This fall has been one of the best foliage seasons we have had in years. I had an itch to do some fall hiking even though we were past peak foliage, I knew it would still be beautiful. I was looking for something short with a big reward. That’s when I came across Sawyer Mountain. I had never hiked it and was looking for something different than the mountains I usually hike. It looked like it was about 2 miles round trip with a great lookout at the top. I decided to leave early the next morning for a drive towards Indian Lake and conquer Sawyer Mountain.
How to get there
In Blue Mountain Lake, take the left hand turn towards Indian Lake. About 6 miles down the road you will see the trailhead for Sawyer Mountain on your right. If you are coming from the opposite direction continue through Indian Lake towards Blue Mountain Lake for 5 miles. You will see the trailhead on your left.
I arrived at the trail head around 8:30 a.m. and was the only one there, which my dog Ruger and I always enjoy. Being on the trail by yourself and only hearing the crunchy leaves under your hiking boots is one of my favorite sounds. We grabbed our gear and headed up the trail. The trail was completely covered in leaves as most have fallen from the trees with the recent rain we have had. We climbed for a bit before the trail leveled out to flat walking. We started to climb a couple rock faces that were slippery due to wet leaves covering them.
As we continued to climb up, when we reached about 0.2 miles from the top, we reached an amazing lookout on the left of the trail. I stopped to take some pictures and then continued on to the top. First you reach the false summit, which has beautiful views. Be careful here with kids as there are multiple steep cliffs. However, this is not the actual summit. Continue on the path for another two-tenths of a mile and you will come to the end at a wooded summit. I had a hard time trying to find the marker as the leaves were covering the ground, but this spot is the true summit.
The hike took us about a half hour. We stopped at the top for some photos and a drink of water and headed back down to the car. This is a great hike for families, with very moderate climbing that kids can handle.
On the way to the trailhead we passed a road sign that said “Rock Lake .5 miles.” It piqued my interest so on the way back I decided to pull in. The trailhead parking is about two-tenths of a mile before the Sawyer Mountain trailhead. Ruger and I headed down the trail which was mostly flat and very easy walking. The first part of the walk is through the woods, then you see the lake ahead and the trails turns and walks right alongside the lake. After crossing a bridge, walk a bit further and you will see a trail to the left that will take you to a cool campsite and to the water.
If there is someone camping there, you can keep walking another half a mile and you will see another trail to the lake on your left. This will bring you to a beautiful sandy beach that would make a great picnic spot. This is a great hike to bring your fishing pole or binoculars as the birding would be plentiful here. We took a break here and regretted not packing a lunch! After Ruger swam in the water and we were rested, we headed back to the car happy after a full morning of hiking.
Looking for a quick morning hike? Either Sawyer Mountain or the trail to Rock Lake are great options. Do them both for a little longer time on the trails. Afterwards, find a place to eat, take a look at some shops, and spend the night to make your trip in the Adirondacks last.