View Full Version : Hikes in Blue Mt. Lake, Saranac Lake areas

02-28-2004, 08:37 AM
This summer my family has a busy two week camping schedule in the ADKs. First we are at Lake Durrant for 4 nights, then Rollins Pond for 8 nights, and then two nights of island camping on Lower Saranac Lake.

I'm looking for some good hikes to do - my youngest is four years old. So I'd prefer nothing too long (we've done several two mile hikes last summer that were a good length). Does anybody have any suggestions? I heard the hike up Castle Rock is short and easy - but how suitable is it for a four year old? Are there steep bare rocks that need to be climbed? Are there many ledges for the tykes to fall off?

In the Saranac Lake area we've already spent many days at the Paul Smiths VIC (great short hikes for the young ones there). And we also discovered that great beach on Middle Saranac Lake. But we are looking for some new hikes in the area, preferably with a view or something else noteworthy at the destination (this helps keep the kids focused). One that was suggested is a cross country ski trail that leads to the shores of Moose Pond. Is anybody familiar about the end point of this trail - can you get right up to the pond? Is there swimming there suitable for young ones?

I welcome any other hike suggestions. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!!

02-28-2004, 09:16 AM
My guide for that region is in NY and I am in MA at the moment so I will post a bigger list of suggestions on Monday but if I remember correctly, Goodnow Mountain is near Indian Lake and that is a short, easy grades (most of the way) hike, with a firetower and GREAT views. The day I was there, there were a whole group of small kids that came up about 30 minutes after me. I will give you a bigger list in a few days. Sounds like a blast, have fun!


02-28-2004, 09:39 AM
Blue Mt itself is a fairly short - not too steep hike. It is 4.1 mi round trip and 1569 elevation gain. The summit is 3759 ft and there is a fire tower. I've only done it on snowshoes and it's been a long time since I've hiked with a 4 year old but I think it is appropriate.
Black Bear Mt is 4.4 mi, but only542 ft gain if you are looking for less climbing.

A great hike further south ( about 30 min from Blue Mt) is Crane Mt. There is a large pond just below the summit suitable for swimming or even fishing. It is a 7.4 mi round trip and climbs 1154 feet, most of it in a single steep pitch. The summit is 3254 ft.

02-28-2004, 08:09 PM
I did Blue Mountain last summer. Go after early July, too many black flies on the peak for my taste...

As for the hike, it actually works you some (I was 'training' with a full pack for my gothics/armstrong/u+l wolfjaw hike a few weeks later)... so it was a little harder on me then it normally would be...

Has some VERY nice views along the way, and the 360 from the steps of the firetower is awesome (http://www.the-boogiemen.com/hiking/#BlueMntn). Looking back on last year's hiking, it ranks as one of my favorite hikes.

There's a lot to do in and around the Blue Mountain lake area, so planning to stay in the area for a few days is a good idea. You won't be bored!

baileys dad
02-29-2004, 07:39 AM
"castle rock" is a small(600 feet) mtn with a great view. as you are going up the hill towards the museum, you take a left on a road that is named after a tree. I believe it is maple or something. there is another small mtn with a good view as you go towards indian lake. "sawyer" mtn parking is on the right side a feww miles from blue mtn lake. also "chimney" mtn is near indian lake. It is about 900 feet climb with a great view. I do it evry year. as you go down route 30 south, it is the left turn as you start going up hill. If you go to the top of the hil there is a nice scenic out look. go down the road about 10 miles. it turns into a dirt road, but dont worry it is a very goo road.

02-29-2004, 06:36 PM
There's the Cascade Pond Trail ... about 3.5 miles round trip ... nice pond with a lean to ... also Wilson Pond , also around 3.5 miles RT with a great pond for swimming, sunning, and relaxing (also a LT there but it sits back from the water a bit ... at Indian Lake try the John Pond trail, about 4 miles RT but pretty easy going along an old woods road ... check out the small cemetary along the way ... this trail also ends at a pond with a LT ... you can also bushwack up the hill to the rocks at the top & there are good views of the high peaks, etc., to the north ... all of these trails are in the ADK Trail guide - Central (worth picking up a copy).

have fun!

03-03-2004, 08:57 AM
Castle Rock is an excellent chioce. There is a ledge on the summit if I recall, and a small rocky section before the top. But I don't think that they should be a negative factor. Around Saranac Lake there is Panther Mountain 1.8 mile round trip. From the Ampersnd parking area, instead of crossing the road to climb the mountain, go behind the lot and this trail leads to Saranac Lake. It's less than a mile in and theres a small beach, great little hike. There are many hikes in the area for short walks into ponds, unfortunatly the mountains are a little longer. If your going to be in the Saranac Lake area, you should venture over to the ADK Loj. from there you can climb Mount Jo. a great kids hikes. Just over 2 miles round trip from the lot. I took my son up it when he was 5, in winter, he loved it. Also in Lake Placid is Cobble Hill.

Oh, one more in Saranac Lake is Mount Baker a little longer, but not to hard.

If you have any questions on the areas smaller peaks, please let me know. I have obviously only touched the surface.

03-03-2004, 01:23 PM
Two kid-friendly hikes within an easy drive of Rollins Pond are Ampersand Mtn. and Mount Arab (the latter has a fire tower). We took young nieces and nephews up both and they did just fine.

03-03-2004, 09:52 PM
There's always St. Regis mountain. Fairly easy 2.5 mile hike with GREAT views of the St. Regis canoe area.

03-04-2004, 04:38 PM
You might want to try the hike to Watch hill and then down to Indian Lake while your at Lake Durant. It's a nice short hike with a cool reward at the end. The trailhead is off of rte 30 on the east side south of the Snowy Mt trail head. I could probably get you a map if you want ....send me an e-mail. I did this hike with a church group a couple of summers ago and it was a blast and we had plenty of youngsters.

Someone else mentioned Ampersand, that's also a great hike with awesome views but I don't know how a 4 year old would handle it. I would rank Blue Mt eevn hardere and Snowy Mt even harder than that. Both great hikes though.