Severance Mountain is an easy climb to a small mountain peak with great views of Schroon Lake and the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area.
1.2 miles (2.4 miles round-trip)
Schroon, Essex County
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Hike Up Severance Mountain
Severance Mountain is a short 1.2-mile hike that overlooks Schroon Lake and the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area. The trail is on public Forest Preserve lands in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area. The trailhead and parking area are off Route 9, north Schroon Lake. The hike is of moderate difficulty with some steep sections towards the end. The trail leads to a rocky cliff with great views. This hike is appropriate for kids, families, and hikers of all ability levels.
The trail starts at the rear of the parking area. A number of horse hitching posts dot the parking area, and hikers need to walk towards the back to find the trail register and signs directing them to Severance Hill. Almost immediately, the trail leads through two metal-lined tunnels under the Adirondack Northway. Not the usual start of an Adirondack hike. After the tunnels, the trail takes a sharp right and passes through a couple of potentially confusing trail junctions. The correct trail is clearly marked with bright yellow trail markers nailed to trailside trees.
The Trail Up Severance Mountain
After the trail is west of the Northway, it soon begins to gain elevation gently. It winds back and forth and up and across small ridges. The trail also includes a set of shallow stairs held in place by logs across the trail, and at another point soon after, there is a small log bench on the right side of the trail. Soon after the bench, the trail crosses a small stream on a wooden bridge and reaches the steepest part of the ascent to the peak. The trail turns one last time to the right, and there is a short, slightly eroded scramble before the summit itself.
The Summit of Severance Mountain
The summit area of Severance Mountain is in good condition. There are open, rocky areas amidst the forest, with a beautiful but limited view to the southeast. The summit overlooks Schroon Lake and Pharaoh Mountain.
The trip down is easy, with some steep sections, and follows the same trail.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Severance 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: Severance Mountain is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter.
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