Lake George

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rattlesnake Mountain - Willsboro, NY - 12/21/14

This nice little hike is a gem.  Rattlesnake mountain lies just west of Willsboro Bay, Lake Champlain and offers fantastic views of the bay and the lake.  On this day of poor visibility, we couldn't see beyond the bay, but if was enough.
 
The trailhead is easy to miss, but it is located on the east side of Route 22, just south of Long Pond.   There is a small parking area, and the sign below is located there.
  
 
 
 
This trail is located on private property, but the property owner has graciously allowed hikers and hunters to use the property.  The trail is shown on the latest version of the Lake Placid National Geographic topographic map.
 
The trail follows an old jeep road for one mile, and climbs 300' before turning left and leaving the jeep road to reach the summit ridge.  The jeep portion would be a great spot to XC ski. 
 


The final portion of the jeep road before a trail bears left to the summit
 
 
Thank you Highland Forests!
 
Once on the upper foot trail, there are large boulders interspersed with red pines and the area is very attractive.  The final .3 miles is relatively steep but not severe.  Families with younger children might want to consider this hike.
   

 
 
At the top is the payoff of a fine view on a clear day.  We could only see as far as Willsboro Bay. 
The summit was very pretty in the snow and the frosty trees.  Even on this cloudy day, it felt like a magical place to be.  
 


Rev near the summit
 

 
  
 

Willsboro Bay down below
 
From the overlook, I backpedaled a few hundred yards to reach the true summit of the mountain.  The whole summit is open hardwoods and would also be nice for XC skiing.  The only hard part is the last push from the jeep road to the top.
   

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 
It was an easy return hike to the car from the summit.  I don't know if this mountain gets much traffic, but it is well worth a look.
 
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance: 2.75 miles
Hike Time:  1.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~700'
 
 

The route (click image to enlarge)
 
The route on the National Geographic topo

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