Hike Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs

Details

Distance

10.4 miles

Elevation Gain

2000 ft

Route Type

Loop

Added by Lucas Gashi

This 10.4 mile loop in Keene Valley, NY offers up gorgeous views of Indian Head and Ausable Lakes. There are no dogs allowed on this trail. 

At 10.4 mile long, this lengthy, but easy loop takes you to two ADK lower peaks. The views from Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs will blow your mind away. I love stopping here every time I make my way to ADK. The colors are absolutely gorgeous in the fall. From the parking lot, take the lake road 3.3 miles. Once you reach the sign for Indian head and Fish Hawk cliffs, it is only a short climb of 0.7 miles to Indian Head and another 0.2 to Fish Hawk Cliffs. At Indian Head, take in the views and check out the cliffs. Make your way to Fish Hawk Cliffs, don't forget to look back at at Indian Head! The views on Indian Head itself are spectacular. This rock formation has to be seen to be appreciated. The views of the Ausable lakes from these two spots are outstanding. After Fish Hawk Cliffs, walk back to Indian Head. Once you reach up top follow the sign for the Gill Brook Trail. The Gill Brook Trail gives you scenic waterfalls and cascades to please the eyes and ears. The trail will lead you back to the Lake Road and from there just walk straight to your car.

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Hiking
Lake
Romantic
Scenic

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Reviews

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🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Nice Hike

This is a nice loop. If you want to extend it you can also backpack in as long as you are off of the private land that is surrounding the actual viewpoint. The picture from the top of the cliff is kind of a classic one.

Driving/Parking for Indian Head. You absolutely need to add better directions from a source other than Google maps. You must also be clear where one parks and give the restrictions for hiking on this private land.

The driving directions linked to this description need a bit of an update. The road called "Ausable Club Road" is now posted as just "Ausable Rd." Coming from Lake Placid, it is the second and southerly of the two junction of Rt. 73 and Ausable Rd. Coming from the south, it is at the bottom of a long hill on the left. The other landmark is that it is directly across the highway from the Roaring Brook access to Giant Mt. On a buy weekend you will likely have to park on the highway. From the parking area, one walks for 1/2-mile up the road and past a golf course. Just before reaching the large clubhouse, turn left and down between two tennis courts. The entrance station and trail register is 200 yards down this road. This is where the 3.3 mile walk on the Lake Road starts. By now it should be clear that this is private property and that only club members can drive this road or ride the seasonal bus. Likewise, there are no public water or rest room facilities after leaving the parking area.

🥇Top Contributor

9 months ago

Intermediate, crowded hike with incredible view

This is one of the best hikes in the state. Would highly recommend, although it is a very popular trail because of its beauty.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 1 year ago

Busy, but worth it

According to the rangers, on weekends the trailhead parking can fill by 5am. We arrived around 8 and people were parking over a mile away. I had this hike on my list and almost backed out last minute because I expected the lookout to be overcrowded and underwhelming. Although there was a decent crowd at the lookout, there was plenty of space to spread out and hang. The view was even more beautiful than anticipated. SO happy I went forward and hiked it. Easy 10 miler with grand views!

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 3 years ago

Little Slice of Heaven in the Adirondacks

Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs is probably THE place to visit during the Adirondacks fall foliage. The view is jaw-dropping, which is why it attracts so many people each year. Definitely take the Gill Brook Trail also. Whether it be on the way up or way down. The route includes some beautiful waterfalls.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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