We took the day off from hiking after our Marcy-Skylight-Marcy traverse the day before, so after the rest day decided to do something “small”. Round Mountain, easily accessible from the Ausable Club parking and only 2.3 miles seemed to fit the bill.
While the 1,800 vertical feet is similar to hiking the easiest High Peak (Cascade), little Round Mountain is no joke. The ascent provides a number of nice lookouts across Keene Valley and of Giant to the north and despite the mostly soft forest footing was deceptively rugged. Perhaps it was the north-facing slope which made everything slippery, but we both implied that it was harder than Skylight. (It probably isn’t.)
The summit, thankfully, is gorgeous. Dominated by the perfectly-shaped Noonmark, the Great Range extends to the West and the Dix Range to the South.
We returned via the Old Dix Trail, making a nice 6-mile loop ending with the envy-inducing mansions back at the Ausable Club. It may have been a “small” hike but it certainly was a challenge and worth every step.