Kane Mountain Firetower

I recently hiked Kane Mountain in Fulton County, about an hour and 15 minutes outside of Albany. It’s a nice little hike if you are looking to get outside and hit the trails. It has a decent view for minimal effort!

Jenna, Steve and I opted for the shortest route up and then took the longer trail back to make a nice loop.

There is a nice view from the top of the fire tower. I’d love to come up here for a sunset hike sometime. There is no real view from the summit unless you climb the tower.

There is a little cabin at the top that has been boarded up, but it seems people still go inside (and leave their trash behind!–which is sad).

Near the trail head there is a little pond and a creek.

Kane Mountain Fire Tower
Total Distance: 1.8 mi loop
Elevation: 2180′
Ascent: 600′

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The trailhead is on the left.

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Winter Hike: Cat and Thomas Mountain Preserve

If you are looking for a nice hike not too far from the Albany area, check out Cat and Thomas Mountains in Bolton Landing, near Lake George. It’s about an hour from Albany and the hike itself is pretty easy!

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The trail follows an old road for a while, and eventually re-routes into the woods for a little bit. It is a gentle incline. There wasn’t much snow on the ground, but the trail was covered in ice! Thank goodness for microspikes!

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We took the yellow trail to the summit of Cat Mountain first.

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The summit is expansive and has great views of Lake George! We ate a snack and then headed back down and followed the blue trail to Thomas Mountain.

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There is a cabin situated near Thomas’ summit, with a loft and couch inside! Apparently it is first-come-first-serve if you want to stay here over night. It has an amazing view of Lake George.

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{thanks to Greg for these photos from his GoPro!}

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We decided not to go over to Thomas, but to instead head back down to the car and check out the Outdoor Sports and Fitness Expo in Saratoga, followed by dinner at Druthers.

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Cat Mountain Loop
Distance: 8.04 mi
Total elapsed time, including stops: 4 hours, 34 minutes

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Gear used: Katoohla microspikes, tasc performance district pants, tasc performance northstar fleece, osprey sirrus daypack, EMS freescape jacket, vasque snowblime winter hiking boots

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Winter Hike to Rooster Comb Mountain

My first hike of 2016 is in the books. On Wednesday, Jordan and I drove up to Keene Valley to hike Rooster Comb, a small mountain right off of Route 73. We were unsure of the conditions up there, so we brought along microspikes and snowshoes just in case. There was snow on the ground, but the trail was hard packed, so microspikes worked just fine.

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The weather was perfect for hiking. Cold but not too cold and not much wind. The trail starts off pretty flat. It passes to the left of a pond, and then you see a bridge on the right. The trail to Rooster Comb continues left. Eventually you come to a junction.

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After a few miles of gradual climbing, there is a sign pointing to an overlook ledge.

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IMG_0688It was such a clear day! After stopping here briefly, we backtracked back to the main trail, and continued .3 miles to the summit of Rooster Comb. It got steep for about 200 feet. There are some great views of the snow-capped Giant on this trail.

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Finally, the summit!

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Sunday actually marks the one year anniversary our first date! <3 We had a great time hiking Rooster Comb. It was great hike, I’d highly recommend it if you are looking for a shorter hike with great views. It can easily be combined with Snow Mountain for a longer loop.

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After the hike, we stopped at one of my favorite spots in the high peaks, the ADK Cafe for a delicious late lunch. Yum.

Rooster Comb Mountain
Distance 5.2 mi RT
Elevation 2,762′
Ascent 1,816′
Time 3 hours, 48 minutes including stops

Gear used Osprey Sirrus daypack, Kelty trekking poles, Katoola microspikes, EMS hiking pants, Terramar fleece baselayer tights, EMS Freescape 3 in 1 jacket, Nike baselayer thermal top, Vasque Snowblime hiking boots

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Street and Nye Mountains

Happy (belated) fourth of July! Did anyone get out and go hiking? I did! I got a group of my awesome hiking friends together and went up to the Lake Placid area to hike two more high peaks, Street and Nye Mountains. It was a later start for me, meeting at Exit 9 Park & Ride at 7:30AM. We got up to the Adirondack Loj trail parking area at around 10:00AM.

The trail for Street and Nye is unmarked, meaning there are no trail marker disks anywhere to be found on the trail, however, there are rock cairns at certain points to  let hikers know they are on the right trail. I started my GPS watch at trail register for Street and Nye at 10:15AM.  There was one serious water crossing about a mile into the hike. We had to cross the Indian Pass Brook, which is normally no big deal. After reading some trip reports on facebook, I knew it was a bit higher due to recent rain so it had me a bit worried. Thankfully it was passable. We got there at 10:50am.

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The trail follows Indian Pass Brook for a while, it was very wet and muddy. Finally we got some views once we were up higher. Turns out this was the best view of the hike and we hadn’t even reached the junction yet.

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There were lots of fallen trees to cross over.

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We got to the junction at 1:05pm.

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Arrival at Street Summit: 1:41pm. The summit was wooded and there was one small lookout area to the left.

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We didn’t stay long. Headed back down to the junction…round trip to Street and back took about an hour.

The walk to Nye was much quicker, got to the Nye Summit at 2:30pm.

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19/46 for me, and 15/46 for Brendan. The summit for Nye was completely wooded, no views at all.

We stayed up there for maybe 5 minutes, but with nothing to see we headed back down. It was a wet, sloppy slog down.

We got to the brook at 4:37pm, thankful for a refreshing crossing! I brought my Keen sandals for the crossing–they made it a lot easier.

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Finally saw Heart Lake at 5:20pm, which meant we were almost to the car. Heart Lake is one of my favorite ADK spots, I would love to spend more time here.

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Street and Nye Mountains
Distance: 8.4 mi RT from trail register
Street Elevation: 4,016′
Nye Elevation: 3,895′
Total Elevation Gain: 2,356
Hike Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Gear used: Kelty trekking poles, Osprey Sirrus day pack, Reebok shorts, Noname Rackerback tank, Keen Durand Hiking Boots, Keen Sandals for water crossing, Smartwool socks, Garmin Vivoactive GPS watch

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Adirondack Hiking Recommendations for Beginners

So you want to start hiking? Well, this post is for you. I got into hiking a few years ago (Back in 2008 I hiked my first Adirondack mountain, Sleeping Beauty, located outside of Lake George and I loved it.)

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The only things you really need to get started are a good day pack, a water bottle, snacks, and a good pair of hiking boots are you are all set!

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Here are some easy hikes to start out with, all have great views !

Hadley Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,600 ft
Hike time: 2.5 hours
Location: Hadley, NY outside of Lake George (Lat:43.374 Lon:-73.95)

Sleeping Beauty Mountain

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Distance: 7.0 miles round trip (includes an easy road walk to the trailhead)
Elevation Gain: 1,038 ft
Hike time: half a day
Location: Sly Pond Road to Hogtown off of Buttermilk Falls Road off of NY 149 east of Lake George Village (Lat:43.531 Lon:-73.566)

Owl’s Head Mountain

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Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 737 ft
Hike time: 1.5 hours
Location: Owls Head Lane, off of Route 73 outside of Lake Placid in Keene. (Lat:44 14.863 Lon:73 49.837)

Goodnow Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 3.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,040 ft
Hike time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Location:  Trailhead parking lot is off of route 28N a couple of miles west of Newcomb, NY. (Lat: 43.96018°N Lon: 74.20994°W)

Mt. Jo

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Distance: 2.0 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Hike time: 1-3 hours
Location: Heart Lake Adirondack Loj Trailhead: from Exit 30 take Route 73 towards Lake Placid for 26.5 miles. Take a left onto Adirondack Loj Road and continue 5 miles to the Loj and the parking area.  (Lat: 44.18940°N Lon: 73.9673°W)

Moderate Hikes
These are a little bit more challenging and require a half day of hiking. These are some of my all time favorite hikes!

Blue Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft
Hike time: 4 hours
Location: State Rt. 30 and State Rt. 28, near Blue Mountain Lake in Hamilton County, near the Adirondack Museum. (Lat: 43.8758095119, Lon: -74.4010268039)

Crane Mountain

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Distance: ~6 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft
Hike time: 4-5 hours
Location: Loop trail beginning at the trailhead at Ski Hi Road, Johnsburg, NY. (Lat: 43.54515°N Lon: 73.96237°W)

Noonmark Mountain

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Distance: 5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,175 ft
Hike time:  half day
Location: St. Huberts Trailhead. The parking area is just off of Rte 73 just 7.5 miles west from exit 30 off of I-87. (Lat: 44.12890°N Lon: 73.7725°W)

Hurricane Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 6 mi round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,000 ft
Hike time:  half day
Location: Route 9N, Keene, NY  (Lat: 44.23530°N Lon: 73.7111°W)

Cascade Mountain
Want to get started in the high peaks? Cascade is the easiest of the 46 and its where most 46ers get their start.

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Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,940 ft
Hike time: half day
Location: Trail is on Route 73 about 6.8mi west of Keen and 4.5mi east of Adirondack Loj Road (Lat: 44.21860°N Lon: 73.8606°W)

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