Adirondacks State Park

Hiking around Blue Mountain Lake
Lewis County, the Adirondacks.
Lewis County, the Adirondacks. (courtesy, Adirondacks Regional Tourism Council)

Blue Mountain, rising directly from the eastern shore of Blue Mountain Lake dominates the area with an elevation of 3,759 feet above sea level. The Blue Mountain Lake Region, centrally located within the Adirondack Park, encompasses portions of the Towns of Indian Lake, Long Lake, and Arietta in northern Hamilton County.

The Northville-Lake Placid Trail traverses the region from the Cedar River Road at McCane's Resort, leaving the area approximately 20 miles later crossing Route 28N, east of Long Lake, then proceeding on to Lake Placid. Blue Mountain Lake, a headwater of the Raquette River provides access to a long chain of lakes and waterways that extend northward for over 80 miles. Blue Mt. Lake, Eagle Lake, and Utowana Lake once known as the "Eckford Chain" drain westerly down the Marion River into Raquette Lake.

The region has an abundance of ponds, some of which provide excellent trout fishing, especially during the early spring. There's also some great paddling in the Blue Mountain region.

The Department of Environmental Conservation maintains over 45 miles of trails and 11 lean-tos in the immediate area. Public Campgrounds located at Lake Durant and Lake Eaton provide tent or trailer camping, picnic areas, and modern sanitary facilities and showers. A primitive campground at Forked Lake consists of minimal facilities with practically all of the campsites reachable only by hiking trail or by boat. Forest Rangers are stationed at Lake Durant, Raquette Lake, and Long Lake.

Adirondack Canoe Route
Many canoeists start at Blue Mt. Lake, passing westerly through Eagle to Utowana Lake. A lean-to is located on the northwest shore of Utowana Lake. A .4 of a mile carry below the dam bypasses rapids on the Marion River before continuing to Raquette Lake.

Here the canoeist can proceed southwesterly through the Fulton Chain of Lakes or northeasterly through Raquette, Forked, Long Lake and north.

Blue Mountain Wild Forest

This area consists of the state lands to the northeast of Route 28/30. The terrain varies from gentle around the easily accessible Rock Lake to extremely steep and rugged in the remote Fishing Brook Range. Interior facilities include:

Northville-Lake Placid Trail (blue) - 14.65 miles
This trail continues northward from the parking areas on Route 28/30 over both state and private lands to the Route 28N parking lot. Lean-tos can be found near the western shoreline of Tirrell Pond. The Tirrell Pond Trail intersects the Northville-Lake Placid Trail 0.3 of a mile from the northern lean-to on Tirrell Pond.

Tirrell Pond Trail (red) - 3.3 miles
This trail heads north from, the combined Blue Mt./Tirrell Pond parking lot mostly on private roads, gradually turning east skirting the north slope of Blue Mt. and intersecting the Northville-Lake Placid Trail just north of Tirrell Pond.

Blue Mountain Trail (red) - 2.2 miles
A large parking area for the Blue Mt. Trail and the Tirrell Pond Trail is located on the east side of Route 30/28N one tenth of a mile north of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mt. Lake. The trail to the summit of Blue Mt. heads east from the trailhead starting along a woods road on Finch, Pruyn Company Inc. lands. The trail climbs 1,550 ft. in elevation with moderate to steep grades, ending at the fire tower. Good views are possible from the flat-topped summit.

Rock Lake Trail (red and snowmobile) - 0.7 miles
A parking area on Route 28/30 at a point 1.6 miles northwest of the Sawyer Mt. trailhead provides the easiest access to Rock Lake. The trail heads northeast from the road and intersects the Indian Lake-Lake Durant Snowmobile Trail just before reaching a wet brushy area. From this junction the snowmobile trail heads northwest to Lake Durant. The hiking trail turns right crossing a snowmobile bridge over Johnny Mack Brook and turning northeasterly to end at the lakeshore. The snowmobile trail continues southeasterly along Rock Lake to the Rock River Trail.

Rock River Trail (red and snowmobile)-3 miles
The parking area for this trail is located 0.2 of a mile west of the Sawyer Mt. trailhead. This trail passes near the east shore of Rock Lake and ends at the Rock River.

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

This area to the north of Route 28 and west of Route 30 has long been popular with sportsmen and other recreationists.

Upper Sargent Pond/Castle Rock Trails (red) - 4.3 miles
Trail access to eastern side of Upper Sargent Pond from the Blue Mt. Lake Area begins 1.35 miles west of Route 30 on private land at the end of Maple Lodge Road. The trail passes generally north of Chubb Pond and proceeds westerly to the shoreline of Upper Sargent Pond.

A .5 mile yellow marked spur trail on the left begins 1.5 miles after leaving the road. This trail leads to the summit of Castle Rock, which provides a scenic overlook of the Blue Mt. Lake Area.

Lower Sargent Pond/Tioga Point Trails (red and snowmobile)
Two marked trails start west of Deerland on the North Point Road and provide access to the Sargent Ponds area from the north. The easiest route to Upper Sargent Ponds begins 6.3 miles west of Route 30. From the trailhead proceed south for 1.2 miles to a trail junction. Turn left and continue south .1 of a mile to reach the pond. A trail continues westerly from the trail junction and intersects the Lower Sargent Pond Trail in 1.5 miles. Access to Lower Sargents Pond begins 1.5 miles to the west of the first roadside trailhead. From the North Point Rd. the trail proceeds south past the western shore of Grass Pond to intersect the hail to Upper Sargents Pond in 2.0 miles.

The Lower Pond Trail continues westerly crossing the outlet of Upper Sargent Pond. A short distance (.1 of a mile) from this stream crossing a fish barrier dam can be seen on the outlet of Lower Sargent Pond. This location is also a trail intersection for both the Tioga Pt. Trail and the spur trail to Lower Sargent Pond. A yellow marked side trail proceeds east .4 of a mile from the barrier dam to a lean-to on the northern shore of this waterbody. The snowmobile trail continues westerly from the trail junction crossing the outlet on Lower Sargent Pond and ends at Tioga Point on Raquette Lake in 3.5 miles.

Owls Head Mt. Trail (red and snowmobile) - 3.1 miles
This trail begins 1.6 miles from Route 30 near the terminus of the Endion Road. The hiking and snowmobile hails parallel and join each other with a trail junction reached 1.2 miles from the road. A snowmobile hail heads northerly toward Lake Eaton and reaches the public campground in 3.5 miles. The red marked hiking trail proceeds westerly climbing steeply to a panoramic mountain summit. Total ascent from the trailhead is 1060 feet.

Buttermilk Falls
A short unmarked path to this popular waterfall begins on the North Point Road 2.1 miles southeast of Route 30.

Blue Ridge Wilderness

This area consists of the state lands south of Route 28 and 28/30 and north of the Cedar River Road. The topography is dominated by Blue Ridge, a height of land ranging from 2,700 to 3,497 feet in elevation that runs in a east-west direction for a distance of more than six miles.

Northville-Lake Placid Trail (blue) - 5.3 miles
From McCane's, a section of this trail follows a northerly course past Stephens Pond lean-to and Cascade Pond Trail junction to Lake Durant Campground and Route 28/30; near the Forest Ranger Headquarters.

Cascade Pond Trail (red)-3.6 miles
The trail begins along a narrow dirt road next to a small cemetery on Durant Road at the southern edge of the Hamlet of Blue Mt. Lake. The hail turns sharp right leaving the road 0.1 of a mile from the trailhead and at 0.75 of a mile crosses Rock Pond Outlet over a long boardwalk. Cascade Pond lean-to is reached in 2.8 miles. The hail continues southeast for .8 of a mile to intersect the Northville-Lake Placid Trail north of Stephens Pond.

Wilson Pond Trail (red)-2.9 miles
This trail begins on private land at a parking area located on the south side of Route 28 near Eagle Lake. The trail passes Grassy Pond and crosses the in let to Rock Pond before ending on the north shore of Wilson Pond where a lean-to is located.

Sawyer Mt. Trail (yellow) - 1.1 miles
This trail provides an easy climb (ascent of 630 feet) to a mountain summit. Just beyond the wooded summit is a rock ledge with a scenic overlook.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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