Wakely Mountain is located in one of the more remote sections of the central Adirondacks. The hike consists of two sections. 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.
Location: 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 summit of Wakely Mountain provides good views of the Moose River Area, Raquette Lake and the High Peaks to the northeast. The first part of the trail has been logged and provides good habitat for Mourning Warbler and other Wood Warblers. Lowland warblers and singing Blackpoll Warblers can be heard as you near the 3,760 foot summit. During the climb, Thrushes change songs from Hermit to Swainson's Thrush to Bicknell's Thrush at the high elevation. Before the summit, the hoarse, nasal chick-che-day-day of Boreal Chickadees will also begin to replace the familiar calls of Black-capped Chickadees. Many times juvenile Northern Saw-whet Owls perch along the trail waiting for mother to bring some food. Blackflies can be a problem at higher elevations through July, so be prepared.