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Hiking in the Adirondacks

Pigeon Lake Wilderness

West Mountain

 

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At 2902 feet, West Mountain is the highest point in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness of the Adirondacks.  The trailhead is located nearby from Brown Tract Pond Campground, along dirt Uncas Road.  The trailhead can be tough to locate. The GPS coordinates are N43 49.009 W74 40.341 for those who have a GPS devise.

The hike to the summit of West Mountain is a long five miles one way according to the sign at the trailhead as well as guide books, although our GPS tracks showed a 4.5 mile hike.  Either way its a long nine or ten mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of over 1130 feet with most of the gain during the last mile.

A fire tower at one time stood on the summit of West Mountain.  With the fire tower gone, the views are limited although a nice narrow view of Raquette Lake can be seen from near the summit. 

If your looking for solitude, then this hike is for you as you probably won't see any other person on the trail.  If your looking for an easy hike, then stay away from West Mountain. This long hike will take you into a remote section of the Adirondacks and then a steep climb up West Mountain. Be prepared on this adventure. 

West Mountain trailhead along Uncas Road

The blue marked West Mountain Trail starts off dirt Uncas Road, where there is parking for just a couple of cars along the side of the road.  The trail passes by a register then skirts along the edge of Wadsworth Mountain and then over the shoulder of a smaller hill.

At 1.4 miles the trail joins the Sucker Brook Bay Trail as both trails follow an old road as it crosses Beaver Brook.  At 2.2 miles the West Mountain Trail turns left as the Sucker Brook Bay Trail heads straight 400 feet to the shore of Raquette Lake at the head of Sucker Brook Bay.  There is a nice view of the north part of the lake here.  A nice side trip and a great place to take a break.

Back on the West Mountain Trail, at 2.4 miles a side woods road is passed on the right that leads to a private camp.  At 3.0 miles the trail crosses Sucker Brook.  At 3.6 miles the trail crosses Stillman Brook.  At 4.0 miles the ascent becomes steeper as you are now climbing West Mountain.

The steep climb is along a broad trail and soon your walking on bedrock.  The trail reaches a clearing at 4.9 miles with the former observer's cabin foundation.  One last short steep climb takes you to the summit at 5.0 miles.  The West Mountain Trail ends at the summit, where a view to the southest features Raquette Lake.

At the end of the trail is the junction of the Constable Pond Trail, which leads eight miles to Higby Road near Big Moose Lake, traveling through even more remote sections of the Pigeon Lake Wilderness.  Look below for a trail map of the West Mountain Trail.

The West Mountain Trail as well as many of the other trails in Pigeon Lake Wilderness are maintained by the volunteers of the Adirondack Mountain Club-Onondaga Chapter, based out of Syracuse, NY.

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