4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
This day hike begins at the ADK Garden Trailhead and showcases a series of peaks, offering endless views along the way.
This route is perfect for anyone who wants to wants to bag a High Peak, without the extensive planning required to tackle the Great Range. Best completed counter-clockwise, the trail climbs nearly 1,500 feet to First Brother in just 1.5 miles.
The panoramic views atop its perch are just the start of this extremely scenic loop. With the main climb out of the way, the path undulates along a ridge as it ascends to the summits of Second and Third Brother.
From the summit of Third Brother, you are rewarded with a phenomenal vantage point of Big Slide, the next summit along this loop and nearly 500 feet above your current viewpoint. Just four miles from the trailhead, the route reaches the summit of Big Slide, rewarding your efforts with astonishing views of the nearby Great Range.
An official High Peak, its name was derived from the exposed cliff on its southern facing slope. While one could follow Slide Mountain Brook Trail back, Yard Mountain is an excellent addition to the hike.
As it is not an official High Peak, it is lesser visited, and the path is "noticeably less worn and eroded," according to cnyhiking.com.
The return trip follows the Yard Mountain Trail down into Klondike Notch, where you'll follow a brook leading into a valley.
Johns Brook Lodge is the only overnight camping opportunity, and indoor accommodations, as well as dinner, can be reserved ahead of time.
Plenty of tent sites are also available in addition to the lean-to that fills quickly in the summer. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Slide_Mountain_(New_York) https://www.cnyhiking.com/BigSlideYardMountains.htm https://www.lakeplacid.com/do/hiking/big-slide