The Flume Knob is another hidden gem in the Wilmington Region that should not be missed. Using the region's mountain biking trails as an approach makes for an outstanding day trip for the entire family.
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Wilmington. Continue for 10.1 miles to the Flume Parking on the left.
This is a 2.0 mile hike, one way, over mixed terrain. This is the best option for climbing Flume Knob. From the trailhead start by hiking past the kiosk and avoiding the abundant poison ivy that lines the trail. Take you next right that leads uphill along an old road. The top of the hill will bring you along an easy course over some pristine mountain biking trails.
Many side trails will come in on both sides of this main trail, be sure to follow the trail to Flume Knob. There will be a major intersection with the Flume Knob Trail that cannot go unnoticed. From this intersection the trail climbs steadily along a somewhat aggressive course. As you climb you will notice slightly washed out areas from heavy rains in 2013. The trail continues to move between steep to moderate and back to steep.
Be sure to take in the views as they occur along the climb. The summit offers outstanding views over Wilmington toward the Jays.
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Wilmington. Continue for 9.2 miles to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center. Turn into the center and follow the road around to the right and to the Bear Den Lot.
This is a 2.0 mile hike, one way, over mixed terrain. At the Bear Den Lot in the ski area the trail is located to the north side of the parking lot. This trail is also designated as a mountain biking trail so the possibilities are there. The trail flows along the hillside through a rough area that can be very wet. After 0.5 miles, the Bear Den Mountain Trail goes left, but follow the bike trails continue straight ahead for another 0.2 miles or so to the Flume Trail on the left. Follow the above route as they come together at this point.
2 mile RT, somewhat challenging, Elevation: 2420’
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – 1.5 hours to summit, Secondary Trail – 1.5 hours to summit
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 1 hour to summit, Secondary Trail –1 hour to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – 1.25 hours to summit, Secondary Trail – 1.75 hours to summit
The Flume Knob Trail is closed to mountain biking, and will be posted as such.