The summer was wearing on, and we had agreed to give Asmir and Miriam an intro summer hike in the Adirondacks. With all of the wet and cloudy weather this summer, we waited until the last minute, and then, when the typically poor forecast suddenly began to look better, we went for it. And, I chose a sure-to-please intro favourite : Ampersand Mountain. Not too long, reasonably good trail, excellent summit, and (for us) a shorter to-and-from drive.
Super-busy trailhead
Pleasant Beginnings
An overflowing trailhead greeted us on a humid but sunny late July morning. I suspect a lot of people were taking advantage of the nearby beach at Middle Saranac Lake -- but no doubt many were climbing Ampersand, too.

The trail started out with it's usual pleasant, wide grade. A bit wet, though, because of all of the recent wet weather. I discovered that Asmir is quite a fan of water and watercourses, and he was mighty pleased with each and every little brook and rill that burbled across the trail (previously I'd only hiked with him during the winter months).
Hittin' the steep stuff
Good new trailwork
More nice trailwork
Eventually the trail started it's steep, if somewhat muddy and wet, ascent to Ampersand's summit. The was some new and very nicely down trailwork on the steep sections (as compared to the last time I climbed Ampersand).

Although this was Miriam's first real mountain hike, she did remarkably well. We managed to get to the beginning of the open summit area in a very respectable 1.5 hours.
Slabby wet bit
Major wetness
Asmir explores
The weather was warm and perfect for a nice relaxing summit stay, if a bit on the hazy side. We chose a nice secluded spot on the far side of the summit and had our lunches, sunned a bit, and just plain hung out.
Reaching summit terrain
Snapping away
Two thumbs up
Towards the high peaks
Towards Long Lake
Eastern Lookout's view
Asmir and I explored the eastern lookout on the summit - a spot separated from the main summit by a narrow bit of trees. I didn't know this lookout existed, and it gives a nice northeastern view that I did not know existed from Ampersand's summit. Very nice.
Beginning return journey
Heading down
The way down was straightforward, but again, a bit muddy and wet. We arrived back at the car just a little over 4 hours from when we started. Excellent time, especially considering the long summit break! Good job, everyone!
Interactive Trackmap & Photo Points - Click link below to expand
Ampersand Mountain - Hike Data
Start Time: 11:56a.m.
End Time: 4:05p.m.
Duration: 4h8m
Distance: 8.69 km (5.4 mi)
Average Speed: 2.1 km/hr (1.3 mph)
Start Elevation: 1564ft (477m) *
Max Elevation: 3390ft (1033m) *
Min Elevation: 1564ft (477m) *
End Elevation: 1616ft (492m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 1774ft (541m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 1757ft (536m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
Elevation Profile over Distance
Elevation Profile over Time
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