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Tongue Mountain Range and Northwest Bay Trail

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Lake George Wild Forest

Tongue Mountain Range and Northwest Bay Trail is a 14.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bolton Landing, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 14.8 mi Elevation gain 3,149 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Backpacking Hiking Snowshoeing Forest Lake Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Blowdown Bugs Over grown Rocky Snow Washed out
Description
Waypoints (7)
Tips
Getting There

A great loop hike that brings you along the shore of Lake George then over 3 small peaks on the Tongue Mountain Range. You will park at the southern trailhead for the Tongue Range, Clay Meadows next to a quarry. From there you will follow a nice trail around the shore of the lake to Montcalm Point where you'll have great views of the Narrrows. Then you'll gradually ascend the southern end of the Tongue Range over 3 nice peaks with great views over the lake below.

Tip: There is a specific species of rattlesnack that only lives in the Tongue Range so be aware of this, not necessarily scared of this as they certainly are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Take exit 24 off of I-87 and head east on the Bolton Valley-Riverbank Road toward Bolton Landing. When you get to Route 9 turn left to head north. Clay Meadows is 4.5 miles from the turn and the trailhead is on the east side of the road next to a rock quarry filled with water. No fee to park here.

Weather
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Reviews (309)
Photos (766)
Recordings (257)
Completed (553)
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Kevin Neumeister
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Hiking

Fantastic views of the narrows, multiple ecosystems...it’s long, second half gets a little old. I jogged for a couple of minutes every 10 min to get out of there in a reasonable time.

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Shaun Smith
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Hiking

Some downslope areas are dangerous as hell

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Michael Hockford
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HikingGreat!

Great trail with beautiful views. Trail was not crowded and had plentiful time to look at the views. The hike out is along the water, however we were getting tired and just wanted it to be done. Great hike, bring lots of water and enjoy the walk. 13.6 miles, so be prepared

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Tom Austin
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HikingBlowdownGreat!

This is a long loop but very gratifying. We hiked the loop clockwise. The views were superb, and they got better from each peak (heading south). As long as you are prepared for the long miles, it will not disappoint. Arrive early during busy season since parking spots are limited.

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James Frazier
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HikingRockyScramble

Mike and Cheryl here. This review is for Tongue Mountain Range and Northwest Bay Trail. Two stars because this trail is tooooo long. There is not enough visual rewards for the length of this trail. Plus there are sections where the descents are just not fun. Toooo steep toooo much. I have no problem hiking 15 miles when the trail provides the rewards. This does not. Unless you simply want to do a long strenuous hike, do some of the other great trails in the area.

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Brooke Wendling
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HikingGreat!

This was a great trail! If you park where it says to, next to the pond type area, from there you walk to your right to the forest preserve path. Then you’ll walk further and see the different trails you can access. The trail markers are very easy to follow, however they are your only markers. After you reach the first peak, there’s no more signs letting you know what summit you’re at. I followed the mileage I’d gone on my phone to know I was at the end, and I had gone over, what looked like 3 peaks. That being said, the peaks are GORGEOUS! I think they were extra pretty because it was blue skies, but I thought they were so beautiful! And overall a great trail! Also, this trail was not crowded at all, but I did hike it on a Friday not Saturday or Sunday, also the parking lot is not that big, so I would try and get there early when you go. But, you could also park at the northwest pond parking area, which is a little before the tongue mountain parking, and has a sign for!

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Christopher Frasca
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Running
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Michael Kudlack
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views of Lake George and an easy walk along the shore line. Hiked the trail on 9/6 and encountered one rattle snake on the trail. The length of the trail combined with the steep terrain makes it a challenging all day hike.

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Dylan Grimmett
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Hiking

We hiked this trail on 9/6/20 in a clockwise direction, and the trail was in great condition. We did not see any rattle snakes, but we did see a small gardener snake on that flat 5 mile stretch at the end of the hike.

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Ralph Corradi
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HikingGreat!

Super fun, tougher hike with spectacular views of Lake George and the surrounding Adirondacks done on an early September, cool, mostly sunny day. We are two avid hikers in our 50’s. We started late, so proceeded clockwise to tackle the 3 peaks first. Insects and mud were present, but modest. Heed the rattlesnake warnings—nearly stepped on one that had just killed a chipmunk and wasn’t going to share its lunch. My GPS registered 12.8 miles (All Trails indicates 14.8), but we did not do the point. Elapsed time was 7.5 hours. Our peak climbing was 30+ min miles and our pace on the “flats” was 20+ min miles. The “flats” aren’t flat, but they aren’t difficult either; more of an expectation looking at the elevation map. They wind around several miles of the lakefront and there are plenty of places for a swim. We packed lunch, snacks and two liters of water each; bug nets, poles and a hat. I wore trail runners; my wife ankle high boots. Ascents to the peaks are mostly in the 10-20% grade range while the descent from the last peak (First Peak) to the lakefront is steeper and requires some scrambling. We loved it!

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Sarah Null
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky

I used my Garmin FR 945 watch. Measured 13.1 miles (without going to the point), and 3800 ft. of elevation gain. Took a total of 6 hrs. and 11 minutes. Beautiful views. I would recommend going clockwise and doing the mountains first- it will make the second half of the hike more enjoyable. There’s a little bit of everything on this trail- some mud, rocks, overgrowth, views, and runnable trail. Didn’t see any snakes.

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Bryan Munger
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Hiking
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Bryan Munger
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Hiking
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Molly Cunningham
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Running

I went for the peaks first, so the second half of rolling hills was a great relief! Bring AT LEAST 2L of water. Save time for swims and views!!

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Donny Consla
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Backpacking

Hiked counterclockwise with some friend new to backpacking. Nice loop with some rewarding views on the second two peaks (French and First). Saw one rattle snake that was black as night. We camped at the point. There was one no camping sign but it was at the trail junction. We took our chances since others had camped there successfully. Forest rangers rolled in at 9:30. They were very nice but said camping is prohibited there and there are supposed to be more signs but they must have been torn down. Got off with a warning but they said they are patrolling the area more since the point is a preserve. There is supposed to be a designated area just north east of the point but we must have missed it. As others have said, no water till the point. Swimming at the point after hiking is very rewarding.

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Kevin Sawyer
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Hiking
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Megan Labbate
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Hiking

A difficult trail that affords stunning views of Lake George. Heed the advice of others who have written reviews - the “flat return” is not flat, bring plenty of water, and watch out for rattlesnakes!!

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Caitlin Gorss
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Hiking

Was a nice hike, very long though with some steep parts. Saw no snacks. There were a few very nice views.

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Paul Krempa
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HikingBlowdownBugs

Did this loop as well as tacking on 5mile, which I didn't correctly summit before . got there early and there were no cars. 85 hot humid day with lots of bugs. I've hiked a lot, but this one was a bit deceptive to me. For a small amount of elevation, I did seem to be going up and down more than expected. Views from the peaks and a few lookouts are great. The "all trails" trail and the actual trail don't align 100%. be aware of that. There are various points on the trail with blowdown, or the trail will "disappear". Nothing crazy just be aware. As another reviewer posted. The walk out from Montcalm point is not a flat walk. A lot more undulation then the map shows, maybe due to the scale. I didn't find any water sources until Montcalm. I did find a few rattlesnakes. Just like the trail register warned about. They are hard to see in the brush. Beware of that.

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Tristan Sokach-Minnick
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HikingRocky

Guys this hike is amazing... incredible views, beautiful woods... just please take necessary precautions. Bring plenty of food and water and keep your head on a swivel for rattlesnakes. Nearly stepped on a 5 foot timber rattler.

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Levi Rabinowitz
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BackpackingBugsMuddy

Did this hike Clockwise. Hit the trail around 11:00 AM at the Meadows parking lot (Pretty Full). Hike to 5th peak was hardest part of the hike, as it is mostly uphill. From their the other two peeks are fairly easy. Some up and down, but nothing crazy. Got to Montcalm Point around 7;00 PM, and spent the night. Sign said no camping at the point, but we did anyways, and had no problems. Did not see to many people after 5th peek. The next day we finished the hike very quickly as it is all flat. only took 2 hours and 30 minutes from montcalm point. This hike could definitely be done in a day, but it is difficult at times. Bear in mind, their is no water till montcalm point, so make sure you bring plenty of water with you (3L).

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Crystal L'Hote
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BackpackingRocky

Travel clockwise for the best views and experience. If you hike in the northeast, you won't be surprised that the trails are full of rocks and roots. Beautiful views on the ascent and a variety of landscapes and habitats: mountain top meadows, outcroppings, lake views, and woodland marshes (buggy). Recommend camping on the Montcalm point. Had it all to myself. The water is choppy here. If you want to go swimming, wait for the return route along the water's edge. A few muddy spots along the return, but the trail was relatively dry on the 6th.

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Rebecca Trainor
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HikingBugs

This trail is extremely intense, definitely bring LOTS of water and bug spray. Views were beautiful at the three peaks.

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Marisa Cavanaugh
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HikingBlowdownBugsOver grownRockyWashed out
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