffs were something else though! NEVER seen them that aggressive, knee-swallowing if you mis-step, but crossing dry isn't impossible if you're careful. Only real views from the day were from the cliffs up to Cliff. To get on the path to Redfield you DON'T go back to the original trail where you turn off. There is a small cairin that will turn you in the right direction, be sure to keep a close eye. Redfield was nothing but an absolute killer. You follow the trail along the Calamity Brook which is all fun and crazy, then once it mellows out you climb up and around the brook on the big rocks. Be sure follow the cairins on the rocks. Getting up to Redfield was a push, and somehow seemed harder than the cliffs. No views but another peak bagged. As is often the case, the hike back to the car seemed to last longer than the first whole part of the day. Luckily not a bad trail to spend a day on. Took us 8 hours including short breaks on each summit, as strong hikers.

Justin Elwell
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HikingBlowdownMuddy

Redfield and Cliff are two very remote peaks. Seven miles to the trailhead, marked by a cairn, over some rough terrain. If you have hiked in the high peaks region, you know what to expect. Here is an import visual aid. When you are hiking towards Feldspar, as you are nearing the Up Hill lean to, when you see the “Dit it” sign, the short trail to the Redfield/Cliff junction is right there, maked by another small cairn. The trail up Redfiled is a long 1.2 miles. Cliff is a challenge and should not be underestimate. It’s a long nearly 19 mile day, but it’s not a boring trail, lots to take in along the way. Loved it. Enjoy!

Jon Petrie
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HikingMuddySnow

Trail was muddy but not to bad. still plenty of snow at elevation. Unmarked trails were relatively easy to follow because you could still see the broken out trail in the snow. Nice views along the Opalescent river. The water is roaring right now.

Nick Monico
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HikingRockySnow

No mud, trail was dry and frozen I enjoyed hiking cliff mountain! Yes, that’s what I said!

Josh corrow
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tough day

Allison Defibaugh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2020
Hiking

2/23/20 - well broken out trail... jigged over the flowed lands to see if we could find the bushwhack up Cliff - didn’t find it. did see the spot another hiker told us he went in up to his waist 2/22 near Livingston Lean-to. The slides on Cliff were possible in snowshoes. Ice axe helped. Nerve-jangling and nausea-inducing. And going down was worse. The views up top are amazing but gosh- that last half mile over the snowy slabs was brutal. Took an hour to come down.

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Kelly Moody
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HikingBlowdownSnow

Only did Cliff. Trail was good, had been broken out day before. Some blow down. Lots of snow. Cliff had four slides or maybe five that were a bit difficult. We used crampons in an ice X on them. The day was beautiful, blue skies mild temps and an overall perfect day!

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