Vanderwhacker Mountain

HARD 43 reviews
#37 of 183 trails in

Vanderwhacker Mountain is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Minerva, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1620 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

muddy

fire tower, views of high peaks, old ranger cabin The fire tower on Vanderwhacker mountain provides a spectacular view of the Adirondack High Peaks. The trail is marked with red disks. Sign in at the trail register. Within the next mile, you will cross several small creeks and pass around a wetlands. Then, the trail splits. The old road (now a snow mobile trail) continues to the left, while the path you want bears right. After passing two cabins used by the fire observer, you begin a strenuous climb. After another mile, the climb becomes more moderate. Soon you reach the fire tower. Climb the tower and enjoy the panorama to the north.

hiking
8 days ago

Great views of entire High Peaks wilderness! Moderate length & steepness. Lightly trafficked areas can be hard to follow, the last mile or so follows a creek bed, can be wet and muddy. There was still some snow & ice towards the top & dramatic change in temp. Felt great! Beware of Moose Pond Club Rd! Very rocky and messy. Truck only!

hiking
1 month ago

Great views, we did it in the winter and broke trail which made it a little tough. Less than 20 people have signed in since December 2017 so this is not a popular hike, especially in the cold months. If there is snow on the ground, moose pond club rd is pretty much inaccessible .unless you have a high clearance 4x4 vehicle and want to chance it.

3 months ago

It’s a bit of a bumpy drive on a dirt road to get to the trailhead, but worth it!! You won’t see many hikers on this trail because it’s not easily accessible. But, that’s the cool part. There’s remnants of a small plane crash 3/4 of the way up. Climb the fire tower and take in the view! A great hike!!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this on a cold day. Trail was a mix of ice, mud and lots of water due to recent rains. I really liked this hike. The only spot to careful is on the upper portion when the trail runs into the creek. When it is icy it came be a bit treacherous. Views from the fire tower are pretty. I have read reviews on other sites and they describe this hike for experienced hikers only. I would say it is a moderate hike.

hiking
6 months ago

A pleasant walk thru the forest
Not terribly technical or hard I would rate this as moderate lots of leaves on the trail
The most challenging part was driving the road to the trail Head my Jetta made it but it was a rough slow ride

hiking
6 months ago

Typical awesome Adirondack mountains. The trail starts easy but the last section is a tough climb. Great views with a lot of big name mountains all around. Check out my full write up along with things to look out for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/vanderwhacker/

7 months ago

Dogs are not required to be on leash for this hike. As always, if they are not under voice control they should be on a leash.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike , challenges in some spots

hiking
7 months ago

Long trip to get there with rough road in. Roots galore. Rocky path. Steep for last 2/3 up so on such a hot and humid day, more challenging. Cabin interesting. Fire tower views wonderful. Company amazing.

hiking
8 months ago

9/18/17 mostly sunny, lots of bugs. Suggest using an all terrain vehicle as the road to the trail head is pretty rough but tolerable if you drive really slow with a vehicle that sits low to the ground.
It's a gradual climb for the first mile, gets pretty steep for the last 2.7. Some muddy spots, lots of rocks and roots. The trail was easily seen, marked with red circular trail markers and some orange ribbon hanging from the trees. Fire Tower is accessible, view is worth the hike.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a somewhat challenging hike, but the views are well worth the effort. The road to the trail was easy to miss since the sign was hidden behind a tree. The 2.6 mile gravel road leading to the trail was rough, but we managed to drive it in our station wagon without much problem. The trail is mostly flat the first half, but turns very steep and rocky for the last two miles. Climbing the fire tower at the top of the mountain provides spectacular panoramic views of the Adirondack mountains. It took my mother and I about 4 hours to hike, but we took time to eat lunch and enjoy the views in the tower.

hiking
9 months ago

The trail is root ridden and stone laden, with little trail past the halfway point. The bugs are relentless and you're almost guaranteed to be bitten or stung, as they outnumber you a thousand to one. The summit shows very little view unless atop the fire tower. The summit was extremely heavy with bugs, though the dragonflies were an enjoyable site. Good check off the list, but would not repeat.

hiking
10 months ago

There is a three mile dirt road to the trail head that I would recommend driving a truck or car with clearance to make it over stones. The first half of the hike is mellow and you cross several brooks and a few beautiful ponds. Once you get to the cabin the hike becomes vigorous and it remains steep almost all the way to the top. Once you are at the top there is not much of a view until you climb the fire tower. From there you can see many surrounding lakes and ponds. Overall this hike was beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone in good physical shape.

hiking
10 months ago

If you have done blue mountain this is similar from what I experienced. I would rate thus moderate. Use hiking poles. You will go through areas of steeper ascent with bare rocks. You have some opportunity to go around them but overall it's not that bad. I would say if this is your first hike but you are in decent shape you would have no issues. Good views from the tower. We did just fine and it had rained and we encountered some thunderstorms activity but still enjoyed it to the max. Don't be intimidated by the difficulty rating

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Arrived at the route 28 turnoff to find the dirt road to the trail head a mix of ice and snow. I drove in about 200 yards but then backed out to the main road. I had never been on the road and with other reviews saying it was iffy under normal conditions I wasn't chancing being late for the grandkids annual Easter egg hunt at my house. Parking on the main road made the total distance 11.4 miles.

It was difficult to walk the 3.2 miles to the trailhead. Once on the trail it was a comfortable hike to the ranger cabin. From that point it is a strenuous hike to the tower. I did not climb the tower because time did not permit if I wanted to have a happy wife on Easter. Overall the distance on snow and ice made this more challenging than I wanted for my first spring 2017 hike but I would rate this intermediate from the designated parking area.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Plan for a long hike! 5.7 miles to the summit. Great views as always with these fire towers.

Friday, September 16, 2016

trail was easy to follow was a challenge but I would do it again! the views from the tower are mind blowing but you must hike to really appreciate it !

hiking
Friday, September 16, 2016

awesome, I could not check in cause cell reception, but worth making it to the tower and watching the Hawks circle on the thermal spots to gain altitude and soar off

hiking
Friday, September 09, 2016

done twice - never gets easy-

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pretty hard,especially the top!

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

This was a nice hike to do. The first part of the hike wasn't that hard, but once you passed the cabin it became a bit more strenuous. It was very muddy out, since it is mud season. There were no views when we went cause it was very cloudy out. I'll definitely do this again when it's warmer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Great hike views were nice from the fire tower . Trail gets steep after the cabin and trails still a bit icy . Definitely a trip I'd do again

hiking
Monday, March 28, 2016

Great views from the tower, brisk day. The top third of the trail was coated in ice from the last snowfall and earlier hikers, which added some significant time to the hike, probably 25-35 added minutes for the ascent and 10-20 for the descent. Took 3 hours overall, 2 for ascent and 1 for descent. If you're going out early in the season, prior to the last thaw, it would be advisable to take some crampons with you to help with traction on icy patches.

hiking
Friday, September 04, 2015

Great views from the fire tower at the top! Pretty easy until you get to the old ranger cabin but it gets steep after that. We took it slow and finished the round trip in around four hours with plenty of breaks and a lunch stop in the fire tower.

hiking
Friday, October 04, 2013

This is a great hike to do in the fall season. Time it right with the foliage and you're in for a treat! Steep enough for a good workout but with flat stretches for a break. The ranger cabin is a bit derelict and appears used by hunters occasionally. Higher clearance vehicle recommended for driving in on the dirt road to the trailhead. View from the tower is INCREDIBLE! High peaks to the north are grand!

hiking
Monday, May 13, 2013

On this particular day the weather was absolutely beautiful. There were very few clouds in the sky, 75 degrees with a slight breeze. The road in to the trail head (Moose Pond Way) was a bit tricky in spots and the old wooden bridge made me get out making sure I would be able to drive over it. The walk to the old Ranger Station was a relative easy walk and took a little under an hour to get there. It didn't look as though this is being used anymore, except maybe by some hunters in the winter
After the walk to the Ranger station, the trail gets a little more challenging. During the walk up the trail to the fire tower there are a couple of flat spots that give you a chance to catch your breathe. On this day there were plenty of newly fallen trees along the trail and to my surprise there was still snow on the ground. The trail does not offer that many opportunities for pictures to the left or right on the way to the tower.

hiking
Sunday, August 12, 2012

Took 3 kids hiking with me between the ages of 11&16. We camped at Lake Harris in Newcomb. One of the adults we were camping with grew up in Newcomb and said that I would have to park in a pull-off near the Boreas River, cross the bridge, then walk the road a little until we got to the trailhead. Apparently in the 20 years since he hiked the mountain they have since allowed vehicles to drive to the trailhead. We ended up hiking the extra 3.2miles to the trailhead. Hiked up to the abandoned ranger station and took our first break. AFTER THAT WE HIKED VERY STEEPLY TO THE SUMMIT. Oldest to youngest we started tiring out. Me first, then the 16, & 15 yo's. The 11yo just kept on going. He made it to the top, took pictures, then came back down and met us about a quarter mile from the summit and hiked back up with us. As soon as we got to the top of the fire tower thunder clapped and it began to downpour. We met a couple hikers at the top, who just happened to be from the same area we travelled from. The girl even went to school with the two teenagers in my group. They left first as we tried to eat. The rain became too much so we headed out as fast as we could. We slid the 2.5 miles down towards the trailhead in the hardest rain I have experienced. Surprisingly at the trailhead, the two hikers we met were waiting for us and gave us a ride back to my truck. It's good to meet nice people on the trails. I hope I can pay it forward in the future.

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30 days ago

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