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Adirondack High Peaks
High Peaks Wilderness
The eighteenth highest peak in the Adirondacks at 4442 feet, Panther Peak is the second highest summit in the Santanoni Mountains. The Santanoni Mountains are very isolated, remote and secluded. You will be hard pressed to find anyone else in the area, even at the best of times. Due to its isolation and the long cross county distances involved in getting to the peak, it is usually done as a two day hike, although it can be done in one very long day hike of 12+ hours. You should have good skills at backcountry navigation with map and compass as there is no marked trail to the peaks.
This is the most rewarding of the three major peaks in the area with a nice bald spot near the summit that offers a great view of the different mountains nearby. One also gets from a trip to Panther Peak a real good sense of how rugged the area really is and how long it takes to move though it.
The normal route starts at about 0.3 of a mile south of the Santanoni Lean To at a beaver dam, cross the dam and follow a survey line that climbs sharply over rough terrain until it peters out into a herd path going in a westerly direction. You will then reach a brook descending from the Panther-Santanoni ridge. Head up this brook and after about 0.5 of mile of rock-hopping another herd path is reached. Head up this herd path and after about 0.5 of a mile reach the main ridge.
This spot is called “Time Square” and from here one can easily reach all the peaks in the Santanoni Mountains. To get to the summit of Panther from this point head north along the herd path on the ridge a short distance to the summit.
Directions to the trailhead: Take NY 28N, the access road (County Route 25) is reached after about 7.3 miiles north of Aiden Lair or about 5 miles east of the Town Hall on Newcomb on the N side of the road. After about 6 miles of going north on this road it forks with the main road continuing straight across a bridge over the Hudson River to a mine. Turn left here on a narrower road marked with a sign “Marcy and the High Peaks”. At 2.0 miles from this turn, there is a large parking lot about a 100 yards back from the road the trail starts from here.
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