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Azure Mountain is a day hike perfect for those looking for a short walk with a great reward. The one mile trail to the summit covers steep yet navigable terrain. There are plenty of flat areas for water breaks and rest stops. While it is steep in some areas, with appropriate stops it is suitable for families with small children.

The hike travels up 1000 ft of elevation gain through a mixed hardwood forest with great potential for wildlife viewing. The summit includes a 35-foot fire tower that affords 360 degree views of the St. Lawrence River Valley and Northern Adirondacks. From the summit, views of the northern Adirondack boreal forest are stunning and on a clear day you can see the peaks of Whiteface, Colden, Gothics, Marcy and Algonquin.

Expect about an hour hike for moderate hikers, bring water and snacks and an extra layer for warmth on the summit.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance (round trip): 2.00

Whether you’re looking for a nice walk with the dog, a short trail run, miles of winding mountain bike trails, or a place for cross-country skiing in the winter, the Clarkson trails are the place to go. Beginning at the main entrance at the open field and lumber yard, the trail quickly forks. Bearing right, the trail continues on the loop with a short side trail on the right leading to an observation deck with views of a swamp home to a beaver hut and an osprey nest. Continuing on the trail, there is a short trail to the left which can be made into a 1 mile loop, or continuing on the full loop for a 1.7 mile trip. This multipurpose trail is also used by the ROTC and has elements of the obstacle course along the trail. Additionally, there are several miles of mountain biking trails of varying difficulties which wind in and out of the main multipurpose trail.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 1.30

Coney Mountain is an ideal option if you are looking for a short hike with great views. The trail winds gradually around the mountain for just over a mile, across easy to moderate hiking terrain. Walking at a comfortable pace, the hike may take around 30 minutes to reach the summit at an elevation of 2265 feet. The summit is open rock, and offers one of the best 360 degree views in the region.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance (round trip): 2.30

This is an easy two mile round trip to an impressive 60 foot waterfall on the North Branch of the Grasse River. Starting from the trailhead off Donnerville Road (sometimes spelled Downerville), the trail heads downhill through a mixed deciduous and hemlock forest, crossing two bridges before a short uphill, and then a final descent to the falls. Beaver and porcupine activity is evident adjacent to the trail. A lovely designated campsite is located next to the falls, perfect for a quick overnight backpacking trip. The upper falls is a series of small cascades, which channel into a narrow chute for the final drop. Old stone walls next to the waterfall are remnants of an old mill once located at this site.

For a longer hike, the trail continues along the river, leaving the Adirondack Park boundary and entering the Donnerville State Forest. Many trails spur from the river trail, and the area is becoming a popular mountain bike destination. For a map of the mountain bike trails, see: http://slmba.org/node/15

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 1.30

The Lampson Falls Trail provides relatively easy access to one of the largest and most popular waterfalls in the North Country. These impressive falls drop 100 feet over a smooth rock face into a large, swirling pool at the bottom. Down the trail from the falls, there is a small beach area with safe swimming in an eddy on river right. The trail to the falls is wide, flat, and accommodates wheel chairs. From the top of the falls, the trail narrows and drops steeply down to the beach, then continues over a rocky outcrop opposite the waterfall. In summer, many people stop here to pick blueberries, sunbathe, and admire the falls from the rocks. To complete the loop, look for yellow trail markers on the trees that will lead you on a path along the river. This section can be overgrown in the summer, but offers a scenic views of the Grasse. After about a mile of walking along the river, near the remnants of an old bridge, the trail turns right and continues gradually uphill on an old forest road. It eventually links into the main trail just above the falls. Parking is available along Rte. 27 year-round, and the trail system is popular with skiers and snowshoers in winter.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 3.10

Mt. Arab is a great hike for families and those looking to enjoy some amazing views after a very short hike. The trail is short but can be steep at times, still great for hikers with kids and pets. You follow the trail through a dense hardwood forest before emerging at the summit in a mixed conifer forest with great autumn color around the end of September to early October.

At the summit there is a lookout tower with maps to help identify surrounding landmarks, and a ranger station that is kept up by the Friends of Mount Arab group. From the summit and fire tower you can see Arab Lake, Tupper Lake, and the northwest foothills of the Adirondacks. On a clear day you can see all the way to some of the high peaks.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance (round trip): 1.50

The Munter Trail, part of Clarkson University’s trail system, is a wide, level, packed sand trail that follows the Raquette River south to the entrance of the Bayside Cemetery. Along the trail there are a number of picnic spots, as well as boardwalks perfect for fishing or enjoying the view of Fall Island. The trail can be accessed from a number of points, with the two main trailheads located at the rear of the Stewart’s Shop on Maple St. or behind the Clarkson University Walker Center behind Hantz Field. The closest public restrooms are located at the Stewart’s, a great excuse to pick up a cone of ice cream after your walk.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 2.10

The Red Sandstone trail, maintained by the ADK Laurentian Chapter, offers great views of the Raquette River through varying terrain. Beginning at the South entrance, the trail follows the Raquette River rapids and passes a quarry and dam before meeting a junction at 1.5 miles. At the junction is the parking area for the north entrance of the trail and the access road from CR 59 to the north entrance leads left. The trail continues heading right with a stairway over the aqueducts to a trail which closely follows the shoreline. The trail forks near the entrance to Sugar Island, bearing right, the trail continues on a loop around Sugar Island with an option to take a left for a shorter loop, or continue forward on the trail for a 7 mile round trip back to the south entrance. There are interpretive signs provided by the ADK throughout the trail which detail the history of the Raquette River and the local area. This is a great trail for all ages and can be used for a short mid-day outing, or half a day of exploration.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance (round trip): 7.00

The Remington Trail, also known as the Partridge Loop, is a popular paved 3.2 mile loop that winds its way around the Partridge Run Golf Course. The trail is great for bikers, walkers, roller bladers, and runners. There are two main entry points for the loop, one off Riverside Drive and the other off Sullivan Drive next to the golf course parking lot that doubles as trailhead parking. There is a playground found 0.1 mile from the Sullivan Drive entrance.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 3.20

Southville State Forest Trail is a great loop that offers pleasant views of the west branch of the St. Regis River. Beginning at the southern trailhead (yellow markers) the trail passes through dense pine forests before descending and heading north along the river banks. The trail turns and ascends toward the road and meets at a junction with the northern trail entrance (red markers). Continuing forward, the northern trail leads back to the West Stockholm Southville Rd, or, bearing right, the trail loops back on itself to make a 2.5 mile loop.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 3.00

The Stone Valley Trail is a scenic trail offering great opportunities for waterfall viewing, wildlife watching, and learning about local history. The 7.8 mile loop parallels the Raquette River, including the dramatic 1.5 mile stretch below the dam in Colton. Along the way, look out for several informational kiosks describing the natural surroundings and the history of the Raquette River. Multiple iconic North Country waterfalls, including “The Tubbs,” are located along the trail. Most of the larger falls are located along the first 1.5 miles of trail from the south (Colton) side of the loop. Most hikers opt for the shorter, but very scenic, out-and-back option. During the summer months, whitewater kayakers can be seen braving the raging rapids through what is known as one of the most technical stretches of river in the Northeast.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance (round trip): 7.80

The cross country trail at SUNY Canton is a pleasant, mostly flat path along the Grasse River. It can be accessed from the footbridges over the Grasse off Riverside Drive, behind the Roos House Athletic Center, and from Parking Lot 6 on the SUNY Canton campus. From the footbridges, continue along the paved path, then along grass area between the road and the river until the trail enters the woods, where it is more distinct. In the spring look for an impressive display of trillium in bloom on both sides of the trail as you enter the woods. The trail winds through lowland forest and old field habitats until it eventually emerges behind the athletic fields, where you can go left towards the athletic center or right and around the baseball fields before climbing up to Parking Lot 6. This is also a great trail for cross country skiing in winter.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 3.10

This small mountain in St. Lawrence County makes a great hike for the whole family. Beginning at the parking lot near Tooley Pond, a short walk north up Tooley Pond Rd. leads to the entrance to the East Trail. The trail crosses a river with a short climb and circles around offering views of Tooley Pond through the trees. Continuing on, the trail continues to gently climb until reaching a junction with the West Trail just before the peak. Bearing left, the trail continues to a partly wooded summit with a clearing where a fire tower once stood offering views of peaks in the distance. To make a loop, bear left on the return and follow the West Trail to another parking area along Tooley Pond Rd. With a 229 foot gentle ascent, this trail is ideal for the whole family in any season.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 2.10

The Wolf Lake State Forest trail system travels through a forested landscape offering great views of the fall foliage and passes by three lakes: Wolf Lake, Moon Lake, and Huckleberry Lake. Many of the trails cross beaver marshes and there is a very large beaver hut on a small pond half way between the southeast Talcville Road entrance and the junction at Moon Lake (blue trail markers). Lean-tos are located on the west side of the Sam Day Road to Moon Lake trail “Beaver Ponds Trail” (red markers) approximately 1.5 miles from the northwest entrance, on the northwest shore of Wolf Lake along the Sam Day Road to Wolf Lake Trail (yellow markers), on the southern shore of Moon Lake and the eastern shore of Huckleberry Lake along the Talcville Road to Moon Lake Trail (yellow markers). Wolf Lake and Huckleberry Lake are well known for their great bass fishing and Wolf Lake is home to many great camping sites.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance (round trip): 3.20