The tallest mountain in the Lake George area, Black Mountain is a wonderful hike for families if they’re looking for a good medium distance hike to challenge the kids. On the loop, you will pass a picturesque pond and a nearby lean-to that allows for ample nature watching. The view from the top is well worth the trip, as it offers a great view of Lake George and the surrounding lower mountains.
The trail begins in the flatlands and doesn’t gain much elevation early on. The trail is a “lollipop” trail – a loop with a tail at the beginning/end of the hike. As you hike along the early parts of the trail, be sure you’re following the red DEC signs because there are a number of snowmobile trails nearby that stay in the lowlands and will not take you to the summit. After a bit, the trail will come to a Y and you have the option to go left or right first. The trail to the right is slightly steeper and a little more direct, so if you’re looking for a more direct route to the top, take this one up and you will come down on the other trail, which is more gradual and will take you by the pond and lean-to. Regardless of which trail you decide to take up, when you reach the summit you will see a weather station, which utilizes the now-closed fire tower. Despite the fact that you cannot climb up the tower, there are still incredible views from the top.
Coming from Whitehall, take Route 22 north to Clemons. When you reach Clemons, turn left onto Route 6. Follow Route 6 a couple of miles to Pike Brook Rd and take a left on Pike Brook Rd. Follow Pike Brook Rd less than a mile to the trailhead on the right.
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Alyssa Devlin is a freelance writer who grew up hiking and skiing the ‘dacks and is now based in Washington, DC. She spends her days fighting the heat with daydreams of swimming in cool Adirondack lakes. You can find her at alyssadevlin.com.