The Slide Brook and Lillian Brook herd paths were two of the best trails in the Adirondacks. They vary the terrain and direction enough that you don’t feel like you’re on an endless trail, and almost the entirety of both routes is soft underfoot and well-maintained.
You will not find a better rental than Mercy Cabin, inside the hamlet of Keene — centrally located to Lake Placid, Wilmington (Whiteface Mountain & skiing), and all the major trailheads for hiking the high peaks.
Iterations of this hike have been planned and scrapped since July, with the latest one a proposed Colvin-Blake-Nippletop-Dial hike. The previous day’s over-hiking scrapped the 4-peak plan in favor of a more modest straight up-and-back over these two, allowing if nothing else an extra hour of sleep.
We had been dunked in mud, trod underwater, stopped-and-re-started, rushed off a peak, re-routed, drenched in a passing thunderstorm, and hiked over 18 miles & 5,000+ vertical feet. We wouldn’t have changed a thing.
We had already completed two hikes which to us were special – our one-way traverse of Gothics & Sawteeth and our first “unmaintained” hike up Street & Nye. After making them both easily, our new 46er mentors gave us a new challenge, for a secret passage up the back of Phelps Mountain.
Having successfully navigated a one-way traverse of Gothics & Sawteeth, and with the encouragement of our new 46er mentors, we decided to hike our first “unmaintained” trail to Street Mountain and Nye Mountain.
Mount Marcy, at 5,344 feet, is the highest mountain in the Adirondacks. It is also the most hiked of the 46 high peaks, which is a little odd to me since it is a 14.6-mile round trip taking the usual way from the Adirondack Loj (pronounced ‘lodge’).
On two of our rest days, we had nice intermittent cloud cover making for dramatic infrared shots. The last shot is the view of Hurricane Mountain from our rental, and you can see the fire tower in the distance.
We made it fairly easily up to 4,173-foot Lower Wolfjaw which offered better views on the way than on the top, and then went back down-and-up to get to 4,173-foot Upper Wolfjaw. After lunch on Upper Wolfjaw, we easily had enough in us to make it down-and-up again to 4,400-foot Armstrong.