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HAYDK 08-15-2021 06:21 PM

If your coming from Hague just look for the big yellow sign at the paved pull-off, on your left. If your driving from exit 25 you will not see the sign until you pull in the parking area.
Lonehiker thanks for the clarification of the the reference marker. wikipedia version

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by montcalm (Post 286786)

Thank You, I think I can Identify Pharaoh and Stevens Mountain now. Pharaoh is to the right of Stevens. It's not as high as I thought it would be considering all the hype over it and it's area. It's only 2500 to 2600 feet. Prominence does matter though.

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 07:37 PM

Trail Report:
A couple things I noticed:
-The trail uses blue markers and several arrows to help. Some signs are yellow though and many demand you stay on the trail.
-The trail is grassy, but not tall grass. A lot of the grass is flattened down.
-The canopy is quite open in most areas. It’s not the typical Adirondack trail with a thick canopy. I had some sun exposure here.
-The climbing pitches here are brief.
-There were several small downward undulations along the way.
-There were 2 major switchbacks.
-The tower is climbable, but the cabin is collapsed

Instead following the old trail, the new trail switchbacks twice around two knobs leading up to the primary ridge.

The trail starts by the big yellow sign. Currently you step over the parking guard rail to get to the trail. You walk down to the small stream, cross it, and climb up over a very steep bank. I hope they correct this part of the trail, because it’s treacherous. Once on top of the bank the trail is level with a lot of chopped wood on it. You can see North Pond and the parking area from here. The trail will start climbing and swing right toward the west, through a pass. It will then undulate down to a hair pin which is one of the major switchbacks. There is an arrow not on the trail, but back in a clearing still visible. It swings east then south as it climbs along and on top of a drainage. As it reaches the second pass it will turn east again up and over the pass. After the pass the trail undulates down again until it reaches a muddy area. The muddy area has a path across part of it, reinforced with rocks and earth. After the mud area the trail will swing up and begin to gain the primary ridge turning west again as part of the second major switchback. You will pass a knob on the left with a clearing and the trail levels off. The trail will swing up again reaching the top of the ridge line. Near the end, the trail drops down again on the north slope somewhat precariously on the side of the mountain. It will eventually swing back up again to the knob just before the tower. There is an evergreen canopy here. I could barely see the tower through the trees here. Finally the trail drops off the knob, joins the old jeep path, and finishes at the tower in just a few minutes.

Dave Bourque 08-16-2021 09:50 AM

From the cab the views include; Crane, Gore, the 3 Brothers, Stevens, Pharaoh, Treadway and the High Peaks. A small sliver of Brant Lake is visible. It was too hazy to identify any peaks further out but I believe Snowy might be visible. Other than a couple of small buildings in the distance there are no signs of civilization. While the trail follows unattractive slash roads, the summit was not lumbered and is very pleasant. The summit is owned by Warren County. There is talk of selectively cutting a few trees which would re-open the views towards the east.

DSettahr 08-25-2021 10:56 PM

I made it up Swede this afternoon. Short but nice hike. A few observations:
  • Most of the trail is well constructed but there's a few short stretches that either need more work or should've been routed differently. The first hundred feet or so out of the parking lot is most noticeable- it's by far the steepest stretch of the trail and it's already quickly turning into a muddy otter slide. There's a few other stretches that need more/better drainage work and soil stabilization (and honestly possibly even a reroute or two), including one causeway built across a particularly muddy stretch using stone retaining walls that was incorrectly backfilled with organic soils rather than mineral. For the most part, however, the trail was dry and pleasant to hike on. There are also some patches of punji sticks that present a tripping hazard- and accordingly, also a lung-puncturing hazard- and they really need to be cut flush with the ground ASAP.
  • All of the new signage- literally every single trail marker, every "stay on the trail" sign (there's a bunch), every posted sign, and every arrow sign- has been nailed flush with the trees each sign is posted on. The consequence of this is that the majority of this signage will last a few years at the most (whereas by leaving several inches of the nails protruding from the trunk of each tree, many of signs could've easily lasted 1-2 decades).
  • The lower two-thirds of the trail or so pass through very heavily cut over industrial timber lands. In the absence of some sort of on-site interpretation, I suspect that this likely to promote lower levels of enjoyment- and even some level of conflict- among many visitors. I'm also hopeful that Lyme Timber has agreed to leave a buffer in place around the trail during future harvests- but I'm not sure that I hold out that much hope for this sort of protection.
  • A substantial amount of work has visibly gone into the tower itself. All new wooden steps and flooring, plus chicken wire for safety. And if my observations are correct, a new foundation as well. Kudos to whoever did this work.
  • There are excellent views to the northwest from the tower- but all other directions are blocked by trees that are just about as tall as the tower itself. I had the thought while standing in the tower that it might be worth cutting a few trees to enhance the view further. Based on Dave's post above, it sounds like I'm far from the first to have this thought.

jan 08-26-2021 08:19 AM

"Otter Slide" is a very accurate description of the first section of the Swede Mt. hike. I climbed it Tuesday with a group of 7. One person opted to skip the hike and wait in the lot after looking over the start. One word of caution... there is a loose rock partway up the slide that when (not if) it dislodges could be dangerous to anyone below. Watch your step, and watch the climbers above before you start up.

Dave Bourque 08-26-2021 10:08 AM

The majority of the trail work and all of the tower efforts were done by the Warren County DPW. They deserve most of the kudos. Volunteers helped with trail clearing and hardening. The route the trail takes was very specifically defined by the easement Warren County purchased. The easement is very narrow. We suggested several trail re-routes but our requests were denied. The new trail does not follow the original trail. The original trail was through a beautiful hardwood forest and headed more directly up the mountain through a few notches in the cliffs. As far as the "otter slide", Warren County originally planned on constructing a bridge over the outlet of North Pond. Shortly before the trail opening was announced they decided against the bridge. The bridge efforts were to include some stone steps up the embankment. There are still plans on improving this section. With the trail closing for the season on September 10th, this work will not begin until next spring. Long ago there was a wooden foot bridge over the outlet. The trail then immediately turned left and followed the shoreline to a spot where there was no embankment. Unfortunately any re-routes are not an option. The summit is owed by Warren County so any selective thinning of trees do not need NYS permission. At one time the views were almost 360į. Some people might not be in favor of some carefully done cutting but I agree with DSettahr. The mountain has already been extensively lumbered. Losing a few more trees would restore the views we once had. As I have mentioned before, this fire tower peak is going to be very popular. When I drive by the trailhead during the week the parking lot is full.

Nehasane 09-09-2021 05:27 PM

If you havenít yet gotten out to check out the new fire tower trail near Hague on Swede Mountain, youíll have to wait a while: the trail and tower are closed as of September 10, through December 16. When it reopens, you can enjoy views to the north and west of Gore, Crane, and 11th Mountains, along with Brant Lake.

Lonehiker 09-09-2021 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by Nehasane (Post 287066)
If you havenít yet gotten out to check out the new fire tower trail near Hague on Swede Mountain, youíll have to wait a while: the trail and tower are closed as of September 10, through December 16. When it reopens, you can enjoy views to the north and west of Gore, Crane, and 11th Mountains, along with Brant Lake.

Friends of mine just made it in time :dance:

Dave Bourque 11-23-2021 10:20 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Volunteer efforts have greatly improved the otter slide.

TCD 11-23-2021 10:52 AM

Wow, that's really nice looking work. Those are the kind of steps hikers will use, rather than going around. (I hope the wood is pressure treated, so it will last.)

Who did the work, if I can ask? It looks great, and whoever did it deserves to get credit.

Hear the Footsteps 11-23-2021 05:25 PM

Steps were put in by ADK Glens Falls-Saratoga chapter.
See Adirondac Nov-Dec 2021 pg 35.

Reminder the trail and tower are closed for hunting season, September 10 - December 16. Source of this is

TCD 11-23-2021 05:50 PM

Excellent. Good for them. Very well done.

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