Vanderwhacker Mountain

MODERATE 105 reviews

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.

Distance: 6.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,706 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

muddy

rocky

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
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

If you like walking miles in a stream, this hike is for you!!! Insanely muddy, slightly steep in parts, and very slippery. The views and the mini waterfalls make up for it but it’s definitely on the harder side at times. The drive in is no joke either. I’m not sure a car would make it to the trailhead.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

The drive in is fun. Easily manageable, just pay attention to potholes and rocks sticking out the ground. The parking area is very small. The first half of the trail is pretty easy. Don't underestimate the second half of the trail. As others have mentioned, once past the Observers Cabin the trail gets significantly steeper. With all the recent rain the upper trail is VERY wet, making it basically a stream - gaitors and poles will come in very handy. Views from the top are stunning. The AllTrails app kept yelling at me that I was off-trail. I clearly wasn't. I'm guessing the trail has rerouted slightly over time.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Vander What? So I turned off of 28N onto a narrow gravel road, single lane, that soon became mostly rugged and not maintained. I would advise that you go in a 4x4 type vehicle with plenty of ground clearance. I have 8"+ on my SUV and I know some of those rocks were close and would have hit or even damaged the underside if I had less clearance. The book Views For On High gives a great description on what to expect during the hike. The trail was well marked (red DEC) and obvious; in fact wide in all but the mile of the draw/wash section which was narrow by comparison. This hike had few views of the ADK until the top. The tower was open but no views today as the base of the cloud deck was at the summit. Enjoy!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

nice hike. foggy. no views. tower number 6 for us. btw the All trails app tracked us at over 6 miles.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

the road in is ruff, old logging road. the mountain was gorgeous. Little rain had the evergreens smelling like a yankee candle. great day for a hike

hiking
2 months ago

If you want a secluded hike this is for you. We started from trailhead off of Moose Pond Club Road which is a fairly rough road (beware sedans). Beautiful day. Trail meanders by marshes and beaver ponds, til abandoned observer’s cabin. Then next 1.7+ miles are up. Challenging sections. Woods are like a rainforest. Summit is the firetower—from cab the views are amazing. My GPS logged 7 miles round trip....

hiking
3 months ago

8/24/19. Loved this hike. Awesome view of high peaks. Middle of trail challenging.

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

My GPS said 5.78 miles. Took me 3 hours and 30 minutes Including breaks and about 35 minutes at the top. I had the tower to myself and it was great! After the house/lodge there are 3 switchbacks then it feels like your walking on a river bed. There are rocks but they are all small. There are parts of the trail that are "Overgrown" but you can see the trail great and it's not even a 500 feet stretch. NO SCRAMBLES Great views I also camped here. There at 6 sites along the road. 5 before the trail head and 1 after. Site 1 is right by the main road once you turn in. Site 2 has the ONLY privy. Site 5 has 2 sites, one lower(by the car) and 1 on top of the hill to the left. Site 6 may be tough to get a car up as it is very overgrown. Each campsite that I saw has a flat spot great for a 4-6 person tent, tress for hammocking and a firepit.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

The beginning of the hike deceptively easy. Once past the abandoned cabin the trail becomes increasingly overgrown and difficult. Bugs and muddy. Views from the tower amazing!

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Deceptively easy at first! Pick up aggressively difficult!

hiking
3 months ago

As others have written, the road to the trailhead is in bad shape, really tough if you don't have a vehicle with decent ground clearance. The trail is well-marked, fairly easy first half and more difficult second half. I wouldn't call it "hard" as Alltrails rates it, but it's a solid moderate. No rock scrambles, even after a very rainy day before the trail was in good shape.

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