Friday, September 8, 2017

Cat Mountain: 09/02/2017

Cat Mountain, Saturday 9/02/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

We spend quite a few of our summer weekends in Bolton Landing and end up repeating many of the nearby hikes each year. Cat and Thomas Mountains and the Pinnacle are all great short hikes, but among these Cat, in my opinion, offers the best views of Lake George and the surrounding mountains.

We hiked Cat on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, following the Red trail from Edgecomb Pond. It's a 2 mile hike with around a thousand feet of elevation gain, so it fit well into the couple hour window we had available that afternoon.

Beth scrambling up the ledges below the summit

First viewpoint

Our route - the Red trail - seems to be less popular with hikers than the Yellow and Blue trails, but I prefer the Red trail as the other routes (especially Yellow) follow an old jeep road. By contrast, the Red trail is a narrow, sometimes indistinct, singletrack footpath through deep woods.

Enjoying the summit views

Busy day on Lake George

Southern Adirondacks peaks

Not far below the summit the first views back over Lake George open up. The last hundred yards or so crosses a wide, rocky open area with sweeping views that encompass the entire southern basin of Lake George and portions of Northwest Bay and the Narrows. Looking to the south and west, Crane, Hadley and Gore stand out among dozens of smaller peaks. There were a couple other parties of hikers on top when we arrived, but the summit is big enough that it's easy to spread out.

Summit panorama

Pinnacle connector

Cat Mountain is part of the Lake George Land Conservancy's Cat & Thomas Mountains preserve, which was recently transferred to New York State. LGLC still manages and maintains the trail system, and they've recently opened a connecting trail between Edgecomb Pond and the Pinnacle. Eventually LGLC hopes to create a Bolton Community Trail system by connecting these parcels to the downtown business district of Bolton Landing. Even without the downtown connector, a through hike is now possible traversing Thomas, Cat and the Pinnacle. Maybe we'll do that next time out.

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