Often climbed with Cascade Mountain, Porter Mountain is a rewarding experience in its own right. Wide views at the summit and usually less crowded than the more popular Cascade. There are three routes to the summit of Porter, one of which is followed heavily.
This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 38 on the list.
Below are brief descriptions of the three routes, we recommend you pick up a guide book for more in depth detail or hire a local guide to assist you. Consider combining the primary with one of the other options below for a longer TWO CAR loop.
Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. The Trailhead for Cascade will be on the right, before you reach Cascade Lakes. This parking are is often crowded and may require a several hundred yard road walk to reach the trail.
This is a 5.6 mile RT with mixed terrain. This route starts out and remains fairly moderate, aside from a couple short steeper pitches. This route is used when combining Cascade and Porter as a day trip and is a very busy trailhead. Go right at a junction at 2.1 miles from the road and continue 0.7 miles down and up to reach the summit of Porter Mountain.
Secondary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid following Route 73 through Keene and toward Keene Valley. Look for Marcy Field on the right. The parking area is just past Marcy Field on the right.
This is an 9.0 mile RT with a moderate to steep ascent. Starting from Marcy Field follow the woods road for a short distance then continue left on a foot trail. This trail leads over Blueberry Mountain and is a very steep and eroded ascent of Blueberry. There are outstanding views as you approach the summit of Blueberry Mountain. From Blueberry Mountain you will continue a very steep and eroded climb to the ridge SE of Porter Mountain. The ridge is much more moderate and has two intermediate views before reaching the summit.
Third Trailhead: This route starts from The Garden in Keene Valley. Follow Route 73 out of Lake Placid through Keene and into Keene Valley. Take the right after the Ausable Inn and follow the road to its end at The Garden Parking Lot.
This is a 7.6 mile RT and is typically used as a hiking trail to Little Porter Mountain, which it traverses. The trail is quite moderate to the base of Little Porter before it starts a final 1/4-mile steep and steady climb with numerous rock staircases to aid in the ascent to the summit area of Little Porter Mountain. From Little Porter the trail gets very wet and ever worse erosion is apparent. The grade does not lessen much and joins the secondary trail just below the summit of Porter Mountain.
5.6 to 9 miles RT, depending on route, Moderate Climb, Elevation 4060’, Ascent 2700'
Time in hours:
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – 2 to 3 hours to summit, Secondary trail – Not recommended, Third trail – Not recommended
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 1.5 to 2 hours to summit, Secondary trail – 3 to 4 hours to summit, Third trail – 3 to 4 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – 2 to 3 hours to summit, Secondary trail – Not Recommended, Third trail – Not recommended