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McKenzie Mountain

Moreno’s Cabins is the Perfect Saranac 6er Base Camp

Everyone who’s hiked in the North Country knows about the legendary Adirondack 46ers. This group of hardcore hikers have summited all 46 peaks in the Adirondack Park over 4,000 feet in elevation.

The Saranac 6 is a kinder, gentler challenge geared more toward the casual hiker because it’s much more friendly in terms of the trails and climbs. While the six mountains included in the challenge are more forgiving, they still deliver spectacular views and are a fun trek. The best part is when you complete the Saranac 6, you earn a  patch and join the club by ringing the bell in Berkley Park six times.

Here are the peaks you need to complete:

Baker Mountain: This is considered by hikers to be the best 6er to tackle first. The hike features some nice lookouts over Saranac Lake before ending at the wooded summit with beautiful views of McKenzie Mountain, the High Peaks, and Lake Flower. To earn the 6er title, hikers must start and end their Baker Mountain summit from the 6er bell in Berkeley Green Park in downtown Saranac Lake.

St. Regis Mountain: This peak is the furthest afield for aspiring Saranac 6ers, but worth the trip. The first two miles of the trail are gradual and rolling and the last mile gets steep and opens up requiring some rock scrambling to reach the summit. At the summit, you’ll get great views of the Saranac and St. Regis Lakes as well as the High Peaks. There’s also a fire tower on the summit, if it’s open you’ll get and even better look.

Haystack Mountain: Don’t get this hike mixed up with Mount Haystack, one of the toughest high peaks in the Adirondack 46. This trail features beautiful hardwood forest, fairly simple hiking, and a series of steep pitches before reaching the summit where you’ll get awesome views of Whiteface, Mount Marcy, Algonquin Peak, and the Seward Range.

Ampersand Mountain: This peak is well-known for its spectacular 360-degree views from the summit. But reaching the top to see that view is well-earned because what starts as a relatively easy first half of the 2.7 mile trail turns into a real leg-burner of a climb to the finish. Ampersand is the second highest 6er peak at 3,353 feet, and its elevation rewards hikers with a sweeping view of Saranac, the St. Regis Ponds, and High Peaks in the distance.

McKenzie Mountain: At 3,861-feet this is the highest of the Saranac 6ers and it also has the longest ascent. It’s worth the climb, as from the summit you can see the High Peaks from Whiteface to Mount Marcy running north to south and the Saranac Lake to the west. Note that McKenzie and Haystack start at the same trailhead and share a trail for the first 2.4 miles.

Scarface Mountain: You can see the cliff-like scar that gives Scarface its name from Riverside Park in Saranac Lake. The hike is 3.8 miles and gets steep in spots but it’s a great short destination hike. You’ll get a fantastic view of Oseetah Lake and the Saranac Lake chain. Currently, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has closed the Scarface Trail for a bridge repair that should be completed this year.

If you’re ready to lace up your hiking boots and earn a Saranac 6er patch, Moreno’s Cabin’s is the perfect place to stay. We’re close to the trailheads and our accommodations are ideal for relaxing after a long day on the trail. Book your reservation today and start planning your strategy for reaching the peaks. For more information on the Saranac 6er, visit the Village of Saranac Lake website.