Your Guide to Exploring & Hiking Gothics Mountain
Keene, New York
If you are looking for one of the best places to hike in the Northeast, Gothics Mountain in the Adirondacks is a great option. Not only is the scenery completely breathtaking, but the climb is also terrific. Once you summit, you’ll be provided 360-degree views that will simply take your breath away.
The Gothics Mountain is located in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks. It is also the 10th highest mountain in the Adirondack region.
In order to have the best—and safest! —time possible on your Gothic Mountain hike, it is important to be prepared. This guide to exploring and hiking Gothics Mountain will help you do just that.
The best place to park when hiking Gothics Mountain is at the St. Huberts parking area. This is where you should park for the Primary Trailhead. Take Route 73 up from Lake Placid and follow it until you reach St. Huberts. Parking for the best Gothics Mountain hiking trail is across from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead. You will have to enter the private Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) to reach the parking area.
Top Trailhead for the Best Gothics Mountains Hike:
If you are planning a Gothics Mountain hike, the Primary Trailhead is the best option. Here, you will find a 6.2 mile—one-way! —trail. It features moderate to steep ascents and declines, so be sure you are up for the journey before beginning. An experienced hiker can expect to reach the summit in 3 to 3.5 hours, but the journey is not recommended for out of shape hikers or those with children.
From the St. Huberts parking area, you will start by following a compact dirt road that eventually reaches a nice paved road. When you are half a mile from the main parking lot, just before you hit the clubhouse with the Gothics Mountain trail map, you will need to turn left. Head between two tennis courts on Lake Road Way to get to the gate into the AMR. This is a private property area that has rules that need to be applied. They’re posted at the main gate, so be sure to stop and take a look before proceeding. One thing to note is that dogs are prohibited in this area, so don’t plan on bringing man’s best friend along for the journey.
After checking over the rules at the main gate you will then start a two-mile hike along the dirt access road. You will then hit the Gothics Trail, which flows nicely through the forest and provides some nice views. When you reach a bridge that crosses over the Ausable River, keep going until you reach the bottom of Beaver Meadow Falls.
At the base of Beaver Meadow Falls, the trail will ascend steeply. At the left of the falls, you will take a ladder, before transitioning into a steadier climb. Note that there will be some steeper sections along the way so proceed with caution.
You will come to a slide approximately 2 miles from Lake Road. Here, the climb will get extremely steep. Four ladders will then allow you to descend at the junction with the Range Trail. Gothics will be to the left of this junction, while Armstrong is on the right. To complete the amazing Gothics Mountain summit, scale the left side, going up the ridge until you reach the bald peak and absolutely stunning views.
Reach Gothics via Pyramid Peak
Hiking Gothics from the AMR also makes it possible to group the trip with Pyramid Peak. It is common knowledge that Pyramid Peak has some of the best views in the Adirondacks, so if possible, you might want to consider doing Gothics via Pyramid Peak.
This makes the route slightly longer because you will need to go 200 yards past the summit to the left. The trail here will descend quickly, but then ascend steeply to Pyramid. Once you reach Pyramid, it will then descend steeply again until you reach a junction that is just one mile from the Gothics Mountain summit. Turn left at that junction and then follow the trail down a slight grade, passing Rainbow Falls to reach the bridge below the dam. To reach Lake Road, cross the bridge and hike up another 100 yards or so. You can then follow Lake Road back to the main parking area.
Gothics Mountain Trail Map: Second Hiking Trailhead
If you are looking for another great Gothics Mountain hiking trail, Second Trailhead is a good option. To reach this one, you will need to get to The Garden in Keene Valley. Keep in mind that there is a small cost to park, but it isn’t more than $10. Also, be sure to arrive early on the weekend because parking is limited and often fills up quickly. If you don’t luck out at the parking lot, you can hop on a shuttle bus that runs between the area and the overflow parking lot located at Marcy Field.
Hiking Second Trailhead
The Second Trailhead boasts a 7.1-mile hike—one way—with varying terrain. An experienced hiker can expect to reach the summit in 4 to 5 hours, but the journey is not recommended for out of shape hikers or those with children.
After leaving the parking area, you will experience a generally flat trail. Some slight climbs are mixed in, but for the first half mile, it is a gentle hike. When you reach the junction with Southside Trial, you will continue straight to journey along the rolling hills until reaching a steep drop at Johns Brook Valley.
You will see Johns Brook Lodge to the right, so if you need to stop, that’s the time to do it. The most direct route to Gothics summit is to the left of the DEC Interior Outpost. You will cross over a bridge that hangs high Johns Brook and then turn right immediately. After crossing the bridge you will notice a slight but steady ascent along the Orebed Brook.
When you reach the five-way intersection, continue straight on the Ore Bed Trail. You will stay on this for another mile until the trail becomes steeper. When you reach the top of Ore Bed Trail, you have two choices. Gothics is on the left and Saddleback is on the right. Gothics will give you better views, though you’ll have to work for it, so head left up the Cable Route. This route is extremely steep and you will be exposed to the elements. There is a coated cable to help with ascent if you need. After scaling the last bit, you will reach the west summit of Gothics. For the true summit, you will need to go a bit further.
Snowshoeing Gothics Mountains, Adirondacks
For those interested in hiking during the winter, Gothics Mountain is a great choice for snowshoeing. The best winter trailhead, AMR, has an elevation of 4,736 feet and a round trip distance of 13.6 miles to Gothics and back. This typically takes the average snowshoe adventurer 8 to 10 hours to complete. If you add in Armstrong, the round-trip distance stretches to 15.2 miles and takes between 9 to 11 hours to complete.
It is important to note that heavy winds and deep snowdrift can impede your progress along the way. From the ridge to the summit, whiteout conditions can also exist, which makes it nearly impossible to see. Be sure to check the weather before setting out on your Gothics Mountain hike and be sure to pack and dress accordingly. Wind protection is essential, but you should also be prepared for all types of weather conditions and unforeseen issues. In order to keep an eye on hiking conditions, you can always check out this site for live updates on trailconditions.
Adirondack Vacation Rentals
Gothics Mountain hiking is some of the best in the northeast. While it is driving proximity to many, others have to venture quite far to reach this top hiking destination in the Adirondacks. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to relax and unwind to a relaxing retreat after exhausting yourself on the mountain. Choose from a wide variety of Adirondack vacation rentals. It’ll feel like you’re right at home, and likely spend far less than what a hotel would cost!
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