• Activities:


  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    6.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1046 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

This is a very diverse hike mixed with amazing summit views, a turbine and fire tower, scenic ponds and nice camping spots! It's short enough to finish in a day, but long enough to make it an overnight trip! Pack some extra gear, and make it a split decision!

Black Mountain is located on the Eastern side of Lake George and is the tallest mountain above Lake George. The trailhead is located on Pike Brook Road (off from Hulett's Rd, Route 6) in Clemons, NY. The parking area is about one mile up Pike Brook Road, on the right.

This hike to Black Mountain is a moderate 6.7 mile loop hike, coming down the back side of Black Mountain and passing by Black Mountain Ponds and Lapland Pond. Both ponds have a nice lean-to for camping.

From the trail head register, you will start out on a fire road for 0.5 miles until the trail to the summit and the fire road split at a jct. Follow the trail (red trail) past the buildings as it goes into the woods and begins to climb over some rough terrain as you follow some switchbacks and gain in elevation. I would recommend microspikes during colder months when conditions are icy. The trail can be pretty slick during this time. At approximately 1.0 miles you will reach a trail jct. The trail to the left goes towards Lapland Pond. Continue to go straight here; this is the jct. you will come out on via your return from Lapland Pond. Once you near the summit, there is a small lookout on the right, through the trees.

At 2.5 miles and 2,646 feet you are at the summit of Black Mountain. There is a wind turbine here that powers the communications station on the summit, which you will probably be able to hear on a windy day before you reach the summit. There is also a fire tower on the summit, but it is not accessible. The views from the summit are amazing without it! The summit is fairly large and open, and on a clear day views extend past Lake George over to the high peaks region and beyond!

Once you are done taking in the views, you will continue past the summit and take the trail (red trail) down the back side of Black Mountain, towards Black Mountain Point. There are several nice views along the way, as you descend this side of the mountain, looking out across Lake George and down towards the ponds. The trail will continue to descend for 1.0 miles and come to a jct. for Black Mountain Pond and Lapland Pond. Stay left as you continue towards Black Mountain Ponds which are 0.3 miles from this jct. The ponds are off to the right and the lean-to sits to the left, up on a bank.

From here, you will continue to descend, past the ponds as the trail starts to level out and head towards Lapland Pond. This area is very wet and muddy, especially in the spring or after a heavy rainfall. There are a few downed trees along here to walk across. Follow this trail until you come to Lapland pond, on your left, at 1.0 miles from the jct. for the ponds (2.0 miles from the summit of Black Mountain). The trail will split here; to the right is another lean-to. You will continue straight (yellow DEC trail), to head back towards the jct. bringing you out onto the main trial that you started the ascent to Black Mountain on. The jct. is just over 1.0 miles past Lapland Pond. From here, you will take a right to descend the last mile back to the parking area at Pike Brook Road (2.2 miles from Lapland Pond).

Pack List

  • Water
  • Food
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Camera
  • Backpacking First Aid Kit
  • Headlamps and extra batteries
  • Extra Layers, Socks, Wind and Rain Shields
  • Microspikes (fall through spring)
  • Snowshoes (winter)
  • Hat and Gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray (spring and summer)
  • Snow gear and boots (winter and colder months)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Janet Thomas

Hi, I'm Janet! I am an avid outdoors enthusiast with a love for the Adirondack Mountains! You can find me outdoors in my free time doing epic, outdoorsy things with my adventurous little boy, from hiking mountains to mtn. biking and paddling all around New York!

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