Redfield and Cliff via Upper Works is a 17.6 mile lightly 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, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

17.6 miles
3,946 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips







wild flowers





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.

3 months ago

This was a tough hike, especially Redfield. We hiked in from Upper Works with full packs so that we could camp at Uphill Lean-to. While the walk is gradual into Colden Dam, it’s long enough to be tiring with weight. The section from the dam to the lean-to is beautiful with the river to your left. It is also a steady ascent. We switched to day packs at the lean-to, easily found the herd path to Redfield and Cliff and began the serious ascent to Redfield’s summit. I did not enjoy the trail - rocky and rooty. Views were nice here and there but it was mostly just a long slog. If you don’t want to be a 46er, I would skip this one.

After hiking Grey and Skylight on day two, we climbed Cliff on day three. The mud is ridiculous at the start of the trail and occasionally thereafter. But it is the cliffs that provide the interest. The several scrambles require attention but were actually fun. There is a work-around for the biggest rock face, and someone has nicely left a rope for rappelling if you want to go straight up (or down). So everything is do-able, even for someone who’s very small in stature (me). The walk along the ridge is a nice respite but the col before the final peak can be a heart-breaker.

The return to Upper Works is long and boring but pleasant enough. Taking beaks to enjoy the Opalescent, the lake at the dam, The Flowed Land, and the Henderson Monument helps pass the time.

4 months ago

Started from upper works and made my way out, and past the flowed lands. crossing Lake Colden is really nice, when the lake is still you get an incredible view of Colden, mirrored in the lake ... its one of my favorite views in the ADK. From the Cliff/RF junction, I did Redfield first. Not too tough of a climb, and on top, you get some decent views, but it is not a bald summit. Doing Cliff was a bit more interesting. right from the junction, the mud-pit starts, not impossible to navigate, but some mud is pretty deep. The ascent does offer some good scrambles, where you are exposed, and that is where you'll see the best views. Once on top .. you've still got 20+ minutes until you actually get to the summit of Cliff. A decent hike, not in the top 10 of ones I've done so far. It is long. I'm not a fast hiker, but took me a solid 12 hours with a few stops to talk to other hikers.

10 months ago

An interesting hike with great scenery. Good view of Marcy. A long hall and difficult to follow the trail in knee deep snow. Ended up off-trail twice and had to backtrack to find the proper route. Completed Cliff too, a 14-hour day. My headlamp batteries were dim by the time I arrived at the car.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

This is a fantastic winter hike. Through the flowed lands and up the Calamity Brook is fast and easy atop the packed snow. The scenery is really unique from the rest of the high peaks. Climbing up Redfield is definitely a challenge, but worth it — there are some nice views just beyond the summit. It took us about 10.5 hours to just do Redfield; with Cliff it would have been over 12. So a long day!

Monday, July 04, 2016

great challenge, with beautiful views from lake colden. cliff is the toughie, with hard to navigate ledges. nice waterfalls along path to red field. this hike is longer than Allen, so start very early morning if you do this as a long day hike.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

This is an extremely long day hitting nearly 19 miles. There are a few great views, and it is a bit strenuous. I am glad it is done and over b/c Cliff is very muddy and steep. The mountains were not really difficult to climb, it was the 7.5 mile hike to the base that killed me.

3 months ago

6 months ago

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016