Explore the most popular trails near Ray Brook with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Ray Brook, New York Map
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Some beautiful woods and a well maintained trail but other nearby hikes have better views. The trail goes downhill for the better part of the second mile - not fun on the way back! 3rd of the Saranac 6 for me.

hiking
7 days ago

This was a beautiful hike - I would strongly recommend this trail. Disclaimer - there is no view at the peak, but there are some decent ones near the top. The trail itself as it starts off through the woods and goes near a creek is very relaxing.

I completed Haystack previously from the Jack Rabbit trail which was a gradual incline and while it was over a lot of ankle rolling potential rocks it was pretty easy. The second time I followed this trail and was surprised to find it was a lot more challenging. Nothing too crazy but more than I was expecting. The wild blueberries at the top and the decent view made the effort worth it. We met some people at the top who thought they were on Mt Haystack - might have been a little off track. :) This is Saranac 6 Haystack not to be confused with 46er Mt Haystack (or even little Haystack - apparently people like the name Haystack!)

Perfect day for a hike. Very few bugs. Mostly dry, very well maintained trail. A bit of a steep scramble at the end, but doable. Enjoyed it!

I actually veered off towards McKenzie and came back on the backside of the trail which connects to the Jack Rabbit trail. The entrance was actually a bit tough to find and looks like that side isn’t travelled as much... a bit wilder and actually kind of nice. Glad that I went that way too because the climb isn’t nearly as straight up as the way this trail is showing which I took down. Well worth the trip as the view is great.

Wonderful views. Several of our health apps said mileage was 7.5 not 6.2. Was easy to follow and today not to many hikers.

We used the herd path off the Jack Rabbit trail and it was such an easy hike. From the trailhead on Whiteface Inn Lane, we reached the summit in under an hour. No steep sections at all, a very friendly hike!

hiking
1 month ago

I really like this trail. I did it first and mostly in the dark yesterday as part of my Saranac 6r ultra. It's easy in the beginning and then a steep climb, but well marked and without too much boulder scrambling (as part of the 6r I'd rather do this one in the dark than Haystack or MacKenzie). I read that you don't need to go to the viewless summit for the 6r but I went there anyway. Not much to see, the lookout is nice on the way, about .5 from true summit. A nice soft trail on the feet with lots of pine needles. I watched the sun rise through the trees as I hiked - quite lovely!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, very easy walk until you hit the slope. Then it's straight to the top! The dam/stream area is great to cool your feet off in on the way back, I always love switching out a fresh pair of socks after cooling off. Very nice views from the summit. 3 hours hiking, but spent lots of time at the summit after our group decided not to do MacKenzie in the same day. (Easily doable to complete both, time-wise)

A good hike, very convenient trailhead. Gets a lot of foot traffic so the trails are obvious. Starts along a river stream for a while before the trail split for Haystack and Mackenzie. I’d recommend doing both of these in one day (haystack being the shorter hike) so that you don’t need to hike back in and do those same couple miles to start again when doing Mackenzie (if you’re going for your SL 6’r patch that is, if not than anything works). Good views up top and not a difficult hike. Worth your time

Scarface is an OK hike. There are better choices but it’s still worth doing. Wooded summit (look for the small white trail marker that says “Scarface” when you’re on the top as it’s easy to miss). It’s a gentle walk in, crossing the railroad tracks and a river. Eventually come to a strange concrete foundation that must have had a cabin on it a long time ago. From that point you will go left and then start climbing. Once you come to the first real view/look out, you have another 0.7 miles or so to the true summit (wooded- look for that white trail marker). That lookout is the only real view on the hike but it’s a good one and good place to eat a sandwich and relax for a while. Going to the true summit from there is really just to truly “summit the peak”. Knowing this, I summited then came back and relaxed at the clearing. Not a difficult hike, kind of feel like you’re walking up a really long hill for the duration of the climb. Terrain doesn’t change a whole lot, mostly dirt trail along a stream, not much scrambling.

The heat could of played a role in our dislike of this hike but it was incredibly buggy and no view from summit. We will not be returning.

very nice hike. not too difficult but great views for sure

hiking
2 months ago

birding
3 months ago

This was my second time here. I love this trail! This time we found a lookout that offered a much better view than the lookout ledge. Great time!

Took nearly 5 hours on snowshoes. It was a nice day barely any ice, and trail was broken.. as previous reviewer said false summit has nice views. Actual summit is in the woods. Someone wrote on the marker so you know when you’ve hit the top.

Took nearly 7 hours on snowshoes. Had to break the 2nd half of the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked on Feb 18/18. Only one other on trail who i caught up with at summit. Trail not particularily well marked though the other hiker broke trail which made finding my way easy. Little snow but lots of ice ,some very challenging, a few ice covered scrambles that required thought on how to climb
False summit has nice views, actual summit is in the woods. There is supposed to be a marker at the summit but could not be found. Likey some jerk took it for a souvenir. Decent was like the assent with a few challenging spots.
My first winter solo.Enjoy

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful day for a hike, 3 hours in and out. This was my second of the 6er. We also completed Baker shortly thereafter.

Nice views from the top!! If u start from the jack rabbit trail located near whiteface lane you can find a herd path which will be a lot easier then the one from 86. Also McKenzie and haystack u can do it in one day. Cheers to winter hikers!!!

great hike

hiking
8 months ago

Trees covered summit, not much view along the tree except a ledge near the summit.

hiking
8 months ago

Enjoyed the hike. The upper part of the trail was slick due to recent snow and the small dam on the trail had no crossing point (had to cross on a fallen tree). Would like to do it when the leaves are in full color.

Beautiful hike and view at the top! The trail starts out pretty easily but drastically inclines as you approach the top. The dogs had a blast with good footing and lots of places to swim.

There isn't much of a view at the top (like another commented I walked right past the summit without realizing it) but the trail up is beautiful. Most of the path is a nice stroll through a pine forest that gets steep near the top. I went the day after a major rainstorm so it was quite muddy but that was unavoidable. It's a nice hike and a decent work out. I would recommend it to anyone that's looking for a nice walk through the woods with some harder parts mixed in. There is a false summit that has a nice view.

McKenzie and Haystack share the same trail head from Route 86 Ray Brook parking area until you reach the marked split in the trail - left Haystack - right McKenzie. Haystack was my 2nd mtn in Day 1 of my Saranac Lake 6er challenge. The trail to the summit of Haystack was fairly easy, muddy and rocky along a eroded trail until you reach the dam. Once over the dam the trail begins it's steep and steady climb to the summit. The views from the summit is only 180, but still nice as you look southward towards the High Peaks. Of the 6 Saranac Lake 6er mountains IMO I would rate this climb (last mile to the summit) as the 3rd toughest McKenzie and Ampersand being 1 and 2 followed by Haystack, Scarface, St Regis and Baker.

hiking
10 months ago

Scarface Mtn was my 3rd Mtn of the Saranac Lake 6ers on Day 2. Signed in at the trail head at 9:45 a.m. and reached the summit at 11:45 a.m. at a moderate pace. Pleasant start thru the pine forest with gentle rolling hills. Be on the lookout for an occasional train when approaching the railroad tracks. Right before the bridge over Ray Brook is the Capt. John Paul McKay memorial bench on the left. As you continue you'll come upon the remnants of an old foundation just before the split in the trail - go left. From the split your journey gets gradually steeper, but nothing like Ampersand or McKenzie Mtns. As you ascend you'll reach the only landing with a view before continuing along a narrow heavily wooded path to the true summit (marker on tree) within a gathering of pines. I walked right by the summit marker for about 20 yards before I realized I passed it. Three down - three to go to complete the Saranac Lake 6ers.

hiking
10 months ago

The first portion is very easy with some terrific views. The very last portion before reaching the summit is quite steep but doable. The view at the top is pretty nice but the views on the way up sort or overshadow it. It was a nice, fairly challenging hike and it's part of the Saranac 6 challenge that I'm doing.

First two miles are pretty easy, though I felt like we went down just as much as went up. Once you hit the last mile or so, you start to go up. It gets pretty steep, and it doesn't seem like it's going to end! Hike wasn't bad though, took myself and my dad about 2.5 hours to the top, 5 hours total round trip after sitting at the top for a bit and taking our time on the way down. There is not a bald summit, there is a rock ledge where we had lunch and you do get a great view, but of only one side of the mountain.

Great trail as rocks are not to tough on feet/ankles. Took about 4.5 hours with nice lunch break at top. Hardly any mud at all today as it hasn't been raining. Really enjoyed the hike as it was just what I was looking for exercise wise.

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