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 gain3,149 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.

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Reviews (354)
Photos (990)
Activities (298)
Completed (680)
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Jess Cee
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Hiking

Great day! Very little mud. No snakes. Lotssss of ups and downs though..

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Samantha Thompson
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HikingBlowdownGreat!

Started at Clay Meadows parking lot and traveled clockwise from Fifth Peak to Montcalm Point. The trail was well marked for most of the hike. There were a few spots we were off trail, but easily found. The hike between Fifth Peak and French Pt was longer than expected with many steep descends and ups before reaching the summit. The views were spectacular on a cloudless, very warm day. The hike down First Peak to Montcalm Point is quite steep in some areas, but not crazy difficult. Don't be fooled into thinking the 5 miles along the bay back to the parking lot is a flat easy nature walk along the shore. It's not! That last five miles will have you thinking you have entered the last phase of Jumangi and are never getting out. Heat and exhaustion seem to take over as you hike up and down, meander into the wilderness and back towards the water. There are muddy spots, but not terrible. In the end, you will make your way out and thank your lucky stars it's over. My Fitbit logged just over 17 miles with over 10 hours. My phone died during my recording. It's a rewarding hike and we got it done before the snakes emerged from their dens. Be prepared for a very long day. Pack a lot of water.

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Cheyenne Inge
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HikingBlowdownIcyMuddyOver grownRockySnow

We got to Fifth peak summit for sunrise and it was spectacular. Lots of ups and downs throughout. Some spots after First Peak were a little treacherous and it is very icy in some spots- micro spikes were needed for most of the way. Tons of downed trees and the trail was a bit messy as well. In between Fifth peak and French Point wasn’t marked very well and we got a bit off trail for 15 minutes. A difficult but very rewarding hike with amazing views of the lake for most of the hike! With 8 hours of active hiking time, we logged 15 miles even. Be prepared for a long day.

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Kevin Sawyer
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Hiking
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Eva Von Dell
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Hiking
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andrew horne
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Hiking

great trail and amazing views. after the first peak there are some tougher sections so be prepared.

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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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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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Chelsea Sinicki
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David Cummins
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Hiking

This was a tough trail. Each part has its own challenge. The walk up from Clay Meadows is steep. then the significant descents/ascents between mountains followed by a an awesome descent from First to the Tip. Had to make up a lot of time on the hike back along the bay... which by the way is not as flat as it looks. Enjoy.

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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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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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