Located just outside the village of Saranac Lake, this straight-up-and-down hike offers a rewarding view of the High Peaks after a short (but steep) climb. Parking is on Forest Hill Avenue (Rte. 3) right along Moody Pond. Please be very careful to observe all parking signs, as the town is quite strict about enforcing guidelines. You should only park in the designated areas by the side of the road, while making sure your tires are completely off of the pavement.
The trail starts across the road from the pond and almost immediately starts ascending up. You'll climb steadily over the 0.9 ascent to the top, with around 900 feet in elevation gain.
As you approach the summit, the trail splits off with the options of the officially marked trail, which is steeper but has more views, or an unmarked but well-worn trail to the left. The official trail opens up to some rockier portions with views toward the High Peaks region as you continue going up. At the top, a large open clearing offers an expansive panorama of the area.
To find the summit itself, you'll need to continue to follow the trail slightly into the woods beyond the open viewpoint area. There were two summit markers that I was able to locate when on top.
Overall, this trail is a great introduction to High Peaks region hiking without going the full distance of a High Peak, and offers some of the best Adirondack views available for the amount of effort. With the close proximity to Saranac Lake, you can combine a hike with a meal in town afterward.
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