Wilmington Peak Slides

  • Bonnieview Road, Wilmington
  • info@lakeplacid.com

The Wilmington Peak slide is a popular backcountry ski route, and is sometimes used by experienced bushwhackers and slide climbers to reach the summit of Wilmington Peak. This is not a route for inexperienced slide climbers or skiers.

Getting there

From the main intersection in Wilmington, where Route 86 meets The Whiteface Memorial Highway, continue north on Bonnieview Road. Continue here for 3.2 miles to the state trailhead on the left for Cooper Kiln Pond.

Key takeaways

  • Summit elevation: 3458 feet
  • Elevation gain: 2,130 feet, round trip (summit and back)
  • Distance: 4.9 miles round trip

Rock Climbing

This route requires comfort with slide climbing and exposure. If you have not had prior experience on slides, this route is not the best choice. If you wish to summit Wilmington Peak by other means you can use the Cooper Kiln Pond approach from the south.

Starting from Bonnieview Road in Wilmington the trail begins on a rather flat course along an old road. Once the trail begins to climb it stays fairly steady but not too steep.

At a height-of-land on a sharp corner you will leave the trail and follow another old woods road for a very short distance to the slide track. This slide came down during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and is still very unstable in areas. This used to be a very small drainage, no more than a couple feet wide, but now it’s 20 feet wide and littered with loose stones and boulders. The footing is very tough along the slide track and at times slippery. As you near the top of the slide, there are some very steep sections where care is needed to safely pass. The headwall is dangerously steep and should be avoided by all but the highly experienced. The headwall can be easily passed to the right.

Once above the slide, the summit is very close and will require some fine-tuned navigation to locate the wooded summit. The forest is relatively open and a flag should be located on the summit tree. To make a loop trip out of the day, use the Cooper Kiln Pond approach to make the return.

Please note

Hikers should have experience in bushwhacking and off-trail navigation. Hikers should be in good physical condition and able to climb steep terrain. Bring a GPS, map, a compass, eye protection, and seasonally appropriate clothing and footwear. Slides are unsafe and should only be attempted by experienced hikers and climbers. Using a rope and harness is always good practice.

Ice climbing and skiing

You will be following a snowmobile trail as well as a state marked foot trail – so watch our for snowmobiles during snow months. Be aware that the trail is designed as a snowmobile trail and gets a bit of use by machines. Expert backcountry skiers do go and do portions of this slide in the winter.