Scarface is one of the local hikes in the Saranac Lake Region that is designated as one of the Saranac Lake 6er’s. However, it gets much little use in comparison to the others on the list. With a fun and unique climb, Scarface makes for an excellent day in the woods.
Primary Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Lake Placid. Continue into Ray Brook and take a right onto Ray Brook Road and follow for 0.1 miles to the trailhead on the left.
This 3.6 mile, one way, hike is over varied terrain which at times is quite steep. From the trailhead you will you climb a bit and work your way through an open forest to the railroad tracks. Cross the railroad tracks and continue on a mellow hike all the way to the bridge over Ray Brook. This spot is a very nice area for fishing as well as just a short destination hike.
Past the bridge the trail stays very mellow through a forest of tall pines. There is one very distinctive trail split, be sure to take a left at this point, the split is well marked. Past here the trail begins to climb a bit and very soon begins to get steeper. As the terrain gets steeper the footing gets a bit less favorable, but a fun hike none the less. Along these steep slopes as you gain more elevation there are some steep areas with a bit of scrambling and wet conditions. As the trail starts to get less aggressive there are a few decent views off over the trees of the distant high peaks. The trail moderates to the unofficial summit.
The trail at one point stopped at the first landing with open views (unofficial summit), but this is not the true summit, but technically the final view. Many hikers stop here, short of the viewless top. A narrow path continues over the summit and into a much darker forest. The trail meanders through and eventually ends at the true summit where there is a trail disk on a tree marking the top at 3088’.
6.6 miles RT, Moderate Climb, Elevation: 3088’ Ascent: 1500’
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – Not recommended
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 1.5 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – 2.0 hours to summit