This is perhaps one of the few areas where you can bag 6 or more names hills in a half day hike. I started at the trailhead near the hamlet of Adirondack on the east shore of Schroon Lake. My primary goal was No. 8 Hill, but I wanted to grab the other hills along the way (Pine Hill, Orange Hill, Franks Hill, No. 6 Hill and No. 7 Hill).
It was -20 degrees when I woke up, with a -30 degree windchill, so I waited at home until noon when it warmed up to 0 degrees with a -10 degree windchill. I signed in at the trail register and immediately left the the Sucker Brook Horse Trail in favor of a bushwhack to Pine Hill. I had a small puffy coat under my shell, but I shed that after 10 minutes. I just don't get cold while I'm climbing (as long as I'm sheltered from the wind).
|Sign at the parking area.|
|On the way up Pine Hill|
|Looking back at Schroon Lake|
These hills are mostly hardwoods and they are pleasant to hike when the leaves are down. You get a much better view of your surroundings.
Rev found a spine, probably from a deer and later found a deer leg (which she proudly carried around with her)!
Although it was cold, I was moving fast and actually had to occasionally take off my hat and mitts. The strong sunshine and blue skies were a nice perk.
|Rev... near the top of Franks Hill|
This hike was nice because the snow conditions were perfect and the rolling terrain was easy to negotiate. Most of the trees were on the small side. I don't know if this area was ever logged, but there was evidence that parts of it had been farmed. I saw rock piles in the middle of nowhere and stone walls and a foundation hole along the Sucker Brook Trail.
After I summited Pine, Orange, Franks, No. 6 & No. 7, I wasn't sure I would have time for No. 8, but I headed in that direction.
|The summit of No. 8 hill.|
Unfortunately with the cold and the lateness of the day, I couldn't linger. I did snap a bunch of pictures though (see below). This is a peak I'll come back to. This peak reminded me of another great peak in the area that is similar - Stevens Mountain.
|Pharaoh Mountain to the north.|
|Looking SW, Schroon Lake in the distance|
|Looking NW to the high peaks|
|Rev looking eastward from No. 8 Hill.|
Leaving No 8 Hill at 3:30, I had to chose the fastest way back to the car. I retraced my steps down the west face of No. 8, then continued downhill to the Sucker Brook Horse Trail. From there it was a 3.5 mile trail walk back to the car.
|The new style horse trail discs|
|... and the old|
|old stone walls along the Sucker Brook Trail.|
|An old foundation hole along the Sucker Brook Trail.|
All these hill are worth exploring, but make it a point to visit No. 8 Hill. It is a special place. I ran out of time and wasn't able to visit "The Dam Hill", but I'll visit that one too; perhaps when I go back to No. 8.
Hike Distance: 9.5 miles
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The route on the Nat Geo map|