Cat & Thomas Mountain Forest Preserve

This 1,909-acre parcel was acquired by LGLC in 2003 and sold to New York State in 2013. It is now part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Its preservation is a major accomplishment in protecting the Lake George watershed, as one of the lake’s larger tributaries, Finkle Brook, flows through the preserve and forms Edgecomb Pond, the drinking water source for Bolton Landing.

Just a five-minute drive from quaint Bolton Landing, the trails to the summits of Cat and Thomas provide a rewarding introduction to hiking the Adirondack trails. All of the preserve's trails have worthwhile views of Lake George’s south and central basins and the southwestern Adirondacks.

Hunting and trapping is allowed at the preserve; appropriate state licenses are required. Hikers should be aware of hunting seasons and wear bright colors and hike in groups to minimize risk. Mountain biking is also allowed on all of the trails. Recommended biking routes would be the orange trail, the yellow trail (to intersection with red) and red trail, from its intersection with yellow to Edgecomb Pond.

The Lake George Land Conservancy maintains the trails of the Cat and Thomas Mts Preserve through DEC's Trail Cooperative Agreement program. We welcome your comments and reports of damage or trail maintenance needs. Please contact us at 518-644-9673 or stewardship@lglc.org.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 43.603994 Longitude: -73.692623 Elevation: 1236 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Sarah Hoffman

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Distance And Terrain

Part of the NYS Forest Preserve, this site offers 9+ miles of trails of varying difficulty.The orange trail to Thomas Mountain follows a dirt road with good footing, winding 716 feet up the mountain to end at a quaint cabin that offers 180 degree views and provides shelter and space to rest.  Please respect other hikers by keeping the cabin clean and using the nearby privy.

Branching off from the orange trail just above the old gravel pit is the new blue trail. A slightly longer alternative to the dirt road, this trail, named the Two Brothers Trail, climbs to an elevation of just under 2,000 feet and includes a quick spur trail that ends with a fantastic view of the Adirondacks to the west. The Two Brothers Trail meets up with the ridge trail, also with blue markers; hikers can continue south to Cat Mountain or a short distance east to the cabin.

The ridge trail (Richard Hayes Phillips Trail) has blue markers and runs 2.3 miles from the Thomas Mountain cabin to the summit of Cat Mountain at 1,956-feet. Footing is more difficult than the other trails and hikers should be prepared for the longer, more challenging trek.

The yellow trail to Cat Mountain also follows a dirt road most of the way.  From where the orange trail turns to ascend Thomas Mt., the yellow trail continues straight for 2.2 miles to the intersection with the ridge trail.  Follow the ridge trail for 0.40 miles to the summit of Cat Mt. The summit offers a stunning 270° view of Lake George and the Adirondacks. The last third of the yellow trail is rocky and has less stable footing.   Please note that two sections of the yellow trail are re-routed and one is closed to avoid heavily eroded areas.  Please stay on marked trails.

The red trail is the newest and most challenging trail, which drops steeply from the summit of Cat Mt. for 0.4 miles before leveling off for 0.25 miles, then descending again gradually for 0.35 miles to a steep ravine. It then undulates for 0.6 miles until it reaches Edgecomb Pond, where it turns left (west) and follows a dirt road.  (Turning right takes you to Edgecomb Pond Road.)  Just past the gate turn right (north) and continue on the dirt road to the intersection with the yellow trail.

Highlights And Key Points Along The Route

Offers scenic views, ponds, hiking, mountain biking, xc-skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, and camping,

Identify And Describe The Management Organization

The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is a not-for-profit land trust that works solely within the Lake George watershed in the southeastern corner of New York's Adirondack Park.

Additional Notes

Please follow DEC guidelines when visiting the Preserve.Camping is permitted up to 3 nights, but you must be at least 150 feet from a road, trail, spring, steam or pond. The cabin is available on a first come, first serve basis. Fires are permitted but must be attended to at all times.

Hunting is permitted according to New York State regulations. Please use caution when hiking during hunting seasons: wear bright colors and hike in groups. Hunters, please be aware of hikers and hunt away from trails.

To report any problems or acquire any permits, please contact DEC Forest Ranger Rick Schroeder at 518-335-3888 or the DEC Regional Office at 518-897-1300. For emergencies, call 518-891-0235. For Trail problems call LGLC @ 518-644-9673

Fees

no

ADA Accessible

no

Tours Are Offered

no

Site is Child-friendly

yes

Site is Pet-friendly

yes

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