Hiking in the Lake Champlain Region

ATTENTION: NYSDEC-controlled fire towers are open to visitors. Only one household group should be in the fire tower cab, groups should social distance on the summit while waiting to climb to the cab, sanitize hands before and after being on the fire tower, and wear masks.

Hit the trails

Spring and summer are beautiful times to enjoy the scenic wonders of the Lake Champlain region! From scenic history walks to bigger challenges, the region has a beautiful variety of hikes and walks.

Explore the Champlain Area Trails system

One of the gems of the central Champlain Valley is the scenic Champlain Area Trails or CATS, as it is affectionately known. CATS features 87 trails totaling over 200 miles of easy-to-moderate paths for nature lovers, hikers, bird watchers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers to explore along the Adirondack Coast. Find the trail map here.

Take to the hills — or the peaks!

The area has some beautiful rolling hills, but for bigger challenges, we love the many area trails and enjoy unforgettable views of Lake Champlain, the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, and the Green and White Mountains across the water. We're partial to heading up Split Rock Wild Forest Trails – a 6.5-mile loop within the 3,700 acre Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest and part of the largest tract of underdeveloped and forested land along the New York State shoreline of Lake Champlain. One of the more difficult trails in the area is Hurricane Mountain, offering a 5.2 mile round trip hike with big rewards – the summit features 360-degree views of Lake Champlain and the High Peaks. Beer-loving hikers will also be able to earn a patch by completing the ADK 6 Pack hiking challenge, which pairs six mountains around the Adirondacks with a nearby brewery!

Slow down

Looking for a shorter, easier adventure? The Lake Champlain Region is full of beautiful walks through downtowns and forests, many under a mile and ideal for all ages looking for a less challenging outing. Be sure to explore our history walks, too! They're a wonderful way to explore the historic towns and areas of the region, including Essex, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the La Chute River Walk Trail in Ticonderoga.

For more hiking ideas, take a look at several other area trails below:

Hikes outside of the High Peaks

Hikes outside of the High Peaks, en Francais

Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK

Before heading out, be sure to review the Leave No Trace Principles. The DEC is a great resource for more outdoor recreation related information.

 

Poke-O-Moonshine

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain has a commanding summit view which gets even better when the fire tower is open. There's 360 degree views of the High Peaks and Green Mountains in Vermont, Lake Champlain...

Location: 
Route 9, Keeseville, 12944
Hurricane Mountain

This is a wonderful open peak with a fire tower that is being restored and can now be climbed, even though the tower is not needed for some of the best views in the High Peaks. 

Hiking...

Location: 
Route 9N, Keene, 12942
Treadway Mountain

This small peak has some of the best views in the area and is quite a popular hike when the Putnam Pond DEC Campground is open.

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 9N,...

Location: 
Putts Pond Rd, Ticonderoga, 12883
Thrall Dam Park Trail

1.4 mile loop, easy. Trailhead on Rte. 9, 0.7 mi south of Lewis and 3 3/4 mi north of Elizabethtown. Loop trails through forest and along wetland. 

Location: 
Rte 9, Lewis, 12950
Crane Pond

Crane Pond is a beautiful gem in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. 

How to get there

Take Route 74 from Ticonderoga to Route 9. Follow Route 9 south, toward Schroon Lake. In just over a...

Location: 
763 Putts Pond Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
Rattlesnake Mountain

The Rattlesnake Mountain trail is closed until further notice at the request of the Town of Willsboro. 

Well-known for offering great "value for effort." Less than an hour...

Location: 
4525 NYS Route 22 (across the road), Willsboro, 12996
Wickham Marsh Wildlife Area

This is a great place for hiking, birding, cross- country skiing, and snowshoeing! There is also a wheelchair accessible trail.

How to get there

There are three locations where you...

Location: 
154-166 Soper Rd
Giddings Road Trailhead, Keeseville, 12944
Split Rock Mountain Loop

Hiking

The trail climbs slightly from the trailhead and passes by a trail on the right that leads to...

Location: 
Lake Shore Rd, Westport, 12993
Pole Hill Pond Preserve

This may seem like a long ways from the south end of the Champlain Valley, but it’s that good of a hike that’s it’s worth the extra drive time to reach it. We have to stress that the trailhead is...

Location: 
Route 9N, Ticonderoga, 12883
Trout and Round Ponds

Hiking

A pleasant woods walk to the pond, with a trail that follows half of the pond shoreline.

Trout Pond Trailhead: On Ensign Pond Road (County Rt. 4) between North Hudson and...

Location: 
Ensign Pond Road, Moriah, 12960
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area

The 46,283-acre Pharaoh Lake Wilderness is an outstanding part of the Adirondacks! The wilderness contains an abundance of lakes and ponds, the largest being Pharaoh Lake, at 441 acres. There are...

Location: 
Crane Pond Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
Historic Walking Tour of Essex

The entire village of Essex is on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a walking tour of one of the most intact collection of pre-Civil War village architecture in America.

This...

Location: 
Route 22
POB 250, Essex, 12936
Crowfoot Pond Trail

How to Get There

From Exit 30 off I-87, follow Route 9 south toward North Hudson. Continue for 0.2 mile and turn left on Tracy Road. Continue for 1.75 miles to the...

Location: 
Tracey Rd, North Hudson, 12855
North Country National Scenic Trail

The North Country National Scenic Trail is America's longest National Scenic Trail stretching 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota, linking seven states, 10 National Forests, and more than...

Location: 
Crown Point State Historic Site
Grand View Drive, Crown Point, 12928
Deer Leap

Deer Leap is more of a cliff over the lake and resides lower than the actual hill. Brown Mountain isn’t all that far away making for a nice destination to add onto your day. 

Hiking

...
Location: 
Route 9N, Ticonderoga, 12883
Mount Defiance

Mount Defiance, owned by Fort Ticonderoga, has a toll road to its historic summit. An interpretive tour is provided daily at the summit at 4 p.m. during the Fort's open season. Admission to Fort...

Location: 
Overlooking Fort Ticonderoga and
Lake Champlain, Ticonderoga, 12883
Cross-Over Trail

This trail leaves from Gary’s Elbow and the Calamity Trail and is used as a cross-over trail to access both sides of Split Rock Wild Forest. This trail tends to be a bit wet, as it passes through...

Location: 
Lake Shore Rd, Westport, 12993
Split Rock Wild Forest Trails

The largest undeveloped tract of land on the Lake Champlain shoreline, Split Rock Wild Forest covers 3,700 acres in the towns of Essex and Westport. The landscape is dominated by...

Location: 
Lake Shore Road, Westport, 12993
Cheney Mountain Trail

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 22/9N and county Route 54 (Pelfershire Road) just north of Port Henry, follow county Route 54 for just under 2 miles to the...

Location: 
CR 54, Port Henry, 12974
Mount Gilligan

How to get there

From the intersection of state Route 9 and 73 near Exit 30 on Interstate 87, follow Route 9 toward Elizabethtown. Continue for just under 4 miles to the...

Location: 
Route 9, Elizabethtown, 12932
Grizzle Ocean Loop

Hiking

From the trailhead, you will follow a nice flat trail that passes by Putnam Pond to your right. The trail soon turns into a short, moderate climb before reaching a rather long...

Location: 
763 Putts Pond Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
Ancient Oak Trail

Hiking

The Ancient Oak trail is an easy, 2.5-mile loop. The trailhead is on Route 22, 2.2 miles north of Essex.

This lovely trail goes through a forest and a field, then goes along...

Location: 
Route 22, Essex, 12936
Coot Hill (Big Hollow) Trail

Hiking

This new trail features a historic cemetery and a large summit expanse, with views from angles not easily reached by any other trail.

How to get there

From Port...

Location: 
6482 Main Street
POB 193, Westport, 12993
Ticonderoga Walking Tour

Ticonderoga began with the fort and was soon a center of paper production. It has more than three dozen buildings listed on the National Register. Still in use is the Agway building (1879) which...

Location: 
, Ticonderoga, 12883
Old Ironville Road Trail

The Old Ironville Road Trail is an easy, 4.6 mile round trip. The trailhead is the same as Penfield Pond...

Location: 
State Route 2, Crown Point, 12928
Lewis Clearing Bay Trail

This is one of the longer trails in Split Rock Wild Forest, and since it is often used to access other trails it is essentially a corridor trail. This is the only trail in the wild forest open to...

Location: 
Lake Shore Rd, Westport, 12993
Belfry Mountain

Hiking

Known as the easiest fire tower in the Adirondacks, excellent for any age or skill level. While this entire climb is uphill along an access road to the tower, it is very easy and...

Location: 
729 County Hwy 7C, Mineville, 12956
Giant Mountain

Parking

From Elizabethtown, head west on Route 9N for about 4.5 miles. The parking area is on the left.

The hike

Giant is a shortened name for the peak that was originally...

Location: 
Route 9, Elizabethtown, 12932
Moose Mt Pond Trail

Moose Mt Pond Trail (2.7 mi RT to Bass Lake trail junction, 6.4 mi RT to Moose Mt Pond, easy) Trailhead same as #37. Trail follows old logging road along a river with beaver activity and goes by a...

Location: 
6482 Main Street
POB 193, Westport, 12993
Keeseville Walking Tour

Booklet available from: Adirondack Architectural Heritage. Fee for booklet.

The first dam at Anderson Falls on the AuSable River was built in 1808 to power a sawmill. Since that time, and...

Location: 
1 Mill Street, Keeseville, 12944
Bear Pond Loop

Bear Pond is a fine wilderness destination that doesn't require much effort!

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 9N, Route 22, and Route 74 in Ticonderoga follow Route...

Location: 
Route 74, Ticonderoga, 12883
Mountain Spring Road Trail

The Mountain Spring Road Trail is an easy, 8-mile-loop that follows a seasonal road through the Adirondack foothills, known as the West Champlain Hills, to Mineville.

How to get there...

Location: 
Stevenson Road
POB 193, Westport, 12993
Split Rock Wildway

Hiking

The Split Rock Wildway is a "wildlife corridor" between Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. A fairly easy climb rewards with incredible views of the valley and all its...

Location: 
Brookfield Road, Essex, 12936
Beaver Flow Trail

The Beaver Flow Trail is a flat, easy snowshoe route that meanders through a mixed forest and runs parallel to a small waterway. There's a house-sized boulder near the end and lots of beaver...

Location: 
Cook Rd/Walker Rd, Essex, 12936
Bald Peak

Bald Peak has a trail which starts flat, crosses a stream, climbs steadily through forest, and then follows the stream. After a mile it turns left, crosses stream again and climbs steeply to...

Location: 
Route 9, Elizabethtown, 12932
Carver Road Trail

This easy, 4-mile round-trip trail follows an abandoned road through the forest west of Long Pond in the town of Willsboro. The south trailhead on Reber Road is 1.7 miles west of Route 22. The...

Location: 
Reber Road, Willsboro, 12996
Brown Mountain

Brown Mountain a great destination or can be made part of a longer trip. Either way, you can't go wrong. And the views are superb!

How to get there

From the intersection of Route...

Location: 
Route 9N, Ticonderoga, 12883
Blueberry Cobbles

This aptly-named mountain is the first summit on the East Trail to Rocky Peak and Giant at 1.9 miles from Rt. 9.

Hiking

Berries in season? The best ones are beyond the first...

Location: 
Route 9, New Russia, 12932
Hammond & Bloody Pond Trail

Hammond and Bloody Pond Trail. It's an easy 2 miles round trip to Hammond Pond, and 3.8 miles round trip to Bloody Pond. 

The trailhead is shared with the Challis Pond Trail. The trail...

Location: 
6482 Main Street
POB 193, Westport, 12993
Blueberry Hill Trails

Hiking

The Blueberry Hill Trails are located in the Town of Elizabethtown and were built for hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing. There are...

Location: 
Lords Road, Elizabethtown, 12932
Arnold Pond

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 74 and Route 9N in Ticonderoga follow Route 74 west toward Schroon Lake. Continue to the small Hamlet of Eagle Lake and...

Location: 
Route 74, Ticonderoga, 12883
Boquet Mountain Trail

A wide variety of habitat, from an old logging road through the forest to traversing slopes and walking beneath rock ledges.

Hiking

The passage continues through South and North...

Location: 
County Highway 12
POB 193, Essex, 12936
Rocky Peak Ridge

Parking

The parking area is on Route 9, about 5.5 miles south of Elizabethtown on the right.

The hike

Rocky Peak Ridge offers outstanding views from its summit, and it is...

Location: 
Route 9, New Russia, 12932
Challis Pond Trail

The Challis Pond Trail is an easy, 1.2 mile loop to Challis Pond through a hemlock and cedar forest.

The trailhead is on Ensign Pond Road (county Route 4), 2.6 miles from Route 9 or 6.5...

Location: 
Ensign Pond Road
POB 193, Moriah, 12960
Barn Rock Bay

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 9N and Route 22 in Westport follow Route 22. Continue for 0.5 miles to Lake Shore Road on the right. Follow Lake Shore Road...

Location: 
Lake Shore Road, Westport, 12993
Owl Head Lookout

Hiking

Giant via Hopkins -The trail from the summit of Hopkins Mountain to the summit of Giant is Mountain extends 3.2 miles and ascends more than 1,600 feet. The trail joins the North...

Location: 
6475 U.S. 9, New Russia, 12932
Berrymill Pond

Hiking

How to get there

From the intersection of Route 9N, Route 22 and Route 74 in Ticonderoga follow Route 74 toward Schroon Lake. Continue for just under 5 miles to Putts Pond...

Location: 
Putts Pond Rd, Ticonderoga, 12883
Coon Mountain Trail

Coon Mountain is on the Coon Mountain Preserve, which is owned by The Adirondack Land Trust. From the trailhead the path starts climbing almost immediately. The trail never gets too steep, but it...

Location: 
Halds Rd, Westport, 12993
Elizabethtown Walking Tour

First known as Pleasant Valley, Elizabethtown was first settled in 1798, by veterans of the Revolutionary War. Its development as the county seat resulted in many striking homes built by the...

Location: 
, Elizabethtown, 12932
DaCy Meadow Farm Trail

The DaCy Meadow Farm Trail is an easy, 2-mile loop that goes through a field, passes over a stream and wetland, goes uphill through a forest, and then back down to follow a stream. The trail...

Location: 
Route 9N
POB 193, Westport, 12993
Round Pond Trail

The Round Pond Trail is an easy, 7.8 loop. From the east trailhead, the trail climbs slowly to Round Pond, then crosses over and follows East Mill Brook. It goes over a small mountain and follows...

Location: 
Ensign Pond Road
POB 193, Port Henry, 12974
Crown Point State Historic Site

History

Hours:

  • The museum is open daily from mid-May to mid-October, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. It's closed Tuesday.
  • The grounds are open year round from Monday - Friday,...
Location: 
21 Grandview Drive, Crown Point, 12928
Wadham Falls

Wadhams Falls is a large flume falls on the Bouquet River in the center of Wadhams.  This waterfall is visible from the road, Rt 22, which makes it a perfect stop for families.  

This...

Location: 
, Wadhams, 12993
Stair Falls

Stair Falls, also known as Staircase Falls, is located on Putnam Creek along with a series of other falls. This charming series of falls cascades over stair-like steps, which is how it got it's...

Location: 
, Crown Point, 12928
Willsboro Falls

Willsboro Falls, within the Town of Willsboro along the the Bouquet River, is a 25 foot waterfall with a...

Location: 
, Willsboro, 12996
Champlain Area Trails

200 miles of trails

In 2009, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) trail published its earliest trail map highlighting the first new hiking trails it created along with the few...

Location: 
6482 Main Street
POB 193, Westport, 12993