Panther Mountain, also known as Echo Cliff, is a short 0.6-mile steep climb to a wide open cliff that provides an extraordinary view of the southern Adirondacks.
Panther Mountain/Echo Cliff
0.6 miles (1.2 miles round trip)
Arietta, Hamilton County
Southern Adirondacks, on Piseco Lake
The Panther Mountain trail, also sometimes referred to as Echo Cliff, is a 0.6-mile steep hike to a set of cliffs that offer an excellent view of Piseco Lake and the surrounding landscape. The hike is popular, and the trail is worn and trampled. The trail is located entirely on the public Forest Preserve, on the southern edge of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness. The trailhead is accessed off of the Old Piseco Road on the north side of the lake, between the Little Sand Point and Point Comfort Campgrounds.
A local favorite due to its short distance and rewarding view, this trail is heavily used. The trail up is particularly eroded, with myriad loose stones of varying sizes, and exposed bedrock in many areas. The trail begins through beech-heavy mixed hardwood forest and slowly gains conifers as elevation increases. However, due to its relatively low elevation the summit does not harbor a holdout of true boreal forest as other higher Adirondack peaks do. There are many large rocks along the trail.
The first two-thirds of the trail climbs at a moderate slope before the remaining steeper final stretch to the summit. The top section of the trail has received some extensive trail work in the last few years to build waterbars and an extensive stone staircase.
The summit, Echo Cliff itself, is a sheer drop of several hundred feet. The view is impressive across Piseco Lake and farther to the south to ridges and forests of the Silver Lake Wilderness area. Overall this is an easy and rewarding hike. The hike down is the same as the hike up.
The trail out is the same as the trail in. This is a beautiful hike, accessible for anyone who is comfortable with hiking 1.2 miles of a steep trail.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Panther Mountain/Echo Cliff.
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: Panther Mountain/Echo Cliff is used for snowshoeing in the winter. It is not practical for cross-country skiing.
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