|Jul. 19, 2014 (Sat.)
|Elevations: 4627 feet, 3150 feet; Order of Height: 12, 151
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Arn Hyndman, Gosia Hyndman
An outing to sample a trail I'd never done before - the North Trail to Giant Mountain.
On a moderately warm but very humid day, we organized a traverse hike utilizing the North Trail, from Route 9N, up to Giant's summit, then back down and over to Hopkins to end directly in Keene Valley. At the parking lot of the Mountaineer outdoor store, to be precise. We left a bicycle at the mountaineer so that we could retrieve our vehicle from the North Trail trailhead on Route 9N.
After a pleasant but sweaty hike up through mostly open forest to Green Mountain's eastern ridgecrest, we visited the most excellent Owl Head lookout. This lookout, perched atop an airy crag, is worth a visit even if you go no farther on this trail.
We did continue, however, and next enjoyed a very nice open broadleaf forest walk as the trail led mostly along the level on a traverse of a lower flank of Green Mountain. From there a gradual climb brought us to the Giant-Green col, where we made a sharp left and headed up the steepest part of the route. Most of the trail up the north flank of Giant, however, is actually very nice, with only a few really steep bits. There's very little in the way of views, though, until you are almost right on Giant's summit.
Returning back down to the Giant-Green col, our traverse continued west, over some annoying ups and downs and through a tedious boggy section, before arriving at another excellent lookout spot - Hopkins Mountain. The trail continues over the top of Hopkins and down along a crest to neighboring Spread Eagle Mountain. This we decided to bypass, and we followed a very faint trail that led down to the network of gravelled residential streets above Keene Valley. A simple walk from here down the streets to Keene Valley.
Please refer to the link below for the full trip report with lots of pictures.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: July 2014 North Trail traverse (Owl Head, Giant, Hopkins)