Easy Short Adirondack Hikes: A hike to Elephant’s Head Trail Map ( Paul Smiths/Malone)

At the summit of Elephant Head overlooking Lake Titus
Distance 0.5-mile from parking area to summit. Seasonally the road in is impassable, adding an additional 1.5-miles from road to parking area
Elevation  = 1,939'
Vertical Ascent  = 464'

We don’t usually choose our hikes for the name of the mountain, but when daughter found out that there was an elephant in the Adirondacks, she wanted to see it for herself.

 One such hike is the 0.5-mile hike to the summit of Elephant’s Head Mountain, part of the Titusville Mountain State Forest. 

Depending on the weather and the type of vehicle, getting to the trailhead can be part of the issue. We turn onto the dirt road at the familiar brown sign marking the entrance to Elephant’s Head mountain. This time there are potholes to maneuver, but the road itself is manageable.

Elephant Head is part of the Titusville Mountain State Forest
At 1.5-miles we park and look for the entrance. The path is located in the eastern section of the parking area and blocked by large boulders to deter motor traffic. It’s a short (0.1 mile) level wooded walk before reaching the first trail sign on the right. 

Safety First: Be visible during hunting season
The trail weaves through the woods, gently climbing in elevation. We see nothing to indicate that this mountain looks anything like an elephant. We find out later that it’s only from the shores of nearby Lake Titus that a person can see how the individual ridges look like the back, head and trunk of an elephant.

Near the summit we climb a set of wooden stairs and follow the path to views of Lake Titus to the north and a glimpse of distant Debar Mountain to the south. We have a quick snack before heading back to our van, stopping to look for spring flowers and to listen for the return of songbirds.

We’ve attempted this hike in the snow, but hadn’t factored in the extra time required to ski/snowshoe the 1.5-miles to the parking area from the road. The access road isn’t maintained in the winter months.

From Paul Smiths take Rt.30 north for 21 miles, passing the junction for Rt.458 and Meacham Lake campground. The trailhead is located on the east side of the road. Enjoy!

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.


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