Easy Short Adirondack (ADK) Hikes: Catamount (Franklin Falls) Lake Placid/Wilmington NY
Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation: 3,169' Vertical Ascent: 1,542'
Catamount is a wonderful Adirondack family hike that takes children and families to a new level, behind easier hikes perhaps encountered previously.
This is a 1.8 mile hike (one way) is not for the meek though it begins as a flat wooded path for the first 0.5 mile before becoming steadily more steep. Follow the yellow painted slash marks through this private easement.
At about 0.5 mile the trail bears right and begins to climb. Look for a small stream at 0.8 mi. and then the hike begins gaining in elevation and continues a mostly steep climb to the base of a narrow rock chimney at 1.5 miles.
This chimney requires some scrambling, though the view on top is worth the effort. The open rock ledges at the top of the chimney offers wonderful views. There are plenty of blueberries for picking, in season.
Walk past this first false summit, the trail briefly dips before climbing across a series of open ledges. The trail veers to the northeast and is marked with cairns and paint blazes that are difficult to follow at times. The trail before reaching the true summit at 1.8 mi.
When at the summit look for views of Lake Champlain and Vermont to the east and Whiteface Mountain to the south.
Directions: From Wilmington take Franklin Falls Rd (CR 72) to Plank Road. Turn right onto Plank Rd. for 2.2 mi. and look for the new parking area on the left. Since this begins on private property, there is no trailhead sign at this point.