Lake George

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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hayes Mountain - Hoffman Notch Wilderness - 8/31/13

Labor Day weekend started out with a rainy Saturday, but I decided to head out for a hike anyways.  My destination was Hayes Mountain in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area in Schroon Lake, NY. 
The mountain lies just southwest of Loch Muller and the trailhead located there.  I parked and got started at about 12:30 PM.  It wasn't raining at the start, but I knew it would be shortly.  I followed the marked trail to Bayly Pond.  It was an easy 1 mile walk on an old jeep road.
The pond is pretty shallow and is mostly covered in lilypads.  It began to rain as I arrived at the pond. 

Bayly Pond

Rev takes a look
From Bayly Pond I followed an abandoned trail to Marion Pond.  There are no markers, but it is still relatively easy to follow.  The former path heads north for a ways before hooking around and heading south.  The rain began to come down harder.  Downpours alternating with light rain.
I arrived at Marion Pond after an hour and a half to find what appears to be an illegal campsite with some trash strewn about.  At the waters edge were 2 rowboats.  Nearby were a pile of mostly broken oars. 

The illegal campsite at Marion Pond

The pile of oars and other debris

I made may way around Marion Pond and began the climb up Hayes Mountain.  The rain was coming down and I was bushwhacking at this point.  I was totally soaked.  The tree density wasn't too bad and there wasn't much blowdown.  I was able to reach the summit in about 45 minutes from Marion Pond.

Marion Pond and one of the rowboats
Another view

I took a quick look around, but I didn't see any open rock or ledges to provide a view.  Granted I didn't look too hard since I was soaked and it was raining hard.
The summit of Hayes Mountain
The summit of Hays is at about 2800 feet.  Once I was satisfied that I found the true summit, I made my way back using the reverse route.  Another peak climbed, but this one didn't have much to offer.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance: 8.4 miles
Hike Time: 4 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1300' 
My route for the day


  1. There are cliffs on Hayes mountain at
    43.8678, -73.9159

    Though I have never been to them, I'm guessing you could find views there.

    1. Yeah, in planning to hike Hayes, I saw that there were some cliffs to the south of the true summit. The weather was just so crappy and visibility so poor that I didn't do much exploring from the summit once I got there.

  2. Actually, Hayes has a lot to offer if you had planned a better route. Hike to the face of the main cliffs that rock climbers climb in winter, and stand in awe at the base of the cliffs. Then head south along the base of the cliffs until you can scamper up. If you're lucky, you'll hear the cry of a Peregrine falcon and see it dive in front of the cliffs. The scramble up offers awesome views of Cobble Hill to the east, Bailey Pond and the Texas Ridge to the northeast, and the abyss on your right side as you near the cliff tops along your climb up towards the summit. After reaching the summit boulder, head northeast to the streams that run down to Bailey Pond where you can manage to drop down from the cliffs and follow the ridge down to Bailey Pond. It's the only route down unless you take the obvious route to Marion Pond and the trodden and unremarkable herdpath back to Bailey Pond. This route up Hayes has a lot to offer if you do you homework and really are out for adventure.