Get a lot of varied terrain with Weston Mountain, Lost Pond, and Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge. Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge is a classic hike over a ridge with continual overlooks and one not to be missed. While the trail is a bit obscure in areas, this offers some of the best primitive hiking in the region. The approach, which is not as obscure, also provides access to Lost Pond and Weston Mountain. Both are worthy shorter destinations.
Lost Pond is a hidden gem with a great view of Hurricane Mountain and has a little-used lean-to which is perfect for an easy family overnight. Weston Mountain offers spectacular views for just a bit of extra effort past Lost Pond.
Primary Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue down the Keene hill into the Town of Keene. Look for Hurricane Road on the left as you come into town just after the intersection with Route 9N. Follow this road to O’Toole Road, which will be on the left at a very sharp left right. Follow this dirt road to the end at Crow Clearing. This is also the trailhead for The Crows and Hurricane Mountain.
This 5.9 mile, loop, hike is over easy, moderate and steep terrain. The start initially crosses a small footbridge before hiking along a very soft and well developed trail. This trail is mostly flat to the Hurricane Mountain Trail on the right at 1.1 mile. A nice lean-to is located in this area.
Past this point you will continue flat for a bit before starting a steady climb that passes through a mixed forest. Once the trail moderates again you will move through the area and drop slightly to the south side of Lost Pond at 1.8 mi. where there is an excellent viewing area, just off the trail to the right. The trail continues along the west side of the pond over slightly difficult terrain before reaching the north side at the lean-to. The pond is a bit difficult to reach on this side, but paths are developing out through the vegetation. A well developed path continues past the lean-to to Weston Mountain and Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge.
From here follow this path and hike moderately over a narrow trail to a very steep shoot to the upper ridge. Past the steep shoot you will continue to climb slightly as you top out on the summit of Weston Mountain at 2.4 miles. This rocky summit sits looking out over Lost Pond with outstanding views of the entire area including Hurricane Mountain, the Giant Mountain Wilderness and the High Peaks Region.
From Weston you are at the highest point along the ridge, from here it’s all downhill, well, kind of. The ridge is created with undulating hills where some varied terrain is waiting for you. The next 3-miles bring you over several viewing areas and numerous small bumps along the way. Some steep terrain is intermixed with loose stone and sand footing; other sections are open rock and forested trails. Care is sometimes needed to find the continuation of the trail after some of the many open areas.
After the 3-miles of Adirondack beauty you will be at the Big Crow Trail. Big Crow Mountain is a few hundred yards to your right up a steep section of trail. Left will lead you back to the Crow Clearing Trailhead. From here you will descend very steeply to the valley below. The descent can be slippery and a bit tough on the knees, possibly the toughest section of trail on the loop. The Loop will exit you on the opposite side of the parking lot from which you started.
12 miles RT, wide range of terrain, Elevation: 3065’ Ascent: 944’ on Weston Mountain
Distances: Crow Clearing to Hurricane Mountain Trail-1.1 miles, To north end of Lost Pond-0.7 miles, To the summit of Weston-0.6 miles, To Big Crow Trail-3.0 miles, To Crow Clearing-0.5 miles
Family with Young Kids: 5+ hours loop, not highly recommended, but could be done with patience
Experienced Hiker: 4 hours loop
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail –4 hours loop
The Hurricane Mountain Trail will appear on the right at 1.1 miles along, and there's a lean-to for camping. The north side of Lost Pond has another lean-to.