Hamilton County High Point Trip Report

Snowy Mtn

Date: October 14, 2000
Author: David Galvin

This high point is accessed from a well-tended and well-used trail that starts on NY State Route 30 north of Speculator and south of Sabael and on the western shore of Indian Lake. Just get on Route 30 and look for the parking area sign on the east side of the road.

The trail is easy for its first 2.5 miles over rolling woodland in the valley of Beaver Creek. The final 1.3 mile to the summit is steep and often wet. A number of herd paths branch off the main trail here and run parallel to it to avoid what are probably cascades of water during wet periods. On our trip the water was only a trickle and we kept to the main route. There is an excellent viewpoint looking east right on the trail a few minutes below the summit. To get to the summit proper from here, take the trail headed SW. The summit is marked by a bronze bolt set (by Colvin?) in the gneiss, and by the still-standing ruins of a fire tower. While the treads are removed from the first two flights of stairs on this tower it can still be climbed. I went about halfway up, which got me above the treetops. This afforded an all-around view that included the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks to the north. Herd paths from the summit lead to various other vistas. One in particular sits atop a vertical cliff on the NW side of the mountain and is quite dizzying.

The hike covers about 7.5 miles for the round trip, according to Barbara McMartin in her "Fifty Hikes in the Adirondacks". I found that to be about right. Elevation gain from the trailhead is 2100'. It took us about two hours to climb and one and a half hours to descend, and we were in no particular hurry. We also spent an hour eating lunch, exploring, and loafing. I think a determined high pointer could do this mountain and Gore (the Warren County HP), a half hour drive to the east, in a single day, particularly if the ski lift on Gore was utilized. The Herkimer County high point isn't that far west of here, but unless you have a helicopter to get there, forget about it.