Although the hike is short (2 miles each way), there are some sustained moderately steep pitches as the trail gains almost 700 vertical feet. Like many Adirondack trails, parts are rocky, rooty and eroded.
Part of the "charm" of hiking in the Adirondacks can be conflicting trail signage. The trailhead register said 2.0 miles each way, my guidebook called it 1.7, and the math on the trail signs below comes out to 1.5. I'll go with the 2.0 measurement, but if you do the hike WITHOUT kids it may feel more like the 1.7.
We found plenty of mushrooms, fungus, small streams and even butterflies to hold the kids' interest in the lower sections.
About a half mile in, the trail passes near Chub Pond.
After climbing several hundred vertical feet up a shoulder of the mountain, you reach the base of the cliffs that form the mountain summit. There is a network of footpaths leading through gigantic boulders that leads to many interesting caves for exploration. The first is an opening in the back of a huge room with a 25' ceiling, formed by the overhanging cliff.
To the west, Eagle Lake is visible, as is a thin sliver of Racquette Lake. The summit rock falls away to steep cliffs, so it's an area to pay attention, especially with small kids.
On the hike back down, look for additional caves that you may have missed on the way up. Although the footing can be a bit tricky on the steeper trail section above the caves, most of the hike out is pretty easy. On the way home, we made a stop in the village of Blue Mountain Lake to check out the town beach and enjoy ice cream at the Blue Mountain Lake Boat Livery, whose enticing roadside sign pulled us in.
Blue Mountain Lake is one of those authentic Adirondack villages with no chain restaurants, motels or stores for miles. It's a charming, welcoming spot surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains. Actually the word "village" may overstate the size of Blue Mountain Lake, but it was just right for our family on Saturday.