Last weekend I climbed Lyon Mountain, the 3,830-foot peak west of Dannemora. What a great view! I had been up it a few times before but not since the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) rerouted the trail.
The old trail was an old jeep road that shot straight up the mountain. It was a rubbly mess. The new trail switchbacks up the eastern face, so gradually that at times you hardly realize you’re climbing. At 3.3 miles, the rerouted trail is about a mile longer than the old one, but it’s much easier on the knees.
In fact, the trail is so user-friendly that a strong trail runner could probably jog up it. I didn’t try that, but I did jog on the way down, and it was exhilarating.
Another change is that the fire tower on the summit has been refurbished. From the cab, you can see in all directions: the High Peaks to the southwest, the Champlain Valley and the Green Mountains to the east, and the St. Lawrence River to the north. Chazy Lake is spread out at the foot of the mountain. The view also now encompasses the huge wind farms just outside the Adirondack Park.
Kudos to ADK for redesigning the trail. And to the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, which bought Lyon Mountain from Domtar Industries in 2004 and sold it to the state in 2008.
Word must be getting out about Lyon (our publisher, Tom Woodman,wrote the new trail in the January issue of the Explorer), because there were more than 20 cars at the trailhead when I began my climb on Saturday afternoon–many of them from Quebec.
Directions: From the village of Dannemora, drive 9.3 miles east on NY 374 to Chazy Lake Road. Turn left and go 1.7 miles to a dirt road on the right. Follow the dirt road nearly a mile to its end. If coming from the south, turn onto Chazy Lake Road from NY 3 in the hamlet of Saranac and follow it 9.6 miles to the dirt road. (Chazy Lake road takes a left turn at 0.5 mles and a right turn at 2.4 miles, the latter at a four-way intersection.)