Panther is a small peak located between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake and is a popular destination for hikers driving through the area or ones wishing to have a shorter time in the woods. The views are excellent and the trail is in really good condition.
This is an excellent snowshoe destination for the entire family. It is an excellent spot to teach kids about mountain snowshoeing on a smaller scale. Not recommended for skiing.
Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 3 toward Tupper Lake. Continue for around 14-miles to the trailhead on the right. Parking will be on the left in a small parking lot.
This 0.6 mile, one way, hike is over moderate to steep terrain. Be very careful crossing the main road, this can be a very busy highway. Once on the trail you will start climbing a bit steeply through an open forest of tall pines. The trail is covered in exposed roots. The trail will swing left to reduce the grade of the trail and slowly swing back right to gain a small ridge. There is one final steeper section that brings you through the hardwoods to the rock slab that makes up the summit.
From the summit area the Seward Range is standing tall in the back, while the waters of Panther Pond glisten below.
1.2 miles RT, somewhat challenging, but short, Elevation: 2236’ Ascent: 780’
Family with Young Kids: 45 minutes to the summit
Experienced Hiker: 15 minutes to the summit
Out of Shape Hiker: 20 minutes to the summit