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blueBlack Ampersand Mountain Trail


2.7 mile 4.3 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,793' 547 m
Descent: -36' -11 m
High: 3,336' 1,017 m
Low: 1,579' 481 m


Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 70% (35°)


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Trail shared by Mike Biolsi

This trail is short, steep, and has an amazing 360-degree view from the bald summit.

Mike Biolsi

Features Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly Challenging hike, but not too long. The view at the top will be a thrill for all ages.


The distance on this trail is only three miles to the summit, and six miles out and back. It is one of the few mountains in the 'daks that offers an amazing 360-degree view after only a few miles of hiking.

The trailhead is located across Route 3 from where you park. There appears to be a trail at the parking area, but that goes to some camping areas in the opposite direction of the mountain.

You'll see a register to sign in and red markers to follow.

Like most of the ADK trails, you start with a nice casual hike on low grades through hardwood forest. The trail crosses a few brooks, has a small wooden bridge, and even some wood planks to hike on in the first few miles.

At 1.5 miles, you'll see the mountain directly in front of you as you begin to climb some moderate elevation. At 2.0 miles, you'll begin climbing a very steep set of rock stairs all of the way to the summit. You'll also have a few rock scrambles and some amazing views of rock ledges hanging over the trail.

Just shy of the summit, the trail becomes open rock and is marked by yellow paint on the rocks. Be sure to follow the markers to avoid erosion. The hike is not long from here, and you'll soon reach the summit clad with three survey markers on it. The summit views are amazing in all four seasons. The wind can be very strong, so be prepared with extra layers.

You may also follow the yellow-blazed trail beyond the summit to find a plaque dedicated to the Hermit of Ampersand.


Land Manager: NY DEC - Region 5 Office

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Jun 15, 2019
James Corkran
Great hike!!
Apr 6, 2019
Ashley Clarke
microspikes all the way. save this hike for a clear day. it took me 2 hours up and 1 1/4 hours down (with my dog) practically running down the stee…
Oct 6, 2018
Sam Newman-Stonebraker
Beautiful views and fall colors 5mi — 4h 00m
Aug 25, 2018
Kaitlin George
The first half of the trail is pretty easy with the second climbing rocks at a fairly steep incline the rest of the way to the top. 360 view at summit 5.4mi
Aug 4, 2018
Bob H
Jun 8, 2018
Dennis Rakin
up for a gorgeous view of the sun set. 2.7mi
Oct 20, 2017
Mike Biolsi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes


  5.0 from 3 votes
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in New York


250 Views Last Month
1,891 Since Oct 23, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



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