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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Jessup River Wild Forest
Many travelers drive by the trailhead for Snowy Mountain along NY 30 and it's many parked cars along the highway. Just a mile south is the trailhead for Watch Hill, one of the foothills of Snowy Mountain. This great short hike is located south of the hamlet of Indian Lake. The trail is a level old woods road and then a footpath as you ascend to the open ledges on the hill. There are views of the fire tower on Snowy Mountain from one of the rock ledges.
The main, southern trailhead for Watch Hill is located along NY 30. It is located exactly one mile south of the Snowy Mountain Trailhead. There is a small DEC parking area located near the Griffin Brook Bridge. The GPS coordinates of the parking area is N43 41.378 W74 20.559. The northern trailhead is the Snowy Mountain parking area, however that is usually full and most hikers use the southern. The DEC recently added a kiosk (Nov 2015), and marked the trail from the southern parking area. See the DEC map below that is included at the newly built kiosk.
From the southern parking area follow a recently made connector trail that leads to an old woods road. Both the northern and southern start of this hike follow an unmarked old woods road. From the north its 0.5 miles to the Watch Hill Trail, it's about 0.6 miles from the southern start. This is where the trail leaves the old woods road. Soon the footpath reaches a split with a sign marking horse to the left trail and foot to the right. The right trail is shorter, however extremely steep. We recommend following with the horses. It is a better grade that leads to the open ledges.
You'll reach the first open overlook after one mile of hiking (from the southern start). There is a nice view of the Griffin Brook Slide on Snowy Mountain to the west. You should be able to also see the fire tower in the distance. The trail continues another 0.1 miles to another open ledge with partial views of Indian Lake. There is a map and video of this hike below. This hike is located near Lewey Lake State Campground. The trail does continue down the hill and reaches the sandy shores of Indian Lake. Just remember you'll need to climb back up if you wander down to the lake.
View from second overlook on Watch Hill
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