Deer Leap is a short, fun hike to an open cliff at the north end of the Tongue Mountain Range that overlooks Lake George
1.6 miles (3.2 miles round trip)
Lake George Wild Forest
Hague, Warren County
Level of Difficulty: moderate
Hike Deer Leap
Deer Leap is a 1.6-mile hike on to a cliff above Lake George at the north end of the Tongue Mountain Range, above Silver Bay in the Town of Hague in Warren County. The trail is located in part of the Lake George Wild Forest area of the public Forest Preserve. Deer Leap provides a great view of the north end of Lake George and the mountains on the east side of the lake.
The trail begins at a trailhead south of Silver Bay and north of Bolton Landing on Route 9N, also known as Lakeshore Drive. It’s on a steep stretch of road, so be careful. Parking is also available across the street from the trailhead.
The trail begins with a flat, rocky stretch that reaches a trail register after a few hundred yards. From there, the trail continues through a mature northern hardwood forest and starts to ascend after about 0.2 miles.
The incline is substantial but not steep, but after a short distance, it levels out and follows a narrow path that navigates a young beech and birch forest. This soon gives way to a mild decline that reaches a small stream at the 0.5-mile marker.
A tenth of a mile farther and a little higher, the trail arrives at a trail junction. The path to the right heads toward Five Mile Mountain and Tongue Mountain’s summit, while the path to the left continues towards Deer Leap.
Within 200 yards there is a smooth, flat side trail that leads to a small, grassy campsite that catches tiny glimpses of the lake through the trees. Back on the main trail, the path descends into a forest full of beech and maple trees and soon arrives at a segment of trail full of cut-out blowdown. The next section of trail winds through large erratics and has many turns and switchbacks. At 1.3 miles, there’s a second side trail to another beautiful campsite.
The Open Cliffs of Deer Leap
Deer Leap is a series of rocky outcrops. The main open rocky area provides sweeping views of Lake George and Black Mountain in the east side of the lake. The return trip is same route as the hike in.
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: Deer Leap is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter.
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