Here are four mountain hikes that have great views without having to trek all the way to the summit. One is a family favorite in the west-central region of the Adirondack Park and three are in the Adirondack’s high peaks region. Trail guides are recommended and maps are a must when embarking on any hikes or paddles in the wilderness.
Bald (Rondaxe) Mountain
We’ve mentioned this mountain before and probably will again because it is a popular family hike and for so many reasons. While it is only a 1-mile climb to the summit, there are several great lookout points with wonderful views of the Fulton Chain of Lakes along the way.
The trailhead can be found along the Rondaxe Road which is off Route 28 between Old Forge and Eagle Bay, New York. The parking lot is less than a ¼ mile on the left-hand side of Rondaxe Road.
The Brothers are a series of three ledges on the shoulder of Big Slide Mountain. The summit of Big Slide is a 4-miles trek one way. But it is only a 1.5-mile hike to the First Brother and an additional quarter mile to the Second Brother. From this vantage point you will have a spectacular view of the Great Range.
The overlook is impressive enough that an image from the First Brother by master photographer Mark Bowie graced the cover of the 13th Edition of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s trail guide to the High Peaks Region. Having been there in the spring, it is my hope to return for that view again in the autumn.
You will want to take the trail toward Big Slide Mountain from the Garden Parking area in Keene Valley, New York.
If you want the sensation of being on top of the world, try this approximate 1.4-mile hike up Pitchoff to what is known as the Balanced Rocks. The approach from this shortest of two possible trails (the West Trail) up the mountain may soon be changed as the parking area along Route 73 between Lake Placid and Keene, is often overcrowded, especially on weekends.
As of this writing there is a public hearing on the matter planned in late May. If the parking area is changed it would add mileage to this destination. There is not much to see from the actual summit of Pitchoff, but for those who may be attempting to hike the 100 Highest mountains in the Adirondacks, this is number 80 in elevation on that list.
When I first hiked Jay Mountain it was difficult to locate road-side what was an unmarked herd path leading to the top of the ridge. The DEC (Department Environmental Conservation) has since cut a new trail and it is a 2.5-mile hike up to the ridge. From there it is up to you how far you want to go.
There are several false summits along the ridge line with wide-open 360-degree views on both sides. Once up to elevation you may be lured into making the other 1.5 miles hike to the summit proper.
You will be exposed the entire time while traversing the ridge. Add sunscreen to your normal supplies and be sure to remain hydrated. The Jay Mountain trailhead is located at the intersection of the Jay Mountain and Upland Meadows Roads in the Town of Jay, NY.
Question: What is the most spectacular view you have ever seen in the wilderness?
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