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SWIMMING THROUGH TREES: Silver Lake Mountain a great ‘bang for your buck’

Summit of Silver Lake Mountain (Photo provided)

Silver Lake Mountain is an excellent “bang for your buck” mountain and the perfect snowshoe destination for the entire family. With a short 0.9-mile hike, you will have outstanding views with a hike over varied terrain that will get everyone the full experience. I have visited this peak in every season, and the winter is by far my favorite.

Silver Lake Mountain has the type of terrain where the first freeze practically requires the hiker to use traction, and now with the fresh snow covering the ice, it’s pretty much necessary. I decided to visit this little peak again the other day. I was passing through and had a couple hours to spare for a bit of exercise. I didn’t end up with much for views because of the low clouds and the storm moving through, but again, I was not disappointed. With microspikes afoot, I moved along quite nicely through the attractive forest surrounding me.

As the terrain began to steepen, the ice became more obvious. After a short stop at the “tree bench” and a sip of hot chocolate, I attacked the next steep section of the trail. Just in case you are wondering what a tree bench is, it’s a tree branch or stem that has grown in such a way that it has formed a pleasant bench to rest upon, this one has become quite famous.

Next came another short but steep section to a partial view, obscured by trees. After a moderate section, I worked my way up the final section that can be more of a rock scramble, if you want it to be. I did. What I mean is, the open rock area can be scrambled as an approach to the summit, or it can be skirted to the left and avoided in the trees. Either way, can be rather slippery, but with proper traction, it can be a viable ascent route.

From here, it got extremely windy as I broke out of the trees and onto the open face of the mountain. I decided to break out my winter shell for wind protection; it is much easier here than on a windy summit. It wasn’t long before I stood on the summit snapping photos of what I could see beneath the clouds. The descent was very fast, but in some cases a bit tricky. With careful footing and the use of an occasional tree for balance and support, it wasn’t all that bad and yet kind of fun.

(Spencer Morrissey is a licensed outdoor guide and author of a few Adirondack adventure books.)