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Vanderwhacker Mountain is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Minerva, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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.

Length 6.1 mi Elevation gain 1,706 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Snowshoeing Bird watching Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Muddy Rocky
Description
Waypoints (2)
Contact
Getting There

The fire tower on Vanderwhacker mountain provides a spectacular view of the Adirondack High Peaks. As of July 2002 the fire tower may be closed due to COVID19. 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.

NYS DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger (518) 251-3418

From North Creek, take Rte 28N north for 16 miles. Immediately after the highway crosses the Boreas River, there is an unmarked gravel road on the left. Take this road for 2.6 miles to the point where it splits. The trailhead and parking is on the right. *CAUTION* This is a rough road in spots. It is best driven with a high-clearance vehicle (ex. pickup truck). It is possible to drive this stretch with a typical sedan, but you must drive VERY SLOW. You can optionally park off Rte 28N at the pulloff on the right just before the bridge.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (166)
Photos (188)
Recordings (122)
Completed (301)
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BigSkyDi PLC
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

9/19/2020 Recent work on the gravel road, so passable with lower vehicles. We hit the chilly trail around 9:30 AM saw only a few folks on our way up. Trail dry with some easily negotiated blowdown. No worries about being cold after the caretakers cabin. Pretty steady climb with a rocky stretch. Beautiful views but not a lot of space to spread out at the summit. Heading back we were surprised at the number of hikers we passed (about 36-40). Round trip approximately 4 hrs with a half hour at the top. Leave early if looking for solitude.

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Randy Palmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020

Hiked this morning -9/19/2020. Nice hike. Trail in good shape, although some blow-down to be negotiated. Nothing serious. Not a great deal to see on the way up but the view of the High Peaks from the tower makes it all worthwhile.

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Chris Suozzo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike, though take note the summit isn’t really open, so views are pretty much limited to the top of the fire tower.

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Bryce Mazur
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

So this is a 5 star hike for the views and plant diversity throughout the forest was great, and you hike next to a stream for a bit which was nice. The only reason it loses a star is the 2.5 mile drive to the trailhead off the main road........I hesitate to call this a road as it's mostly semi-large rocks. I saw one of two small cars, not sure if their axels are fine, but would definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle. Not the worst road I've driven on, but probably top 5 for worst.

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Matthew Lustbader
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020

As others have said, the road in is tough but navigable as of September 2020. Gravel was recently put down so a sedan should have no problem. The trail itself is nicely cleared and easy to follow, you could do it in sneakers if you wanted to.

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Dan Frederick
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Hiking
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Joseph Diamond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020

Managed to get my Prius to the trailhead very slowly. Beautiful trail. Steep towards the top. Was the only one on the mountain. Climbed Moxham Mtn in the morning, and this in the afternoon. Great view of the high peaks to the north from the tower.

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ADK Dogwalker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking

Very pleasant hike on a well maintained trail. Wonderful views from on top. The road to the trail head has received recent work and is in pretty good shape, but would still recommend a truck or SUV.

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Jane Augur
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HikingBlowdown

great hike! loved the last stretch to the summit - you can see through the trees that you're on a narrow ridge and as it was very windy the atmosphere was amazing! There is one spot for views without climbing the fire tower, but the views from the tower were worth braving the wind.

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Jason Caldwell
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Hiking

Great trail, nice workout too!

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Bob St-rebel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

We hiked up to the fire tower on August 31st. Trail was is good condition and views from up in the fire tower were spectacular. We drive to trail on the gravel road which we took very slowly in a somewhat high van. I would not have taken our sedan in - I’m sure that would have ended up damaged.

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Kristine Kokochak-Duffy
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HikingGreat!

Did this back in May and it was a consistent climb that keeps the heart pumping. Great views from the fire tower

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Jim Mills
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
Hiking

Slick after a night shower but worth it. Parking is tough.

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J D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingBlowdownGreat!Rocky

Drive in was more navigation than the trail. Once you get to trail head sign there is only room for two vehicles, recommend parking on dirt road in front of trail sign. Nice walk in woods until you get to cabin. Gets steady incline from here and trail zig zags up mountain for nice hike. Trails not marked in some areas but no worries, there is only one trail to follow. For a little over 1/2 mile of steady hike, levels out for a bit to relax. Then one more incline up the river bed hiking on rocks, be careful if wet and moss on them. After this part it levels again and the tower sneaks up on you as you don't see it through he trees. Good views today, need to climb the tower to see any views though. In all round trip was 2 1/2 hours for 5.4 miles

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Sara Thompson
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Scenic drivingBlowdownGreat!Rocky

Gonna start by saying, if you don’t have an SUV or a truck. You won’t make it without tearing your car apart. And to park on the road would add five more miles to your hike. That being said, this trail was fun, but it marked very well, easy to follow for the most part but I ended up off trail a few times so keep an eye out. Had a very dense Forrest vibe, some marshy areas and a little lake. Decent amount of blow down to maneuver around and over. First mile is quite easy, once you hit the old rangers station the next two miles up are pretty steep. Definitely worth it for the view from the tower.

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Meranda Allen
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HikingOver grownRocky
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Jess Cee
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Hiking

Wasn’t buggy at all, I was a little worried based on recent reviews. I suspect it’s due to the rain we had prior, not something I’d want to do after rain.

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Dennis Flynn
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Hiking
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Marie Grimmke
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HikingBlowdownBugsRockyScramble

The view was spectacular, but the access road was impassable with my low car- so I parked on 28N and hiked in, adding another 5 miles round trip. I wouldn’t even consider driving in without an SUV, truck, Jeep, etc. The bugs were aggressive and biting even with tons of bug spray. Very quiet hike and the old rangers cabin and fire tower were added attractions.

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sara frederick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsRocky

This was a great hike. The first mile is very easy only about 300 feet of elevation gain. Like others have said the moment you hit the old ranger station, it starts to increase in elevation. The 2nd mile I thought was the worst and it took us much longer. Third mile has a mix of elevation and flats which made it doable. Overall took us a little bit over 3 hours round trip with breaks. If you havnt hiked the area before this is a great beginner hike that gets you used to the mountains but not too overwhelming.

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