Cobble Lookout is a short, easy hike that leads to an open rocky cliff area with big views of the surrounding High Peaks and mountains.
1.3 miles long (2.6 miles round-trip)
Wilmington, Essex County
Wilmington Wild Forest
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Hike Up Cobble Lookout
Cobble Lookout is an easy 1.3-mile hike outside of Wilmington, in Essex County. The trail is on public Forest Preserve in the Wilmington Wild Forest. The trailhead parking lot is on Gillespie Drive/Route 18A, a few miles from the Four Corners in Wilmington and just west of Santa’s Workshop and the Whiteface Memorial Highway entrance.
The hike up Cobble Lookout winds through beautiful forests to rocky outcrops with beautiful views of the High Peaks and surrounding mountains. The trail is easy because it only gains 250 feet in elevation. This is a popular trail so it is likely that other people will be using this trail at the same time.
The Cobble Lookout Trail
The hike begins at the rear of a trailhead parking area, which on busy days will see a long line of vehicles parked on the roadside. The initial stage of the trail is wide, well-worn, and easy to follow. The surrounding forest is young northern hardwoods, heavy with paper birch. The trail begins with a flat, gravel stretch that quickly reaches the base of a beautiful cliff face.
At the 0.3-mile-mark, the trail ascends a short stone staircase. Then, immediately after, the trail becomes littered with stones and bedrock. In this section, the trail passes many large glacial erratics and crosses one stream.
The Cobble Lookout Summit
The final stretch to the summit traverses a heavy beech forest. The trail is stable, though there is loose stone. The trail passes through a series of short climbs before reaching the open cliffs. The summit offers a large seating area and terrific views of Esther Mountain and Whiteface Mountain to the southwest, Hamlin and Winch Mountains to the southeast, and High Peaks in the distance. Various scenes of Wilmington are visible in the valley below. The summit isn’t the only place to enjoy the view, there is another lookout to the east.
Cobble Lookout is an easy hike that is accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. The trail out is the same route as the trail hiked in.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Cobble Lookout.
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: Cobble Lookout is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter.