Wakely Mountain Trail

MODERATE 87 reviews

Wakely Mountain Trail is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sabael, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,646 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

washed out

historic site

no dogs

Note: During muddy season, this trail or the road leading to the trailhead may be closed. Please check with the NY DEC before attempting to hike this trail or another route in the area. Wakely Mountain is located in one of the more remote sections of the central Adirondack Mountains. The hike to the 3744 foot summit consists of two sections: the first is nearly hiking on what's left of an dirt old road, while climbing about 500 feet in elevation and then a relatively steep climb to the summit. The summit is wooded, however, there is a fire tower with unobstructed 360-degree views. The 92 foot tower is one of the highest in New York State. The first 1.1 miles of the trail is really an old woods road that is severely washed out in places. You'll cross a stream and walk somewhat comfortably for another 0.8 miles to where the main trail leaves the old road. The overgrown old road continues another 300 feet or so toward the site of an old hunting camp next to a beaver pond/meadow. After you leave the old road, the second part of the hike begins and the character of the trail changes dramatically. The footing is not as good as the trail begins a steady and fairly steep ascent. There are a few switchbacks on this section. The summit area has the old fire tower, which is in desperate need of restoration.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

lower half of trail very wet- large areas of deep standing running water in middle trail (over ankle deep). Top also slippery and sloppy due to snow and ice melt. gorgeous view from the tower but tower is ICY!! GO PREPARED FOR COLD! MICROSPIKES RECOMMENDED!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is very nice! I brought my husky for the hike today, maybe not the best idea. The trail starts off with a very gradual slope, once you get to the 1.0 mile sign with the Wakely Mountain trail, the slope increases significantly and I don't really suggest it for dogs. My pup got up and down with plenty of water but was muddy and had to jump up a lot of large rocks and tree root steps. The trail wasn't all that muddy, but it is definitely wet in some spots with a few minor creeks along the way. The fore tower has excellent views normally, but today it was enveloped in clouds. The trail is more like 3.0 miles each way!

It was a great fall day, warm weather and clear blue skies. Loved the views.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
washed out
2 months ago

Perfect Fall day. Started out at 48 degrees. Hike is as advertised. First portion relatively easy although with the leaves down watch your footing on the loose rocks and washout. There is a creek the flows alongside the first mile or so, with a couple of bridge crossings. The final mile of the trail was muddy in sections but passable. Some scrambling was required. To access the view you need to climb the fire tower. It is well worth it. The adjacent helipad is quite the structure. Great hike and great views.

hiking
2 months ago

What a great trail, tallest firetower in New York State. trail was very well marked, a little wet here and there but, that's to be expected this time of year. I feel personally the mileage is off a little, I would definitely say 6 miles round trip, very easy to find trail off the road as well, This hike offered some flattened out spots a little incline here and there second part of trail definitely some rock scrambling and testing those legs, a little burn. Anything worth anything is a little work though.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I personally loved this hike! It took me and my father about 4.5 hours total with a pretty chill pace and a fair amount of time at the top enjoying the fantastic view. It is definitely rocky and challenging in spots on the second half of the hike (the uphill portion) and I wouldn’t want to do it if the rocks were very wet with the leaves all over them because there’s a good amount of friction walking that needs to be done and it could be sketchy, especially going down the trail. Overall a win and the fire tower at the top offers a 360 degree view!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike in early-September. First off, I disagree with the Moderate difficulty rating and think this should be strenuous. This trail is just as difficult as nearby Pillsbury and Blue Mountains, but is rated as Moderate. First off, the fire tower at the top is excellent, as are most fire towers in the region. From the peak you can easily make out the towers on Snowy and Pillsbury, and you can see Blue Mtn, but not necessarily the tower on it. The trail is beautiful, but not more so than other trails in the area. The trailhead is not the easiest to access, in the winter months the trailhead cannot be accessed directly, which others have posted about. Also, about two miles before the trailhead, there are signs saying the road ahead is off-limits to unauthorized vehicles. This seems to be inaccurate as there is (usually ample) dedicated parking at the trailhead. The trail itself in the last steep mile has some sections where 2x4/6/8 railing has been installed where it did not seem entirely necessary. And then there were other areas where there maybe should have been railing, but wasn't, seemed a little arbitrary. All in all, 4 out of 5 is still a very good hike, But I would give nearby Snowy, Pillsbury, and Blue 5 stars, and this trail a tier lower than that.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike on 9/7/19. Enjoyed this hike very much. Awesome view 360. Beautiful morning and no bugs. Working on fire tower mountain hikes.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty hike. As other reviewers note, the first 2 miles are tame (but scenic). The last mile is challenging and with a few breaks took a little over an hour to ascend. The views from the tower are great. The helipad is cool (all the world’s a stage, right?). Picnic table and cabin (locked yet adorned with a moose drawing) at top too. Even as cooler temps move in there were some pesky skeeters but some natural repellant helped.

Great hike. First half is a very mid incline to the base of Wakely Mt. The second half is where you earn the views the top has top offer.

hiking
3 months ago

My first fire tower. We camped at Cedar River by the dam and walked to the trail head. Fantastic hike, fantastic view. A little steep for my experience level, descending really tired out my legs. The mosquitoes were brutal at the beginning even at the end of August after a cold night but once you get out of the wet area and start the ascent. Needles to say we'll be revisiting the tower next year when we go camping with the grandparents.

hiking
3 months ago

Chose this as my birthday hike this year. The last mile is tough ascending and descending, but the views are worth it. The fire tower is great. A little scary at the top because it's so windy.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Having hiked many old woods roads, this one was in pretty fair condition. Did the first 1.9 miles in 35 min. Wanted to get back to my car before the man eating mosquitoes came out. This was my third summit that day after nearby Chimney and Sawyer, so the last mile up to the summit was tough. The restored fire tower is awesome. Highest in the ADK! This was also my final of the 25 in the ADK. Hope to do it in Winter with the aid of a snowmobile to get me to the trailhead.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy beginning with lots of bugs and just like ever other firetower 1 mile up with 1000 or so elevation. Good views at top

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked this trail on 7/29/19, 74 degrees and and blue skies. The trail is well marked with red trail tags. It took me one hour to climb the last mile. The fire tower has been nicely restored and the view from the top is magnificent. At 70’ this is the tallest fire tower in New York State.

hiking
4 months ago

As others have said, the first two miles are a nice relaxing walk in the woods. There were lots of mosquitoes and deer flies but not any different from other hikes in the ADK. Just remember the bug spray! The last mile is challenging but more than worth it. I wanted to challenge myself with a demanding hike and I got it in a mile with an elevation change of almost 7,000 feet. The views are beautiful, but what I enjoyed the most was the silence, no cars, people or planes. Loved it and would do it again. One thing I would do different - I would leave earlier in the day and descend a little slower because it is very steep.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Very buggy, netting and bug spray a must! Fist couple of miles easygoing, last mile with the heat, bugs and incline-Challenging. Helipad was cool, View from helipad-gorgeous! Fire Tower is of course the highlight, and the view from the tower doesn’t disappoint! Out house, cabin and picnic table are also present at the summit.

hiking
6 months ago

First two miles are flat. Almost all elevation gain in last mile. Stunning views from tower and helipad. Observers cabin and outhouse present at top. Bugs were nonstop. Would NOT have been able to do without a bug net and spray.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

Great hike but the flying bugs were relentless . Bring a mosquito net and some spray . The cabin and fire tower were great . My phone wasn’t recording so my brother and I climbed the tower twice to make a video ..

hiking
bugs
rocky
6 months ago

Great trail. Recommend doing after Black Fly season. Great for the kiddos.

hiking
6 months ago

Great views and cool cabin at the top. Fire tower is newly restored.

hiking
7 months ago

This isn't a review but it's more of a PSA. If you are going to ANY trail in the ADK during spring, you should have done your research on mud season. Instead of giving a hike a 1 star review because you were unprepared for the conditions or trail closures, see what the DEC says. Being surprised by suboptimal trail conditions during mud seasoned is kind of like being surprised by snow in the winter.

hiking
7 months ago

Road to trail says closed Dec 1st- April 1st but still closed as of this morning and adds 4 miles each way

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