Six mountains. Four patches. Are you up for the Saranac Lake 6er challenge?
There’s an adventurous spirit in all of us. In Saranac Lake, you can answer that call by becoming a Saranac Lake 6er.
The 6ers are a great introduction to hiking in the Adirondacks. To complete the challenge, you'll need to summit each of the six mountains surrounding Saranac Lake and document your adventures. Along the way you’ll find rewards aplenty: Gently rolling terrain, bird-filled wetlands, towering pine forests, and steep, challenging ascents that lead to outstanding views of mountains and water. First, an introduction.
Meet the 6ers
- Baker (2,452 feet)
- St. Regis (2,874 feet)
- Scarface (3,054 feet)
- Ampersand (3,353 feet)
- Haystack (2,878 feet)
- McKenzie (3,822 feet)
Where to begin?
Not all 6ers are created equal, which can make it difficult to know where to begin. Start by downloading the Saranac Lake 6er map, then try Mount Baker or St. Regis Mountain — they’re the easiest of the bunch and particularly good for people hiking with kids. Work your way up to the more difficult climbs, where higher elevations reward hikers with more expansive views. Once you’ve completed all six, you’ve earned bragging rights — and a 6er patch!
You can take your time and pick the peaks off one-by-one to earn the 6er patch — there’s one for completing the challenge in winter and one for summer. If you like to push yourself, become a summer or winter Ultra 6er by doing them all in a 24-hour period during those seasons. Keep in mind, if you're going for Ultra status you must sign in and out of the trail register next to the 6er kiosk at Berkeley Green in downtown Saranac Lake. Non-Ultras are also invited to sign the register. Do you have what it takes to collect all four patches?
Regardless of which patches you go for, we recommend starting right in Saranac Lake with Mount Baker, a short, popular climb to several ledges from which a panorama of High Peaks can be seen. Mark your accomplishment in the trail register, then head across Berkeley Green to Bear Essentials Apparel, where you can purchase 6er apparel to let the world know that you conquered your first 6er! You'll also find many restaurants within walking distance of the Green, and the Hotel Saranac is right across the street.
After hiking Baker, try St. Regis. No problem? Tackle Scarface next — you can see it from Riverside Park downtown — then hit the challenging Ampersand. Here’s a tip: If you’re up for it, Haystack and McKenzie can be summited in one outing.
You ring my bell
Take a look at the small green stage in Berkeley Green and you’ll see a 6er sign and a metal bell. Be wary, gentle traveler, of ringing that bell if you haven’t climbed the six mountains — legend has it any non-6ers who pull the rope will become victims of the Kiwassa Curse. Visit Berkeley Green to learn more!
Become an official “Saranac Lake 6er” by climbing all six mountains on or after May 25, 2013, then sending the following information to us:
1. Date you climbed each of the six mountains.
2. Time at the summit of each mountain.
3. Your mailing and email addresses.
4. $10 per person for program entry.
Download the Saranac Lake 6er entry form and send your info in for your official patch!
Once the village of Saranac Lake receives the correctly completed information, each finisher will be sent a confirmation letter with an official member number — all numbers are awarded in the order of completed applications received — plus a 6er patch and sticker. Your name will also be added to the official Saranac Lake 6er member roster.
Please be sure to include $10 per person for program entry. Make checks payable to: Village of Saranac Lake.
Mail your check and entry form to:
Village of Saranac Lake
c/o Saranac Lake 6ers
39 Main Street
Saranac Lake, NY 12983