Franklin County Highpoint Trip Report

Seward Mtn (4,331 ft)

Date: July 13, 2004
Author: Michael Schwartz

I made good use of Ron Tagliapietra's report, and also referred to Roy Schweiker's 2003 report. If approaching from the west on NY 3, turn right onto Coreys Road 2.4 miles from the eastern junction of NY routes 3 and 30. The signed turnoff onto Coreys Road mentioned by Ron is another 0.1 mile further east. Drive 5.7 miles to the signed parking lot.

The relatively level 4.5 mile walk to the Blueberry Lean-to took a bit less than two hours at an intentionally moderate pace. If I had it to do over again, I'd overnight at one of the lean-tos to avoid the longish day trip. Just be aware they are heavily used, and you might have to tent camp nearby. Past the lean-to, continue a short distance to the junction with the Ward Brook Truck Trail, keeping right on the road. Soon cross over a bridge capable of holding a vehicle, and almost immediately afterwards see a cairn on the right that marks the start of the Seward herd path. The "path", which is definitely a path and not a trail, follows the stream uphill.

Some write-ups talk about crossing and recrossing the stream but you can stay on the left side all the way up. Plenty of mud and some blow-downs as well. Lots of boot prints to guide you. Well up the mountain, I took a path that left the stream and headed left -- big mistake. The correct path stays with the stream to the bitter end, even using the stream bed at times in its uppermost reaches. I ended up too far west and, when my path petered out, had to bushwhack through very nasty stuff and four headwalls to gain the summit ridge well east of the point at which the herd path reaches it. The only salvation was knowing that if I kept going up, I'd reach the summit and find the correct path again for the descent. By this time, the whole mountain was socked in, and it took me four hours to reach the summit from the truck trail. No views and I was glad to have the GPS to verify I was on top.

Descending was much easier. I picked up the herd path and followed it steeply down to the stream's headwaters and then stayed on the right side of the stream all the way down, all of which still took 2:30. I knocked off the five miles back to the parking lot in 1:40.


If I were to repeat this climb, I'd take the herd path to about the 1,000 meter mark, then try to get over onto the north ridge of Seward. The grade looks much easier, and it would also take one past the "benchmark?" shown north-northwest of the summit. I read one write-up that suggested the north ridge approach but offered no details. If the bushwhack turned out to be a stinker, the herd path could still be used for descent.

This had been a dry summer in the Adirondacks but there was plenty of mud on the herd path. Gaiters help. You'll want insect repellent, too.