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in the Adirondacks
The main feature in the 23,116 acre Giant Mountain Wilderness is the twelfth highest peak in the state, Giant Mountain. The mountain stands at 4627 feet and is the most popular hiking destination in the wilderness. The wilderness is bounded by NY 73 to the south and west, US 9 to the east and NY 9N to the north. There are over 24 miles of marked hiking trails in the wilderness as well as over four miles of trails that travel across private property that lead into the wilderness.
The wilderness is home to some unique vegetation including rocky summit grassland located along Rocky Peak Ridge as well as old growth hemlocks located about a half a mile from Roaring Brook Falls. This stand of old growth hemlocks is reportedly one of the oldest stands of eastern hemlock in the Adirondacks, with some trees dating back to 1599.
The most popular hiking trail to Giant Mountain is the Ridge Trail from NY 73, which offers some side visits including the Nubble and Giant Washbowl. Some people take the Roaring Brook Trail from NY 73, a longer route to the summit with a side trip to the scenic Roaring Brook Falls. The falls can be seen from NY 73. NY 73 can be very busy during the summer weekends and holidays with popular high peak trailheads located along the highway.
Very few people take advantage of the US trailhead for the Rocky Peak Ridge Trail. It is a long eight mile hike (one way) to Giant Mountain. Most people just hike to Bald Peak, a shorter 3.9 mile (one way) hike with a view of Rocky Peak Ridge and Giant Mountain. Even fewer people attempt hiking to Giant Mountain from the NY 9N trailhead. This 7.9 mile (one way) route passes by Owl Head Lookout and the Giant Mountain Lean To located in a col between Giant & Green Mountain. Other popular overnight destinations in the wilderness include campsites near Roaring Brook Falls and campsites near Giant Washbowl.
Another very popular hike in this wilderness is the hike to Hopkins Mountain. There is a bushwhack to Iron Mountain that is somewhat popular. From US 9 there is a pull out and a herd path that leads to Iron Mountain. The DEC has proposed building a trail in the future from NY 9N to Knob Luck Mountain.
Below is a list of destinations, a few pictures and a couple of maps of the Giant Mountain Wilderness.
Destinations in Giant Mountain Wilderness
Giant Mountain Rocky Peak Ridge Owl Head Lookout Hopkins Mountain Iron Mountain Bald Peak Giant Washbowl The Dipper The Nubble Roaring Brook Falls Mossy Cascade Knob Lock Mountain
Trailhead off US 9
Giant Washbowl (picture courtesy of Andy Arthur)
Sign off NY 73 (picture courtesy of Andy Arthur)
Above Map courtesy of AndyArthur.org
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