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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cooks Mountain(Adirondacks)/Snake Mountain (Vermont)

Went north to hike Cooks Mountain in the eastern Adirondacks at the north end of Lake George today.  The trail is located just 1.5 miles south of Alexandria Ave on Baldwin Road in the town of Ticonderoga.  A sign, fence and kiosk mark the start of the trail on the west side of Baldwin Road.
From the kiosk, a yellow trail follows a wide, flat path for about .15 mile where a blue trail breaks off to the left.
The blue blazed side trail leads a short distance into the woods to an old cemetery that dates back to the Civil War.  Snow and ice hid any hint of the cemetery, other than this gravestone that was turned on its side.
Once back on the yellow loop trail, I continued level walking to the red blazed Ridges Trail.  A sign indicating Cooks Mtn is .9 miles ahead is seen here.
The climb up the Ridges Trail was fairly steep and got the blood pumping.
The true summit of Cooks Mountain, where there are hints of the views to be had, but mostly viewless.
Continuing past the summit, the red trail eventually leads to a phenomenal lookout to the south of Lake George.  To the left, on the east side of the Lake is Flat Rock and barely visible through the trees on the right is Rogers Rock.
A walked all around this clearing looking for a better view but trees made it difficult to get a better vantage point. 
A zoomed in view over Lake George.
After retracing your steps for a several hundred yards, a side path provides extensive eastern views over Ticonderoga and beyond into Vermont.
South Mountain looming directly over the very northern tip of Lake George.
Sun peeking out on the descent.
Looking back at Cooks Mountain from Baldwin Road.
After leaving Cooks Mountain, I crossed over the state line into Vermont to rural Addison County to hike 1287 foot Snake Mountain.  The trailhead is located off muddy Wilmarth Road where even the scenes from the road are incredibly scenic.
The trail follows a very old road for quite a distance as the sun shined brightly down.A cold wind was less than forgiving however, so I kept a pretty good pace.
I only passed one couple and their dog on the way up making it a very quiet, pleasant walk. After about 1.75 miles I arrived at the summit clearing.
A very large slab of concrete marks the lookout spot onto top of Snake Mountain.  This spot provides some of the best views to be found nearly anywhere.
Sweeping views over rural Addison County. 
Views to the south.
North facing views into Northern Vermont and much of the Champlain Valley.
The west facing views are absolutely incredible, with Lake Champlain and many of the Adirondack High Peaks clearly visible in the near distance.
Vermont farmland far below.
The biting winds made it tough to enjoy the awe inspiring views.
Rural roads and farmland all around you.
A panoramic view off Snake Mountain.

An old concrete foundation of some kind can be found nearby on the summit area.  There is a lot of history on this mountain, with the Grand View Hotel being built here way back in 1870, before being burned down.  The view from the summit is now known as "Grand View", in memory of the hotel.

Hiked a total of 6.7 miles RT.

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