Castle Rock is a small mountain with a sweeping view of Blue Mountain Lake and the numerous mountains
1.4 miles (2.8 miles round trip)
Sargent Pond Wild Forest
Indian Lake, Hamilton County
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Castle Rock
Castle Rock is a small mountain located on the north shore of Blue Mountain Lake in the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County. The trail is located in the Sargent Pond Wild Forest. Castle Rock is named for the rocky outcrop that forms its summit that towers out of the forest upon which hikers are visible to those on the water and vice versa.
The trail to Castle Rock may be accessed from the north side of the lake or from the end of the Maple Lodge Road, off of Route 30 just below the Adirondack Museum. This hike is 1.4 miles from the parking area to the summit (or 0.8 miles from Blue Mountain Lake to the summit). From the parking area it may also be hiked as a loop totaling at 2.5 miles by taking the trail down the northern slope of the mountain and connecting with the trail to Upper Sargent Pond which runs down the valley to the north of Castle Rock.
The trailhead starts at the end of the Maple Lodge Road, near the entrance to Minnowbrook Conference Center. Parking is roadside. The trailhead register stands at the beginning of a gravel road. Take the road about 0.4 miles until a fork and proceed right. Cross a footbridge on the left and in about 100 yards a foot trail exits the dirt road on the right.
The majority of the hike takes place in mixed Adirondack forests of beech, maple, birch, and conifers. At about 0.7 miles the trail intersects with the trail to Blue Mountain Lake at a stream crossing on stepping stones. The trail grows steep and about 0.3 miles before it passes through a maze of large stone formation boulders. Here there are minor caves beloved by the children of many generations who have climbed this mountain for their novelty and cool air.
The Summit of Blue Mountain Lake
Shortly after the boulders the trail is steep in a couple locations and somewhat of a scramble near the summit where the trail is pinched between rocky outcrops. The summit has a wide open area that is spacious and provides terrific view of Blue Mountain Lake, Blue Mountain, Blue Ridge, Snowy and Wakely Mountains. This trail is suitable for competent hikers of any age.
When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to be Prepared and to Protect the Forest Preserve
Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.
Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.
Winter Use: Castle Rock is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter.
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