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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain is 3 miles from Exit 33 off I-87. A new trail opened in 2008 that now offers an easier route and a way that everyone can enjoy the spectacular views that can be seen from the top. Poke-O-Moonshine is the first major mountain formation of the Adirondacks for those driving south along the Northway (I-87). This 2180 foot mountain is located in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest of the northeastern Adirondacks.
Poke is a popular draw for rock climbers who navigate its treacherous cliffs and make their own route. Before, hikers only had one option, a strenuous uphill trail that rises 1,280 feet in 1.2 miles. Immediately after the sign-in register, the trail abruptly turns steep and hikers have few opportunities for a break until near the top of the mountain.
A land acquisition by the Adirondack Land Trust has changed that by turning 200 acres that were once privately owned into a public hiking path. The route follows an old logging road that climbs the same height over twice the distance, making this a much more of a manageable hike. This trail tackles the mountain from the south. The hike along the new trail is about 2.5 miles with a 1450 foot elevation gain.
A fire tower marks the final destination with a 360-degree panorama from the top offering breathtaking views. To the east, Lake Champlain can be seen with the Green Mountains off in the distance. To the north is Lyon Mountain. To the south is Deerfield Mountain with the Jay range behind it. Hurricane, Giant and Gothics can also be seen. To the west is Whiteface Mountain. The views are magnificent and truly rewarding for such little effort.
The new trail is easy to navigate without large rocks or ruts, and there are a variety of things to see that are not offered on the old trail. There are two separate ponds along the trail built by beavers. There are also massive rock ledges that are reminiscent of something you'd see on the old trail, without all the work. The new trail is a mile south of the old trail. The entrance sits at the edge of the yard of a farmhouse. There is a large parking area marked with a DEC sign. The GPS coordinates are N44 23.350 W73 30.447.
DEC sign along US 9
Well worn path marked with blue markers
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