Blake was named after Mills Blake, Verplank Colvin’s assistant during the great survey of the Adirondack Park. Although Blake falls short of the 4,000 foot mark, tradition keeps Blake on the 46 list. Blake offers limited views from its wooded summit, but the approach opens up several opportunities for photographic remembrance.
AMR Trailhead: This is the most popular route. Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 through Keene and Keene Valley and into Saint Huberts. Parking is across the road from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead for Giant Mountain.
For the adventurous and for those hiking with dogs, another approach is from Elk Lake. Leave Lake Placid following Rte 73 to Interstate 87. Get off at exit 29 and follow the Blue Ridge Road toward Newcomb. Look for Elk Lake Road on the right in about 4-5 miles; follow it to its end.
By the numbers
- Elevation: 3,960 feet
- Elevation gain: 2,800 feet from Lake Road
- Mileage: around 13.5 miles, from AMR
- Blake is High Peak #43
- Be prepared and follow Leave No Trace principles
Blake is climbed with Mount Colvin, almost 100% of the time. Why? You have to climb Colvin to reach Blake on the AMR trail. This approach is on private land owned by the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Hiking access is guaranteed by virtue of easements, but dogs are absolutely prohibited in the game preserve.
The hike starts along a gravel road that becomes paved next to a golf course. At 0.5 miles from the parking area turn left and down between two tennis courts on Lake Road Way to the entrance station and register 0.6 mi. from the parking area. Just beyond is an elaborate wooden gate, where you will continue along a dirt road for an additional 2.5 miles before you enter a foot trail. The foot trail starts off very moderate but continues to get steeper in sections. The final approach to Mount Colvin (which you have to climb first, before Blake) gets very steep. After taking in the winning views from Colvin you will work your way along the ridge and descend steeply into the col with Blake. The climb out of the col is very steep as well and in rough condition. You will encounter ladders and steep rock slabs.
The summit of Blake is wooded and does not offer views, but for those with the energy, continuing 0.4 miles beyond the summit marker, there is view.
The second approach to Blake is from Elk Lake. It is considerably longer and seldom traveled. This means the trail is soft, but people are not seen frequently. There is also no water along the Pinnacle Ridge. Starting along the trail to Panther Gorge and Mountain Marcy you will drop to cross The Branch before starting a flat approach to the beginning of a wet hike to the shoulder of the Pinnacle Ridge and then drop slightly to the Pinnacle Ridge Trail. From this point the trail is very demanding and encompasses several smaller peaks with no official names. There is a spur trail to the summit of Pinnacle, which is recommended for outstanding views. Blake will be at the end of the ridge. It is recommended to traverse over Colvin and out to the AMR and a second car. This route could entail a 18+ mile day. Be prepared and be sure to consult a map/guidebook or local guide before embarking.
Perhaps even more seldom used is the aptly named "Elevator Shaft." This steep, steep, steep trail descends from the col between Colvin and Blake to Upper Ausable Lake. This trail should only be used when attempting the challenge of adding Sawteeth to your day. Using the Elevator Shaft will require you to climb, completely descend, and then climb another High Peak or two. It is not a trail for beginners.
Blake is a fine snowshoe outing for those up to the challenge. The trail to Colvin will likely be broken out, but the path to Blake may not be. Be prepared with trail crampons and snowshoes.