A little rain isn't going to stop this town!
Saranac Lake and Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau have been hard at work putting together the new hiking program "Saranac Lake 6er". The program was kicked off this morning with pistol start at 8am. Starting today, after you climb all six peaks you can ring the bell in Berkley Green's Gazebo six times and submit your dates and times to the Village and receive a patch and bumper sticker to commemorate your achievement. There are 3 potential patches that you can earn; "6er", "Winter 6er" and "Ultra 6er". The "6er" can be completed in the summer months and you can take as long as you want to complete. The "Winter 6er" needs to be completed in the winter months and you can also take as long as you want. An "Ultra 6er" is someone who climbs all 6 peaks within a 24-hour period any time of year. More than 90 people had pre-registered for today and their quest in becoming some of the first "Ultra 6er".
The "Saranac Lake 6er" is a play on the famous "Adirondack 46er"and is made up of 6 shorter, less difficult peaks around the Saranac Lake area. The six peaks are McKenzie, Ampersand, Scarface, St. Regis, Haystack, and Baker.
McKenzie Mountain is the highest of the six peaks. Views from the top are widespread, from Whiteface Mountain to the north to Mount Marcy to the south. It is five miles from downtown Saranac Lake and is 10.6 miles round trip with an elevation of 3822'.
Ampersand Mountain starts out fairly flat, just like you were taking a walk through the woods. Then as you get closer to the summit, the accent starts and gets rugged and steep. But the wonderful advantage of this mountain is the incredible bald summit that has a 360 degree view. From the top you can view the High Peaks to the Saranac Chains. An extra bonus is the beach across Route 3 from the trailhead that can be a great place to cool down after your hike. Ampersand is 8.3 miles from downtown and 5.4 miles round trip with an elevation of 3353'.
Scarface Mountain follows old roads in the beginning and is relatively flat and then flows into a steady climb. You can adventure on some side trails to an open ledge with views overlooking Oseetah Lake and the Saranac Lakes chain, but unfortunately the summit itself does not offer a view. It is 4 miles from downtown and 6.8 miles round trip with an elevation of 3054'.
Saint Regis Mountain is a relatively short, steep climb to the summit which proves to have magnificent views in nearly all directions. You can view McKenzie, the High Peaks and an outspread of lakes and ponds within the St. Regis Canoe Area. A great bonus is to see a real (abandoned) fire tower at the summit. This mountain is 14.6 miles from downtown and 6.6 miles round trip with an elevation of 2874'.
Haystack Mountain (not the High Peak Mt. Haystack) is in Ray Brook and is a much friendlier climb than the High Peak. This hike is a pleasant walk in the woods with a final steep climb that opens up to a rock face and ledge. There is a 180 degree of views of Whiteface, the High Peaks and the Saranac Lakes chain. Haystack is 5 miles from downtown and 6.6 miles with an elevation of 2864'.
And Last but not least, Baker Mountain is a wonderful family hike right in the middle of the Village of Saranac Lake. On your way up you can stop at a few different places to see some beautiful views from Saranac Lake/Lake Flower to the High Peaks. The great little peak offers views to over 20 major mountains! It is in town, only 1.8 miles round trip and an elevation of 2452'.
Hiking the Adirondacks is such an incredible experience and everyone should experience it. With this new program it is possible not only to hike some Adirondack Mountains, but to accomplish a reachable goal and have proof in hand at the end of your journey. Think about how amazing it is going to be when you can go home and tell your friends and family that you were able to hike six mountains involving over 30 miles of trails and about 7,000 feet of elevation!!! It sounds overwhelming, but if you take it one step at a time you can accomplish ANYTHING!
Good luck and let's start hiking!!!
PS: Look out for upcoming blog entries as I climb each peak.