Wakely Mountain is located in one of the more remote sections of the central Adirondacks. The hike consists of two sections which require different challenges.
The first involves about 2 miles of hiking on an old dirt road that's washed out in places while climbing about 500 feet in elevation. The second section is a relatively steep 1.2 mile climb along a trail to the summit while gaining 1,150 feet in elevation. There are a few switchbacks during this section, but it's still a moderately difficult climb. The total elevation change from the trailhead is nearly 1,650 feet.
Wakely's summit is wooded; however, there is a fire tower with unobstructed 360-degree views. The 70-foot tower is one of the highest in New York state, and it affords an excellent view of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness to the south and great views of the High Peaks to the north on clear days.
You normally won't find any crowds on Wakely Mountain, so it's a great place for peace and solitude.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in Indian Lake, follow Route 28/30 toward Blue Mountain Lake. Continue for just over 2.25 miles to Cedar River Road on the left. Continue on Cedar River Road for about 12 miles to the trailhead on the right.
Elevation: 3,744 feet
Ascent: 1,650 feet
Distance: It's about 3 miles to the summit.
Expect it to take more than 5 hours to complete the round-trip hike.
The last portion of Cedar River Road is not open in the winter. With the road closed it adds many miles of road walking or skiing to approach the trail. While people do occasionally do that, be aware that you will have an extended day in the woods. Also, the trail itself might not be broken due to less frequent climbing.
The trail section is not recommended for cross-country skiing.