Spring Hiking in the Gore Region

The Gore Region is the perfect place to get outside! Beautiful nature abounds and there is something for everyone’s fitness level. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day out of it. Remember, to check the weather where you’re headed as it can change quickly this time of year. Here are some of our location picks and some gear you’ll need to make the most of your adventure.

Take the Trails Pledge

Keep in mind that Warren County is asking hikers and walkers to help stop the spread when they’re outdoors. Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, but getting outdoors during a global pandemic makes recreating safely and responsibly a bit more challenging, however. Warren County is asking for a #TrailsPledgeWarrenCounty asking visitors to local trails:

  • Stay local and keep visits short
  • Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members
  • Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks
  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer
  • Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces; note that most local playgrounds are closed
  • Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees
  • If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit
  • If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
  • Those over 70 or with compromised immune systems, or who are ill, should avoid going to public areas until further notice.
  • Share your local safe hiking/biking on social media with the hashtag #TrailsPledgeWarrenCounty to show your support!

Keeping public safety in mind, here is a list of places to explore.

Crane Mountain

Difficulty: Challenging

The trailhead is located at the end of Ski Hi Road in Johnsburg.

Crane Mountain is a challenging but rewarding loop hike with gorgeous views in all directions. The scenic pond offers a number of primitive camping sites, along with fishing and swimming.

The summit trail features two ladders, a longer one and a shorter one, which are sturdy and bolted to the rock but may be too difficult to be climbed by dogs. The summit can also be reached from the other direction to avoid the ladders.

Thirteenth Lake & Hour Pond

Difficulty: Moderate

The trailhead and parking are located on Beach Road in Johnsburg.

This classic Adirondack hike follows the Peaked Mountain Trail along Thirteenth Lake and then turns to follow a connector trail along a pretty brook. Turn off onto the Hour Pond Trail to the lovely, sandy-bottomed Hour Pond.

While the trail is well-marked, note that a short section of the trail has been flooded by beaver activity and requires a bit of wading. The pond can also be accessed via the Old Farm Trailhead, giving this the potential for a loop hike.

Balm of Gilead

Difficulty: Easy, family-friendly

The trailhead and parking is located on 4-H Road (off of 13th Lake Road) in Johnsburg.

This short hike starts out flat and then climbs steadily to the summit of Balm of Gilead Mountain, where open ledges offer a great spot for a picnic and to take in the views of Thirteenth Lake and the surrounding mountains to the west.

Hooper Mine

Difficulty: Easy

The trailhead and parking are located a 13th Lake Road, North River. Follow signs for Garnet Hill’s ski shop and park at tennis courts.

This is a fun destination for kids, anyone curious about the area’s mining history, and anyone interested in finding the unique garnet that populates this region (hint: you don’t have to look far).

The Hooper Garnet Mine opened in 1898 and is now on state-owned property. The mine can be accessed via a short uphill trail starting at the Garnet Hill tennis courts. Be sure to check-in at the ski shop and let them know you plan to hike to the mine.

Peaked

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

The trailhead and parking are located at the end of Beach Road in North River.

This hike is an Adirondack classic, starting out along the shore of 13th Lake and then turning to follow a pretty brook up to Peaked Pond where two primitive campsites await overnight stays.

Those wishing to continue on can make the short but steep ascent up Peaked Mountain, which offers stunning views in multiple directions.

Hiking Gear

Sturdy Hiking Shoes: Protect your feet on all terrain with a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. Footwear should have a good grip, keep your feet dry, and be light enough to move easily.

YakTrax: These traction cleats secure snugly to your hiking boots or shoes and allow you to walk on any surface. They provide a serious grip for any condition including snow and ice.

MicroSpikes: are a pocket-sized traction system that allows anyone, of any age, to get out and safely enjoy winter. These slip-on spikes dig into all types of terrain — ice, packed snow, wet rocks, concrete, and scree (loose stones).

Backpack: Most daypacks range from 20 liters to 35 liters on the high-end. While a smaller sized backpack is usually sufficient for 1/2 day hikes, you’ll want a larger pack in the 35-liter range for all-day hikes so you can carry extra water, food, and clothing.

If you’re going for than a short walk on a clearly marked walking trail, bike trail, etc. make sure you bring along the 10 hiking essentials:

  • Map and compass
  • Sun protection
  • Insulation
  • Illumination
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire
  • Multi-tool and repair kit
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Emergency shelter

Now is a great time of year to hike in the Gore Region. Just keep on eye on the weather and remember that the further north you go, the more likely it is there will still be snow. Also, mud season has begun and goes through mid-May which means you’ll want to stick to the lower elevations until the trails dry out. The great outdoors is a great place to explore while keeping safe and smart to prevent the spread of COVID-19!