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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Split Rock Mountain
The 3700 acre Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest is located along Lake Champlain in the northeastern region of the Adirondacks. Over eleven miles of hiking trails provide access to explore the area. The area is also home to Timber Rattlesnakes. The Nature Conservancy's Coon Mountain Preserve is located near Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest. You will also find hiking trails from the Champlain Area Trails (CATs) in this area.
Split Rock Mountain isn't very large at 1017 feet, but because it rises from the 95 foot elevation surface of Lake Champlain and when it's seen from the lake it looks like a monumental landmark rising out of the lake. This wild forest is isolated from other parts of the Adirondacks, making Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest a destination all by itself. Visitors to the area should be properly prepared and equipped for a remote, wild lands experience.
The Webb Royce Swamp Nature Trail features a 700 foot long accessible access trail provides scenic views of Webb Royce Swamp for birders, wildlife observers and outdoor photographers of all abilities. The trailhead parking lot is located on the east side of Clark Road about 0.6 miles from County Route 9/Lake Shore Road. Leaving the parking lot, the hardened access trail travels through a field in the early stages of succession, then crosses a hedgerow into another field that is actively mowed before ending at a raised pad overlooking the swamp. The pad provides views across a large expanse of the swamp and serves as a turn around spot for wheelchairs.
The Hidden Valley Trail is another hike available to explore at the Nature Conservancy's Coon Mountain Preserve. The Champlain Area Trails (CATs) features Rocky Ledges Trail, Bouquet Mountains Trail, Wildway Overlook Trail, Beaver Flow Trail, Homestead Trail, Black Kettle Nature Trail, Little Falls Preserve and Lee Park. Further to the north is the 1.2 mile trail to Rattlesnake Mountain.
The 11+ mile trail system at Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest provides for a number of loops, the primary and most popular one being the North Rim Trail - Robin's Run Loop Trail. Several spur trails end at overlooks that provide views of Vermont, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondack High Peaks. Two spur trails access the shore of Lake Champlain.
Four primitive tent sites are located within Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest. These are located along the shore of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Barn Rock Bay (2), the Palisades, and Snake Den Harbor. Although these sites are open to all on a first come, first served basis, they are most easily accessed from the lake. The southernmost tent site in Barn Rock Bay can be accessed by foot from the Lewis Bay Clearing Parking Lot on Lake Shore Road via the Barn Rock Trail.
Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest can be accessed from Lakeshore Road in the towns of Essex and Westport, or from Clark Road in the town of Westport. Lewis Clearing bay Trailhead is located on Lakeshore Road approximately 6 miles south of the Village of Essex, and approximately 5 miles north of the Village of Westport.
Destinations in Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest
Webb Royce Swamp Barn Rock Bay Lewis Clearing Bay Snake Den Harbor Overlook Barn Rock Split Rock Mountain
Snake Den Harbor Overlook Trail
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