Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

St. Regis Mountain - 7/17/11

After having stayed the night before in a leanto near Paul Smiths, it was time to climb St. Regis Mountain.  Trailhead parking is on Keese Mills Road, 3 or 4 miles west of Paul Smiths. 

St. Regis Mountain - Trailhead Parking

The weather promised another sunny day with a little more humidity, but there was a good breeze. Leesa and I started towards the summit around 9 AM.

Elevation at Trailhead:  1614'
Evevation at Summit:  2874'
Total Gain:  1260'
Distance One Way:  3.3 miles
Total Distance:  6.6 miles
Approximate Total Hiking Time:  3 hours

Our route is highlighted in blue

The trip to the summit was uneventful.    After climbing a small rise near the trailhead, the trail drops approximately 250 feet before a steady climb to the summit.  This day was quite windy and the breeze at the summit felt great.

We were somewhat disappointed to find the the summit fire tower is no longer open to the public.  The bottom two flights of stairs have been removed.  We did not know this in advance, and were looking forward to climbing the tower (at least I was)! 

St. Regis Mountain firetower
 You did not need to be in the tower to have a great view, but it would have been nice.

From L-R, Lower St. Regis lake, Spitfire Lake and Upper St. Regis Lake
We stayed on the summit for about half an hour, and then returned to the car by the same route.  It was a hot day, so an ice cream stop was quite nice on the way out.  We like to stop at small unusual places such as this (Donnelly's on Rt 86 between Paul Smiths and Saranac Lake).  Their sign inside said they serve twist and only twist, so that is what we got.

All in all, this hike was not so strenous as some, and the views are great, but we suspect the firetower will not be reopening for public use.  We don't know the future status of the structure.  Perhaps it is scheduled to be dismantled.  It's sad to see so many disappearing.

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