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.

Length14.8 miElevation gain3149 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingHikingSnowshoeingForestLakeViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBlowdownBugsOver grownRockySnowWashed 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
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (340)
Photos (886)
Recordings (284)
Completed (650)
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Catherine W.
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HikingIcy

Challenging for an LG12 hike. We were planning on out and back but did the loop and cut off a few miles with a bushwhack out (like a prior reviewer) because we really didn’t have the return trip in us. A lot of up and down and some steep sections. Mix of icy and muddy/wet today. Harder than expected (from some Catskills 35ers and ADK 46ers)

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Katherine Zoellmer
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Hiking

Coyote

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Erin Potter
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HikingScramble

I underestimated this one. There were some sketchy sections. I chose to go along the lake first which was a pleasant walk and made good time. The ascent up 1st peak took longer than expected and sometimes required extra caution. Slippery leaves don't boost confidence. I, too, questioned my solo hiking. Views from all 3 were spectacular and the descent out wasn't bad, just long.

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John Seigle
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HikingGreat!

Lower Tongue and NW Bay loop. Perfect hiking weather. Two people all day excluding parking lot. 12.5 miles and a bit over 8 hours with decent breaks. Highlight is French Point Mt views up and down N and S of the lake. No snakes no ice minimal mud. Very well marked with new markers. Great day!

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Marie Grimmke
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HikingScramble

Great views- but with the deep, loose leaves and loose gravel,I thought the steep descents were really dangerous and more than once I wished I’d brought a hiking partner. My GPS read 14.8 which is different than other reviewers- not sure why the discrepancy but it really is an arduous hike. I ran out of light at the end and hiked with a headlamp. Long day. No rattlesnakes.

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William Donlon
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Hiking
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Dennis Flynn
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Hiking
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William Donlon
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Hiking
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Mary Smith
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Hiking

well marked, FANTASTIC views

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joan shults
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HikingGreat!

We hiked clockwise to fifth peak last fall and counterclockwise to first peak with a bushwhack down to the NWbay trail. It was a lot of ups and downs today. It took us 6 hours and we recorded 10 miles. Def think the clockwise up to fifth was easier but the views were amazing and made the effort worth it. (Most of the leaves were down) There were a few scrambles, nicely placed stepping stones and some blow downs blocking the trail. A great hike on a gorgeous fall day

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Jared Dailey
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Hiking
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Gemma Hanlon
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Hiking
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Chelsea Sinicki
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Hiking
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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. Incredibly slow going on downhills. Beautiful views though, just incredible!

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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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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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Dan Foster
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Hiking

Beautiful views along the ridge trail.

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Bryan Munger
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Hiking
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