Five Mile Mountain is a moderate 7.2-mile (round trip) hike on a long and beautiful ridgeline trail that leads to a mountain summit that overlooks Lake George.
Five Mile Mountain
3.6 mile (7.2 miles round-trip)
Hague, Warren County
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Up Five Mile Mountain
Five Mile Mountain is a part of the Tongue Mountain Range in the Lake George Wild Forest area of the Adirondack Park. Five Mile Mountain overlooks Lake George from the west shore and in between Bolton Landing and Hague. This trail starts at the Deer Leap Trailhead off of Route 9N.
The hike to Five Mile Mountain is 3.6-miles-long and largely follows the ridgeline of the Tongue Mountain Range. The elevation increase is very gradual, making the hike only moderate difficulty even though the total elevation gain is rather high. The trail passes a lean-to and climbs over multiple smaller peaks before reaching Five Mile Mountain’s summit.
The Hiking Trail Up Five Mile Mountain
The trail begins at the Deer Leap parking area, at the northernmost end of the Tongue Mountain Range, off Route 9N. There is ample parking space in the lot, which is across the road from the trailhead itself. The trail begins relatively flat, and the slope increases gradually as hikers work their way towards the first peak called Brown Mountain. About 1 mile along the trail, there is a junction where the trail splits off. Continuing to the left, hikers will soon reach Deer Leap Point. To the right, the trail continues to the ridgeline another 2.6 miles to reach the summit of Five Mile Mountain.
The trail is in great condition the whole distance, from the parking lot to the summit of Five Mile Mountain. In many places along the ridgeline, the trail is wide open, winding through large patches of lichen-covered bedrock and small patches of blueberries. This open ridgeline continues for close to two miles, passing intermittently through stands of trees.
When the trail passes by a lean-to, aptly named the Five Mile Mountain Lean-to, the trail is close to half a mile from the summit. The lean-to is in great condition, with a large fire pit close by, and a privy.
The Summit of Five Mile Mountain
The trail continues behind the lean-to. The trail conditions remain consistently good until the turnoff to Five Mile Mountain’s true summit. The trail junction is unmarked, and there is no official trail up to the summit, so keep a sharp eye out to the right side of the trail for a short herd path that leads up to the summit. The summit is clear from a surveying marker, and a bit past the marker and down a small way, there are excellent scenic vistas over the western half of Lake George and to the mountains on the other side.
From this point, hikers can either turn around and walk back to the Deer Leap parking area, a trip that is 6.5 miles round trip, or continue to hike the rest of the Tongue Mountain Range, or even hike down to Montcalm Point. There is another lean-to near Fifth Peak for camping. A hike of the entire Tongue Mountain Range is a significant undertaking for the fittest of hikers.
The hike back to Deer Leap, the summit of Five Mile Mountain, is gentle and easy, mostly sloping downhill. Overall, the hike is of medium difficulty and suitable for hikers of all ability levels, so long a 7.2-mile-long hike is not a barrier.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Five Mile Mountain.
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: Five Mile Mountain is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter.
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