Quick question about ADK


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Active member
Mar 10, 2010
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Ipswich, Ma.
I'll be staying at Stratton Mtn the 8th to the 10th this month. The plan is to head the the ADK's for some small stuff fairly close to were I'll be in VT. What I'm looking at is stuff around Lake George. Specifically, Sleeping Beauty, Buck Mtn. Black Mtn, Shelving Rock. I plan on doing this. weather permitting, Columbus Day. I guess the main question is will any or all of these in this area be a zoo? Given the fact that they are smaller and the timing? Have never set foot in the ADK's so no idea what to expect.

That area is rightly very popular, and I am sure it will be very busy on a holiday weekend.

Depends on what experience you are looking for. Those trails are some of the most popular destinations in the southeastern ADKs, so if you are looking for solitude, they are probably not a good choice. But the summits are generally spacious, so if you don't mind a crowd, there's plenty of room for everyone.
Solitude is nice but wouldn't expect it there and then. But can I expect it to be Franconia Ridge like on that day? And I probably should have bee more specific. Yes, I was wondering about the volume of people but even more so, the parking situation.
Parking is limited. The Pilot Knob (Lake George) side of Buck has a decent lot, but it fills up fast (also, it's not paved and striped, so if the first few people park poorly, it will not hold as many cars). A lot of folks squeeze in along the roadside nearby, but there are limited safe spots. The parking at the Shelving Rock lots is also limited. I don't know the status today of the road from the Shelving Rock split in to Dacy clearing. If it's driveable (varies from year to year) then there is quite a lot of room at Dacy, specific to Sleeping Beauty. It's been a while since I have been to the Huletts Landing parking for Black, so I cannot remember the situation there.

Good luck. Most of these are day hike destinations, so you will have the best luck early in the morning.
Bump! Since last year was a was out, I'll be giving this a go again this Columbus weekend. Besides the ones mentioned above, I'm also looking at a couple other smaller hikes. Mount Jo, Owls Head, Indian Head. Just as above? Very popular? Limited parking? Get there early?

The situation is different at each of those three.

Owls Head: To clarify, I assume you mean the Owls Head in Cascade Pass. There are at least three other "Owls Heads" in the ADK. For the popular Owls Head in Cascade Pass, that trail is closed on weekends, so you probably will not be able to hike that.

Mount Jo: Yes, crowded, limited parking. The parking limit for Mount Jo is a relatively "hard" limit. The roadside leading to the ADK Club lots is posted "No Parking." So if the lots are full, then you would have to park a fairly long way (couple miles) away.

Indian Head: Also crowded, limited parking, but this is a "soft" limit, at least for now. If the AMR lots are full (and they almost certainly will be), people park along the shoulder of Route 73, sometimes for a long way down the road. So it's a bit longer walk, but at least for now the highway shoulders are not posted "No Parking" so your walk would not be extended as much as it would in the Mount Jo case. (There is talk from DEC in the latest plans about eliminating the roadside parking. If they pursue this, there will be a catastrophe; but it has not happened yet. Just be careful to watch for signs, etc.. DEC plans to "pilot" some of their more idiotic ideas on Columbus Day Weekend.)
Thanks. I think it was the Owls Head with the lookout tower I was looking at but not sure now.
That Owls Head should be fine. It's over by Long Lake, not as heavily traveled. If I recall correctly, a small roadside lot has room for several cars, and there may be some room on the shoulders (very lightly traveled road, not a main highway).
OK. Since you seem to be very knowledgeable about the ADk's, let me pick your brain some more. First, I'm not sure which Owls Head I saw a fall picture from but it was an awesome view. I know you don't know what I saw but does the one with the tower qualify as awesome or might it have been another? Obviously, this is a, subject to opinion, question. We're staying at the southern end of Lake George so reasonably close to all of these. Do you have an opinion of what would be too late to get to any of the above mentioned trail-heads?

Again, thanks for the input. Most hopeful.
You know I can't be sure. The Owls Head in Cascade Pass has great views; the picture will often feature Hurricane or Giant. Sometimes shows flat rocks on top. The Owls Head in Long Lake view will often be a lake view, with Long Lake and Lake Eaton nearby. The Owl Head Lookout between Keene and Elizabethtown view will often include Green, Giant, and Rocky Peak Ridge. There is also an Owls Head in the village of Owls Head, about an hour north of the others, but I don't think it has a trail, and I have not been there.
Joe. if you are going to get to the trailhead early, pre - 8:00, I'd look at some in the northern part of the Central area. Mt Adams is in he High Peaks but accessible from the Tahawus trailhead. (limited parking) Goodenow is a short hike with a fire tower offering great views of the High Peaks. Peaked Mt. is also a nice trip with lake views,

Hurricane is great trip also.

Both Peaked and Adams do have some scrambling, Adams scrambling can be wet too.
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