This out and back hike is an outstanding hike for the entire family and a great introduction to the area for those new to hiking. (This Haystack should not be confused with the High Peak located near Mount Marcy.)
Primary Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid follow Route 86 toward Saranac Lake. Continue for roughly 5-miles to the trailhead for Haystack and McKenzie on the right. OR From the Intersection of Route 86 and Route 3 in Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Lake Placid. Continue through Ray Brook and locate the trailhead for Haystack and McKenzie on the left.
This 3.3 mile, one way, hike follows easy to very steep terrain. From the trailhead start a mellow hike through an attractive forest passing below Little Burn Mountain to your right. As the terrain begins to climb the footing remains very nice. Eventually you will swing hard north and follow closer to a stream on your left. The climbing begins to kick in as you approach the Haystack Mountain Trail on the left. From here you will cross a dam and begin a much more aggressive climb. The terrain steepens considerably and the footing becomes much more eroded. Views begin to appear as you climb higher and top out at an open rock ledge.
The views to the south are outstanding and the High Peaks in the background look especially big.
6.6 miles RT, some steep and eroded areas, Elevation: 2874’
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – 2.5 hours to summit
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 1.5 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – 2.0 hours to summit