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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Located just outside Lake Placid/Ray Brook/Saranac Lake area is the rugged 37,616 acre McKenzie Mountain Wilderness from which McKenzie and Moose Mountain form the backbone of the area plus feature some of the best mountain views in the northern Adirondacks. There are thirty-three miles of marked hiking trails that travel through this rugged terrain.
The most popular hike in the wilderness is the short but steep 0.9 mile trail to Baker Mountain. Many folks visiting Saranac Lake hike this local favorite that offers a great return on a tiny investment. You can do the round trip in under an hour, however don't expect to be alone on the summit. If your looking to get away from the crowds of Saranac Lake/Lake Placid/High Peaks area then try the rugged hikes to Haystack Mountain, McKenzie Mountain and/or Moose Mountain.
Hikers who enjoy bushwhacking their own trail might enjoy Little Burn and Hennessy Mountains. A more challenging bushwhack is Grass Pond and the huge Moose Mountain Slide. The easy access to Moose Pond and Connery Pond are very popular destinations, although technically they aren't in the wilderness but just on the border. McKenzie Pond is an easy hike along an old road that once traveled through the wilderness.
Other hikes in the wilderness include Lock Bonnie, a small pond located high on the shoulder of Moose Mountain. Bartlett Pond is a popular hike from Whiteface Inn, which has a trail system located on private property. Lock Bonnie is usually accessed via this trail system. This includes the Lake Trail that travels six miles on private property along Lake Placid to Whiteface Landing.
The most popular access to McKenzie Mountain Wilderness is from the large parking area off NY 86 between Ray Brook and Lake Placid. This is the trailhead for Haystack Mountain, McKenzie Mountain and Moose Mountain. Some folks use Whiteface Inn as their access point, located on Whiteface Inn Road aka County Route 31 off NY 86 just west of Lake Placid. The Whiteface Mountain Trail begins from Connery Pond and travels into the wilderness for another access point as it travels to Whiteface Landing and then on to Whiteface Mountain.
Destinations in McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Baker Mountain Haystack Mountain McKenzie Mountain Moose Mountain Little Burn Mountain Hennessy Mountain Grass Pond Moose Mountain Slide Moose Pond Connery Pond McKenzie Pond Lock Bonnie Bartlett Pond Lake Trail Whiteface Brook
Lake Placid with Moose & McKenzie Mountains from Whiteface
Above map courtesy of Andy Arthur of AndyArthur.org
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