Less popular than the other 6ers, Scarface is a quiet hike that is nice to explore on days when you’re looking for some solitude. The view may not be quite as stunning as from some of the others, but there are still a handful of nice viewpoints close to the top, and the trail through a slightly wetland habitat provides unique scenery in the earlier parts of the hike.
The trail to Scarface is fairly flat at the beginning, crossing over the railroad tracks and across a good-sized bridge at half a mile. After another quarter of a mile the trail begins to ascend and enters a clearing with a large rock in the center at 1.5 miles where it joins in with an old road for .2 miles before veering left away from the road and going along mostly flat for another half mile. After crossing a brook, the trail gets steeper, rolling along in varying degrees of steepness to the top at 3.4 miles. On the way up there’s one ledge with a good view of the Saranac Lakes, and at the end of the trail there is a 180-degree vista from Ampersand and its nearby lakes in the west to the Seward and Sawtooth ranges in the southeast.
Coming from Saranac Lake, you will follow route 86 into Ray Brook, turning right onto Old Raybrook Rd, across the street from the state police department. Parking for the hiking trail will be on your left just after you’ve turned down Old Raybrook Rd. Coming from Lake Placid, you will follow 86 into Ray Brook, turning left onto Old Raybrook Rd across the street from the state police department. Parking for the hiking trail will be on your left just after you’ve turned down Old Raybrook Rd.
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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.