Ampersand is one of the most popular hikes in the Region and is designated as one of the Saranac Lake 6er’s. From the trailhead you will descend slightly to a brook crossing before you start an easy hike over a heavy traveled trail to a second brook crossing. Soon the trail will begin a slow ascent and get steeper as it comes to the location of the old fire observer’s cabin on the right – rubble is all that remains.
Past the old site the climb gets much steeper and then very steep as the rock staircase is introduced, and the footing becomes a bit slippery. This stone staircase was built to alleviate the high amount of erosion that was created from water run-off and heavy foot traffic. As you ascend higher you will come to open rock slab where the footing is a bit tricky and then a split in the trail. A right will lead over more open rock and left is mellower path through the trees, both reconnect in a short distance.
Past this point the trail levels out and goes through a flat area before swinging through a section of jumbled boulders the size of small houses and climbs the last bit to the summit over open rock. Outstanding views are had from the rock summit and the top should be visited for a while and many pictures taken.
From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in the Village of Tupper Lake follow Route 3 toward Saranac Lake. Continue for over 12-miles to the trailhead on the right. Parking is on the left – be very careful crossing the main highway.
Distance Round Trip:
Elevation Gain or Loss:
Time Round Trip:
Family with Young Kids: 5 to 6 hours
Experienced Hiker: 3 to 4 hours
Out of Shape Hiker: 4 to 5 hours