Vanderwhacker Mountain

HARD 34 reviews
#48 of 178 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
1679 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.

2 days 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
15 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike , challenges in some spots

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
20 days 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
30 days 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
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 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
2 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
2 months ago

hiking
3 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
3 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

6 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
10 months ago

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