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Adirondack Hiking Trails & Beauty Spots
For a High Peaks hiking experience you don't have to drive to, explore Fourpeaks 20 miles of private hiking trails right at your door. The Adirondack Wilderness was never so close. Far from the tourist crowds on overused public trails. Exciting views. 108 Beauty Spots to discover. Historic openings in 700 acres of ancient forest! CLICK & GO! (On this page.) . . . at the center of a scenic triangle. Home to seven Adirondack pioneer families (1720-1940) . . . Rattlesnake Knob. Panoramic Views of the High Peaks. The Lookout. Whiteface View. Ebenzer Mountain. The Tall One. Lori Woods. In old woods, a scenic path to Great Rock. More scenic trails worth exploring. No guest vehicles. 2012 Trail Update. About NY State Public Lands. Hike right from your front door. Guest Notes: ". . . the view from Rattlesnake is an absolute classic." "The simplicity of life, renewed the belief that man outside nature is a lost soul." "as we sat on an outcropping of rock watching the misty clouds move slowly over the high peaks . . ." "We both found no need to venture off the property as it offers anything anyone inclined toward the outdoors would need." (On the next page). Fourpeaks Trail Map. Visit Our Trees, a guide to some of Fourpeaks full-time residents with Tree Map.
(Compass directions and distances are approximate. Use Trail Map to follow turns.)
Rattlesnake Knob. (PHOTO. View South from Rattlesnake Knob. LtoR: Ebenezer, High Peaks, Whiteface.) 1.5 miles, Moderate. Start at SW corner of Camp Field by Camp Rock, follow (jeep road) generally W 1/10 mile to Three Birches, an old homesite with picnic table. At Perkins Road (Stonehouse Road) continue on jeep road S into Burt Williams Farm, an old homesite with fields, apple trees, picnic table by old cellar. Continue generally S passing High Meadows (open fields with views, picnic table, ancient butternut trees). Continue S 1/2 mile to Great Rock, a spectacular glacial "erratic," picnic table and Fisher Ridge Trail (opposite on left). Follow Fisher Ridge Trail through woods 1/2 mile generally SE to a "T" at West Path. Follow West Path about 300 feet S to rope pull at "The Notch." Follow Rattlesnake Trail generally East (past sign to Ebenezer Junction), to Rattlesnake Knob. (Watch for side trail to Blueberry Hill, worth a visit.)
Return to rope pull on Notch Trail and follow sign W to Hemlock Grove. Turn N into Hemlock Grove and continue N through deep woods 1/8 mile to Smith Road. Follow this pleasant antique road N 3/8 mile to Old Sugarbush. This 5-acre site was the source of maple sap for maple "sugar" from early times. Look for the remains of old kitchen/hut on short side trail. Many ancient maples, picnic table. Continue N 1/2 mile to end of Smith Road at Five Oaks, Giant Maple and Old Sugar House. Continue 1/4 mile to Sugar Camp and Stonehouse Road. END. (CLICK HERE for Fourpeaks Trail Map.)
Ebenezer Mountain. (PHOTO. View East from Ebenezer Mountain: Jay Range NY, Green Mountains VT.)
1.5 miles, "Ebenezer Easy" Moderate (not "easy"). Start at High Meadow (views, picnic table, ancient Butternut trees). Follow signs to Smith Road south to Old Sugarbush. Take East Path South to Ebenezer Trail "Easy," to rock cairn Ebenezer Summit and ledges looking S to High Peaks and AuSable River. Return by the same route to East Path or continue 75ft to the top of "The Scramble," 100ft difficult to East Path.
(Alternate route.) 1.75 miles, "Ebenezer Scramble" Difficult. Follow directions for Rattlesnake Knob to The Notch, then continue generally SE 200 feet to signs for Ebenezer Junction. Drop down just 10 feet to East Path and turn right SW about 150 feet to trail Ebenezer "Scramble." Turn SE up rough skid path to notch between Ebenezer's double peaks. Follow N up 100 foot rock scramble (difficult). Continue 600 feet generally SE to rock cairn Ebenezer Summit and ledges looking S to High Peaks and AuSable River. Find hollow between double peaks and ravine generally N 1/2 mile to East Path. Follow East Path N 500 feet to Old Sugarbush.(CLICK HERE for Fourpeaks Trail Map.)
Lori Woods. New trail in old woods, a scenic path to Great Rock. From Bert Williams Farm follow Jeep Road South. At Zero Clearing, take Ice Road (roughly West) to Chasm Road to Lori Trail, generally South about one mile through second growth pine, maple and balsam untouched for hundreds of years to Great Rock. Side Trip. Follow Ice Road to Torrent Loop. Enjoy the view of Fourpeak's 9,000year-old Ice Mountain. Follow The Torrent 100ft. South to Chasm Road. Visit The Chasm, ancient canyons in bedrock.
More Scenic Trails Worth Exploring.
Blueberry Trail. Alternate woods trail to Rattlesnake. 1/2 mile, Moderate. (Not on map.) On Jeep Road 1/2 mile S or Great Rock, look for trail signs. Walk in old road 300ft to primitive trail (a deer path) that wraps around Rattlesnake 100-ft granite face to small notch between Rattlesnake and Blueberry Hill, a must visit. Look for hawks on uplift air currents between mountains.
Brook Trail. 1/2 mile, Easy. At Gypsy Camp find trail at sign on hillock at south edge of field. Follow generally East to "Pebble Crossing." Continue and take note of farm/industrial rock/boulder foundation (200ft long and 6ft high at the brook margin) and other evidence of early pioneering activity. Continue to "Bridge Crossing," picnic table. Water conditions OK or you don't mind getting boots wet? Take Loop Trail for better view of rock/boulder foundation and "island" in the brook. Return to Gypsy Camp field or come out to Stonehouse Road via Brook Road at "Bridge Crossing" to Stonehouse Road. Option: At Gypsy Camp continue on to Cedar Swamp.
Cedar Swamp. 1/2 mile, Easy. From Jim Melvin Farm (Gypsy Camp) follow East Path or Cedar Road (bridge over brook) to Cedar Swamp Trail toCedar Swamp. Get there from Sugar Camp as well. Unique cedar swamp. Option: Continue on Cedar Trail S to High Cedar Swamp and East Path. Return by Logging Camp, 1-1/2 miles, Moderate.
Camp Rock. 1/8 mile, Easy. At Camp Field climb up Camp Rock by short rope pull or take road W to summit and double back on ridge rock to mountain views, benches.
Indian Spring and Zig-Zag. 1/2 mile, Easy. At Camp Field path past woodpile to Indian Spring, stone walls, cattle watering hole (pinic table). Take trail N to Zig-Zag Trail or follow stone wall S to Three Birches.
Back Field. 1/2 mile, Easy. At Halsey Straight Farm on Stonehouse Road, walk N into field with old cellar, barn ruins, ancient apple trees. Follow woods road N 200 feet to large open field. Till lines on E side, rock wall at far N side with mountain views. Option: Follow Merritt Dubay Trail N to Providence Rock with views and Wolf's Nest.
More Beauty Spots to explore? Ask Martin about Providence Rock and First View, both with limited mountain views on Wainwright Mtn., perfect for private meditations.
No guest vehicles. Fourpeaks roads and trails are for walking, hiking and (maybe) bike riding and skiing. Except for short access roads off Stonehouse Road (to Thoreau House, Gypsy Camp, Sugar Camp, New Camp and The Cabin), the use of guest vehicles on Fourpeaks roads and trails is strictly forbidden. [More about access at Frequently Asked Questions.]
2012 Trail Update.
1998. For years we focused on the bad results from the Jan. '98 "100-year" Ice Storm. Ice broke the fragile pine tops and almost half the stand was lost at Stone House Farm. There were heavy losses in the hardwood stands on the slopes of Ebenezer and Rattlesnake Mountains, as well. Deadfall blocked the trails and the forest interior was thoroughly littered. Overnight, travel through was difficult bushwacking instead of an easy walk. [CLICK HERE for the full story of the '98 Ice Storm.] During the Summer of '98 all the working trails were cleared, some by machine but most by slow hand work with chain saw and muscle. Fields and meadows were similarly cleared of all debris.
2001-2005. There were some good results from the storm. As a result of logging operations to salvage trees destroyed by the storm, old roads and trails were opened up that had not been accessible for years. The Smith road behind Sugar Camp was opened to the Old Sugarbush, with giant maples, and Hemlock Grove, two beauty rest stops with tables and benches, and to The Notch via Hemlock Trail. The new skid paths built in '98 (West Path and East Path) provided access to higher elevations on Rattlesnake and Ebenezer by a number of alternate routes. Through East Path we made a loop trail to Ebenezer. The old '60's fire road off Perkins Road at Burt Willam's Farm was opened to Camp Barn as a jeep road (Zig-Zag trail).
2006-2012. In addition to painting and flagging, trail junctions and Beauty Spots are marked with user-friendly white 8x8 plastic signs. We rediscovered an ancient road at Zero Clearing and opened it to Ice Mountain and Glacier Torrent. Hamburger Hill (a '70 picnic spot), reopened to the westerly rock face of Rattlesnake, became the start of Blueberry Trail (Read Trail Notes, not on map.)
Protected from the elements by four mountains nearby, with ample level terrain for crops, Fourpeaks was "home" to seven Adirondack pioneer families (1720-1940). Look for their fields, cellars, planted trees and shrubs at Sugar, Gypsy, Thoreau, Halsey Straight, Bert Williams Farm and more. The roads and skid trails these settlers made to get to their fields and woodlots are still there, making for easy access to Fourpeaks views and beauty spots. A fire on Basset Mountain in the early 60's left a network of fire roads as well. Salvage harvesting after the great Ice Storm in January '98 improved access to the higher elevations. Fourpeaks 4 mountains (Bassett, Wainwright, Rattlesnake and Ebenezer) are friendly 2,000-foot peaks which can provide hours and days of pleasant discovery with history lessons on the way--for both the seasoned hiker and everyday walker--afoot, or on snowshoes or skis!
Hike right from your front door! While each of our cabins is in its own a private setting away from other buildings, they're all right on our private hiking trails. Find cabin locations on the Trail Map,shown by circled letters. TC=The Cabin, WN=Wolf's Nest, RC=Ridge Camp, NC=New Camp, SC=Sugar Camp, GC=Gypsy Camp. No need to drive to hike. No trailhead parking.
". . . the view from Rattlesnake is an absolute classic."
Subject: Re: Hiking
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001
From: Richard Erenstone
[My optometrist, an ardent Lake Placid outdoorsman, triatholon competitor, kayaker and Adk 46-er.]
Thanks very much for your hospitality! When one
has hiked extensively in the ADKs for almost 40 years,
it is unusual to see a new place with such excellent
* views. Usually, you go to the same old places or
travel a long way to a new place. It is nice to get
new quality hiking so close to home. We really had a
great time! Denise and I agreed that the view from
Rattlesnake is an absolute classic.
Richard and Denise
#0438 "as we sat on an outcropping of rock watching the misty clouds move slowly over the high peaks . . ."
Subject: RE: the nice note you left on the table at Gypsy.
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 13:05:46 -0400
From: Marcy L*****
NO, no photos. Just beautiful memories to recall. Somewhere up on the
mountain as we sat on an outcropping of rock watching the misty clouds move
slowly over the high peaks, I was taken at what a marvel it was that a human
could be a caretaker to such an amazing expanse of land. I was aware of how
by keeping the dwellings you rent out on your land very rustic and minimal,
you attract the kind of clientel who will continue to respect the land much
in the tradition of our native american predecessors. As we bushwacked our
way down the hill behind your home, it occured to me that no other human
foot may have stood where mine did in 2003. Perhaps that's just a fantasy,
but the land you maintain has such a timeless quality. I just really
appreciate that you have it, and that you make it available to folks like me.
#1637 "The simplicity of life, renewed the belief that man outside nature is a lost soul."
Date: 9/19/1999 - 5:44 PM
Name: Denny & Mary F*****
Location: 44 Ru**** Rd.. Greenfield Center, NY
Comments: New Camp brought us New Life. An experience for those who appreciate the natural beauty that God
has given us. We lived and loved under the beautiful wonderous skies, day and night. We hiked to newer
heights to views beyond human expression. The simplicity of life, renewed the belief that man outside
nature is a lost soul. We would like to formally thank Martin for sharing and for caring for "Four Peaks".
You are uniquely caretakers and protectors of nature at its purest.Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this fantastic adventure. The F*****s
#0844 "We both found no need to venture off the property as it offers anything anyone inclined toward the outdoors would need."
Subject: Wolf's Nest
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001
I just wanted to pass along a note of thanks regarding our stay at the
Wolf's Nest over July 4th. It's reassuring to know that there's someone
like you who's interested in preserving the natural splendor of the
Adirondacks. The accomodations were extremely comfortable whether it was
a day lounging or a place of refuge after a long day of hiking. We both
found no need to venture off the property as it offers anything anyone
inclined toward the outdoors would need. I am certain we will return as
soon as the fall of this year.
Cheers, Mireille M** & Gary H*** Nyack, NY
Fourpeaks Maps: HIGHWAYS, ROADS & TRAILS
1. Where in the world is Fourpeaks?. (In the upper right hand corner of the USA.)
2. Essex County Highway Map Shows all the roads you'll need to get to Fourpeaks. [CLICK HERE for important Travel Directions.]
3. Fourpeaks Trail Map. Hiking/walking trails and beauty spots on 700 acres. Location map for backcountry camps. [CLICK HERE for complete Trail Notes to accompany map.]
4. Fourpeaks Tree Map. Trail Map with Locator Symbols for our Sugar Maples, Popple (Quaking Aspen), Eastern Pine, White Cedar, Black Spruce, Beech and Hemlock. [CLICK HERE for the complete Guide Visit Our Trees! to accompany map.]
5. Fourpeaks Topographic Maps. Shows Fourpeaks "Hidden Valley" surrounded by our four 2,000-ft. peaks. 34x42 map for sale plus link to MapQuest On-Line version.
6. Map of Stonehouse Road. Take a walk back into history on our pretty one-lane dirt road.
7. Map of Jay NY AuSable River Beauty Spots with 1/4 mile river walk, shoals and islands, swimming holes and the old Covered Bridge.
New York State Trails. Thanks to Adirondack Mountain Club popularizing and irresponsible commercialism by the Lake Placid hotel/motel/restaurant operating business community, the New York State public lands in the Lake Placid-Keene Valley area are dangerously overused. Trails are eroded, sometimes many feet below the normal grade, overly wide, littered and devoid of a natural appearance. They are so crowded in season that forays into these overly popular state owned lands no longer bear any resemblance to a wilderness hiking experience. (A full parking lot at the trailhead, hundreds of tourists on the trails, and a crowd at the summit view. Is this wilderness?) The New York State Department of Conservation has spearheaded new usage regulations and urges vacationers to find less crowded places for recreational hiking. [CLICK HERE for a link to more on this subject from Greg Smith, nature photographer, including a summary, comments and the full text of the April 1, 2000 HIGH PEAKS UNIT MANAGEMENT PLAN (New York State DEC).]
Private lands like those at Fourpeaks are one alternative to overcrowded public lands in the High Peaks. Perfect for recreational hiking (from short walks anyone can easily manage to moderate 2-5 mile day hikes), we urge our guests to get out and explore. Fourpeaks is bordered by four 2,000-foot peaks, with exciting mountain views. 700 acres of accessible wilderness, field, forest and stream, with no crowds or wornout trails. No driving to get there, either. Guests can just step out of their door for a short walk or an all day expedition on our private mountain valley.
Want more? There are other uncrowded places for hiking on private lands in the vast, almost unused, nearby Jay Wilderness. Also, State lands at Hurricane Mountain and Slide Brook on the road to Elizabethtown are far enough away from the Lake Placid-Keene Valley hotspots to attract fewer folks. Ask and we'll help you find them.
Fourpeaks Outdoor Activities. A 700-acre private Adirondack wilderness right at your door. 20 miles of hiking/skiing trails. No traveling to get there. No crowds at the trailheads and summits. An unequalled nature experience with no people. River swimming and fishing at the nearby AuSable River. A wilderness lake. Lots more. Browse our 10 activity pages. [CLICK HERE for Fourpeaks Adirondack Activities.]
Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all. Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out! [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]
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"Hints of Balsam and Pine from our Corner of the Adirondacks"
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