SWIMMING THROUGH TREES: Exploring Cat Mountain (2,257 feet)
The trail for Cat Mountain starts out rather easily as it follows an old railroad grade for quite some distance. Only small gentle hills will bring you to the shore of Cranberry Lake. This is a great section for skiing as well as snowshoeing and hiking.
You will make your way around Dead Creek Flow on an easy trail and soon come to a major intersection. Left will bring you to Janacks Landing (a nice location and worth checking out) and straight is to Cat Mountain.
Be sure to sign in and out at this trail register as well.
Another mile of flat traveling will bring you to a major intersection with High Falls. Hang a left.
If you are skiing in as an approach, depending on your ability, you may choose to take off your skis in this general area and secure then to a tree. A bike lock works the best, not that you should be concerned. Just be careful, and keep honest.
You will climb a bit and soon pass by Glasby Pond on a narrow trail that skirts the shore, a few rolling hills and a short climb through a lovely forest will bring you to the final intersection with the Cat Mountain summit trail. The summit trail is the most of the climb and finishes off the entire ascent with a couple steep sections.
The summit offers outstanding views from its open rock. This spot, while 6.4 miles from the trailhead, is only a 760-foot climb and well worth the time and energy put forth. All in all, this peak should make you fall in the love with the area and yearn to see more.
Ascent: 760 Feet
Distance round trip: 12.8 miles
Trailhead location: From the intersection of state Routes 3 and 30 in the village of Tupper Lake, follow Route 3 toward Cranberry Lake for 33.4 miles to CR61 (Wanakena Road) on the left. Follow here, and stay straight on the main road to South Shore Road. Follow South Shore Road for 0.6 miles to the trailhead parking on the right.
This trail gets used a lot by cross-country skiers in the winter, so please walk beside their tracks whne you are snowshoeing and not in them, to protect the condition of the tracks. They will be highly appreciative and it’s just the right thing to go and a proper hiking etiquette.
(Spencer Morrissey is a licensed outdoor guide and author of a few Adirondack adventure books.)