First let me say that Rattlesnake Mountain truly does offer the best “bang for your buck”. This short and relatively easy hike has incredible views of Lake Champlain, the Four Brothers Islands, Willsboro bay, Willsboro Point, Giant Mountain, Rocky Peak Ridge, Long Pond, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Absolutely breathtaking views in the matter of a 45 minute hike!
The sky was perfectly clear. The breeze was still, and the single digit temperatures not hard to handle with the proper layers.
I have been on many hikes in the Adirondack region. All of them have proven to have incredible views that one only gets to see in magazines and postcards. The major difference between Rattlesnake and these other mountains is the ease of getting there. Well, getting to the top that is. The trailhead is a bit harder to find than other trails along the Adirondack Coast because it is not maintained by the DEC (Department of Environmental Control). This is private land that the owners kindly allow visitors to use for hiking up rattlesnake Mountain. Because of this they do have a short list of rules in place that must be respected so long as we want to have their continued generosity. Quite simply, Hike only.
How to get to Rattlesnake Mountain? Considering this is an unmarked trail, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled. The trail to Rattlesnake Mountain begins just off Route 22 in Willsboro. The trail parking area is located across from the Long Pond cabins 4.7 miles east of the intersection of Route 9 and Route 22 at Northway Exit 33, south of Keeseville. The parking area is just 1/2 mile south of the Route 22 “Long Pond” sign. If you have a GPS handy, the coordinates are N 44.38962 W 73.44515. In the summer months, there is a sign directly across the street from the parking area for the Long Pond Cabins. Be cautious if your car doesn’t have much ground clearance. There parking area is full of boulders high enough to scrape the undercarriage.
The first leg of the hike takes you along a fairly flat logging trail used by the property owners. It gives you plenty of space to stretch out and get a warm up for the steeper section of the hike. The trail itself is unmarked, but easy to find. You’ll notice the sign of rules that the land owner has placed at the base of the steeper section. You’ll begin your ascent here. About half way up we stopped to look out over the best view of Long Point, Giant Mountain, and Rocky Peak Ridge.
We could see the summit from this point through the leafless January trees. There is a small amount of rock scrambling closer to the summit before you reach the fairly even summit. The view from the treeless edges of the summit are breathtaking. I knew I wouldn’t have words for the view so I pulled out my handy cell phone camera and snapped a few shots of the scenery around me.
If you’re looking for a quick and rewarding hike along the Adirondack Coast, this is it! I hope you all enjoy your trip as much as I did.
I would love to hear about it when you go.