Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail

HARD 71 reviews
#26 of 178 trails in

Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bolton Landing, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3372 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

rocky

A great loop hike that brings you along the shore of Lake George then over 3 small peaks on the Tongue Mountain Range This is a wonderful hike. 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.

backpacking
12 days ago

Very challenging but absolutely gorgeous trail. Lots of amazing vistas and camp spots along the way. The actual length of the trail is 16 miles.

hiking
21 days ago

backpacking
1 month ago

This hike was pretty brutal. For those doing an overnight with gear I'd suggest getting an early start so you can make it further than 5th Peak on your first day (assuming you opt to do the loop clockwise — and you should definitely do the loop clockwise). The many peaks are very rough on the legs — especially the downhills — and if you leave most of the peaks to the second day like I did they will punish you. As other reviews have mentioned the ~5 mile lakeside portion of the trail is flat and quite easy. I'd also agree with the other reviews that this is probably closer to 15 miles and that it's easy to occasionally lose the trail if you don't keep an eye out for markers.

Despite the difficulty of the hike, the incredible views of Lake George made the strenuousness all worth it! Notable wildlife I saw included a flock of wild turkeys very close to Montcalm Point. The camping sites along the trail are pristine and were utterly empty during my trip. Nothing beats waking up, opening your tent and being greeted by a panoramic of this enormous lake dotted by its many forested islands far below. If you have some friends who are up for the challenge this trail makes for the perfect weekend getaway with beers around the campfire and swimming in the lake.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

Exceptional hike.

2 months ago

Trail not well marked

backpacking
2 months ago

Great trail for both the experienced hiker/backpacker seeking a challenge and those looking to get into backpacking. The full loop is definitely for experienced hikers. We staged cars at the Clay Brook and Tongue Mt. Range trailheads and departed clockwise toward Montcalm Point, with goal of reaching 5th Peak shelter that evening. Two very important things to note about this trip if you're planning to backpack: you will need to carry all of your water or a filtration system as there are no reliable sources along the trail until you reach the lake (there are some streams but they were all dry or had brackish/stagnant water), and you will very likely encounter rattlesnakes, so tread cautiously.
This hike features 3 summits that provide breathtaking views of Lake George and the surrounding mountains and terrain varying from leisurely to strenuous. If you're new to backpacking, you can reach the 5th Peak shelter via the Clay Brook trailhead (about 3 miles with 1400' ascent), camp, and pack out the next day. The views from the ridge behind the shelter are incredible at sunset; highly recommend setting up a tent back there. Lovely variety of vegetation and rock formations to enjoy, and trail is very well marked with the exception of the last mile or so back to Clay Brook trailhead.

2 months ago

A beautiful hike overlooking lake George with some challenging climbs. Great spot for a solid day hike

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

I was unfortunately unable to finish this hike. Experienced the absolute WORST bugs I have ever encountered hiking....ever. Non stop mosquitoes, nats and horse flies the entire time. It was miserable. So bug spray is a must. And don't attempt it in 100% humidity bc there is zero air flow for a lot of the trek. But at least we got to go swimming.... I'd like to try it again on a much cooler day...

hiking
2 months ago

The Tongue mountain loop is a great trail with plenty of elevation gain, rocky terrain, and views of Lake George, but beware of Timber Rattlesnakes. We started our hike at the Clay Meadow trailhead and continued straight up to 5th peak (about 3 miles). Along the way we saw our first rattler. At the peak the views were not great, but they get better. Just wait. Along the ridge running southwest towards Montcalm Point you will reach two more peaks with stunning panorama views. This is where we saw our second rattlesnake. The trail along the ridge is full of rugged rocky outcrops interspersed with grassy meadows. Once we reached Montcalm point (7.7 miles) it was a relatively easy and flat 4.8 mile trip back to the trailhead along Northwest Bay. Total distance 12.7 miles; moving time 6:05; elevation gain 3,325ft. Distances were recorded on two Garmin Forerunner 235 watches.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Very fun trail for beginners. There are some spots where you have to climb some big rocks but it's nothing too bad. Beautiful views and once you get to fifth peak the hardest part is over, only if you climbed fifth peak first.

hiking
4 months ago

Did the full loop in one day. Absolutely exhausted by the end. Too cloudy to see anything from most of the peaks. Still a fun challenge. The northwest bay trail was very muddy. The rocky sections on the peaks were very slippery.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is pretty brutal if you try to do it all in one day but offers amazing views of Lake George for most of the hike. There are very few water sources on the ridge so if backpacking bring enough water to get you through the day. I went through 4 liters doing the whole trail. As others have said the trail is probably closer to 20 miles (what my fitness tracker said) and is not for children or people out of shape. Several descents from peaks are fairly steep so watch your footing and be wary of rattlesnakes. I did see one on the trail close to the entrance. Make sure to step on logs and not over them to avoid getting bit by anything hiding on the other side.

backpacking
4 months ago

Entered the woods (from Clay Meadow Parking Lot) at 3PM. At Trail Junction, we proceeded clockwise, even going down to the lake passed Deer Junction for a quick swim. From there, we backtracked to Fifth Peak and made it by sunset, camping there for the first night. The following morning, we ascended French Point, then First Peak, and made our way to Montcalm Point by 3PM, and set up camp there for the second night. The next morning, via the Northwest Bay Trail, we finished the loop by the early afternoon.
NOTES:
1. There is very little drinkable water anywhere near Fifth Peak, French Point, or First Peak. Good news being, there are small creeks that look more like a series of puddles that contain murky water, so be sure to have a water filtration system if you're trekking that eastern portion of the loop (which is the most scenic and breathtaking, literally).
2. If going off trail (in pursuit of water), be vary wary about rattlesnakes, and keep your eyes alert to the ground ahead of you. We were very close to stepping on one, coiled up.
3. Near the tip of Montcalm Point, there are several campsites that are very welcoming.
4. Behind the Lean-To at Fifth Peak is another excellent campground, including a number of hollowed out tree stumps that work great as fire-pits.
5. Over 3 days (in June), we saw just a handful of people, and all of those people were very close to the parking lot and not carrying any gear. We saw nobody at all on the eastern half of the loop, along the peaks.

backpacking
4 months ago

I hiked this in May 2015, along the lake first then up the mountains. Phenomenal views of Lake George. I remember the trail markers were hard to follow on the way up; lots of blow-down between peaks. I made a weekend of it; camping by the 5th Peak Lean-to. Great perch. Like another comment, this is definitely around 15 miles.

hiking
4 months ago

5 months ago

Great trail, absolutely beautiful. HOWEVER, this is NOT 11.8 miles. If you plan on hiking the entire loop (I recommend hiking the steep side of the range before the lake side), prepare for at least 15 miles; not sure what the exact length is, but we had a GPS running that clocked us ending at 16 miles, and we excluded the 1/2 mile at the last 'AllTrails' view point. Make sure you bring at least three liters of water, and you may need at least 2,000 calories. 3 people, of varying hiking experience, finished this trail in 9 hours.