Seward is often climbed with Donaldson and Emmons, which are located along the same ridge. The combination of the three peaks is a very long day at almost 18 miles and should be started early in the morning. Expect a long day to complete the entire range, 12 hours or more, even for experienced hikers.
The Calkins Brook herd path is the primary route to Seward. There is an alternate approach from the north via the Ward Brook Truck Trail, but it used much less and the condition of that herd path is deteriorating.
For the Calkins Brook trailhead: Hike along a well-used trail and pass by the horse trail on your right. Continue left and turn right at the second intersection to follow an old woods road. The herd path is marked with a rock cairn. Take this left and follow the brook, sometimes crossing it, as it ascends a steady and somewhat steep course. Eventually the path moves away from the brook and comes to a T-intersection along the ridge with the main herd-path. Take a left here and start a somewhat steep descent into a col with Donaldson. The trail drops considerably before climbing steeply through a narrow draw that can be very slippery and muddy, especially on the descent. You will hike over a false summit with great views to the true summit, where there are obstructed views.
Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake, follow Route 3 west toward Tupper Lake and turn left on Corey’s Road after about 19 miles. Follow Corey’s Road for 5.5 miles to the trailhead on the right.
Distance: 6.5 miles to the summit
Elevation: 4,361 feet
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet