The parking lot for the trail is located on the north side of Route 3, 8.2 miles west of where Route 3/ 86 split in Saranac Lake. There is ample parking available and the lot was nearly full when I arrived today. The air temperature was only 45 degrees as I hit the trail.
To get to the Ampersand Mountain trailhead you must cross to the south side of busy Route 3, where a large sign indicates the start of the trail.
A short distance into the hike, a footbridge crosses Dutton Brook.
A steep section of trail over wet rocks.
Looking back down at a steep, wet section of trail.
After a rock squeeze and one more climb, the trail arrives at the huge, rocky summit area. From here, the climb continues along the yellow chalk lines to the summit.
Southern views towards many of the high peaks, which are ablaze in fall color.
A view northeast towards Lower Saranac Lake.
Standing water near the summit.
The western view.
After lingering on the summit area for a while, soaking in the 360 degree views, I retraced my steps off the mountain for 5.4 mile RT hike.
Once I arrived back at the car, I opted to take the trail north from the parking lot, which leads .6 of a mile to Middle Saranac Lake's shores. This trail is level and easy to follow, eventually leading to a wet crossing over Dutton Brook's swampy waters.
Still water reflections where Dutton Brook widens and becomes a small pond, just before emptying into the lake.
Completed the 1.2 mile RT walk to the lake for a total of 6.6 miles for the day. A great start to the month of October.