Please submit updated trail reports on our Facebook page (Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower).
Trail Report posted by Doug Fitzgerald, co-chair of FOSRMFT:
On Monday, 1/30/2017 two of us skied across Upper St. Regis Lake to Spring Bay where we started snowshoeing up the Lake Trail, aka the Teddy Roosevelt Trail. The lake was snow covered, but a layer of slush was just under the surface; if we stopped our skis iced up. The trail from the lake was not broken, but with light powder on top of a firm base it was easy to travel. The recently placed blue DEC markers made the route easy to follow. After about a mile we joined the main trail just above the site of the former Observers Cabin. From there to the open summit the trail was well broken with only a few inches of fluffy powder on the surface. Snow depths ranged from two to three feet and snowshoes were required all the way.
As we hiked higher the trees had more and more powder on them, creating a winter wonderland. Within a few hundred yards of the summit the birches had a thick coating of ice and powder. They were bent over the trail requiring us to keep low and at times crawl under them.
The summit itself was beautiful, with fresh powder and rime ice covering everything. There were only limited views, but the splendor of the place made the difficult climb worth it.
Trail Report: October 5, 2016
Today was a great day on St. Regis Mountain. Fall foliage colors are peak here and now is the time to be on the summit. There were about 30 people on top when we arrived at 1 PM. Hiking from the lake trail required attention as the leaves are starting to cover the tread on this lightly used spur. There are a few blow downs on this section and while detouring around it takes care to find the tread up again. From the intersection with the lake trail, the main trail was dry and easy to follow. With the lack of rain it was surprising to see some wet areas and a lot of mushrooms growing.
Trail Report: August 5, 2016
Today was a great day on St. Regis! The trail is very dry and for the most part clear of any blow down. Also, if you look closely you will notice that you are sharing the trail with baby American Toads! They are the size of a thumbnail and are hopping along the flat portion of the trail. You are not only sharing the trail with wildlife, but beautiful and unique plants. Right now there are a lot of Indian pipe. Indian pipe are very unique because they are a parasitic plant that gets its energy from fungi that are underground. That is why they are white. Take a closer look at the trail you are walking on and you will find that there is a whole new world to discover. – Elisa McIntosh, volunteer summit steward
Trail report: April 30, 2016 from Tom Barker
We had a great hike up the mountain today. The trail conditions were good, some wet spots but nothing major. There are a few small trees/limbs across the trail midway up, but easily stepped over.
Trail report 11.24.15
3 Friends of the St Regis Firetower hiked today. The trail is fine, with some new blow down since our last hike (though nothing that inhibited the hiking). We hiked maybe 3/4 of the way up without spikes on our boots, but the steeps near the top were very icy and required the microspikes to be used. We wore them for more than 1/2 the way down. No hiking into the backcountry should be attempted without having spikes with you this time of year. The hike was relatively warm and ice free over the lower half – the upper trail and the summit was another story! The wind was blowing on the top and layers that were removed on the way up were quickly put back on once we were there. Always hike prepared for the worst – and enjoy the best!
The purpose of this trip was to put up the first of the window panel dividers to insure they fit as intended. The rest of the window panels, as well as the other improvements, will be installed in the spring. Meanwhile – the tower continues to be closed to the public.
See today’s work on the Restoration page.
Trail report 11.10.15
2 Friends of the Firetower hiked today to take measurements for future repairs, and to do some picking up around the site. The trail is in good shape, with lots of leaves covering the trail. It was somewhat slippery and wet near the summit. We packed microspikes, but did not need them. We may have needed the spikes if we had climbed a couple hours earlier. It is advised to have them with you this time of year.
REMINDER – the tower is still closed to the public. The cab needs more work to be safe, and the cross pieces on the tower are going to be replaced before it is officially opened to the public. This will happen next year.
Trail Report: 9/24/2015
The trail up the mountain is in excellent shape- from bottom to top! Everything was dry yesterday and should remain that way over the weekend if anyone is headed up to check out the changing foliage.
Has anyone been up on the summit to check out the fire tower restoration work? It is definitely an exciting week on St. Regis Mountain!
September 2, 2015 Trail Report
The trail was in great shape today from mile 0.0 to 3.3! Everything is dry and the only thing I will mention is that some of the rocks near the top are a little slippery. Other than a few slick rocks, it was all smooth hiking today!
Did anyone else climb the mountain in all the fog and haze this morning? Views were limited all day but what an experience it was to be up on the mountain surrounded by all that fog!
August 27, 2015 Trail report
The trail is in great shape – bottom to top. Some muddy spots near the summit are slippery. One note as a reminder: after crossing the first new bridge (going up – it’s the second bridge on the trail) the trail goes over the rock to protect the low ground where the trail used to go. See photo. THANK YOU Cari from SCA (Student Conservation Association) for putting the barrier back up!
Wednesday, August 19, 2015:
The trail is in excellent condition! Most of it was dry and made for easy hiking. There were a few wet spots and a handful of slick rocks in the last mile of the trail but overall, nothing posed too major a problem (except for mosquitoes). As you gain elevation, you’ll notice the trail will probably become a little wetter, and perhaps muddier. But as I said, the majority of the trail is dry and easy to follow. Views were hazy Wednesday but still awesome!
Wednesday, July 8, 2015:
I have good news today: all the deep, standing water muddy spots on the trail are gone! I didn’t sink ankle deep into any mud today. Don’t let that fool you, though. The trail is still very wet. Rocks and exposed tree roots were slippery today, especially in the last mile of the trail. But other than a handful of slick rocks and roots, it is smooth sailing all up and down the trail. Without having to navigate through the puddles, I was able to get up and down faster than I have in the previous weeks. If you plan on hiking, please enjoy the footbridges built on National Trails Day! It is now possible to cross them without wading through muddy waters!
Happy Trails! And hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather!
Wednesday June 24, 2015:
If you plan on hiking, my suggestion is this: be prepared for mud. This week the trail was more or less the same as last week. The muddy places were still muddy and the dry places were still dry. The big standing water puddle surrounding the new footbridges (about 0.4 miles in from the trailhead) did shrink a little by the end of the day, so hopefully with a few days of no rain the trail can dry out a bit! On my descent, I could tell some places became a little muddier with all the foot-traffic passing through. The mud seemed easier to deal with in the morning on my way up. Most of the deep muddy spots are within the first 2 miles. There were a few places I sank ankle deep into the mud, so be careful if you don’t want mud in your boots! As I said last week, be cautious on the rocks. In the last mile, the rocks were still wet (there was a lot of running water) and a couple places where all the rain has washed a lot of fallen leaves onto the rocks so those areas may be slippery. Wednesday was another beautiful day, with lots of sunshine and great views! Don’t worry if your socks or boots get wet- it’s nothing a little sunshine on the summit can’t fix!
Wednesday, June 17, 2015:
Here’s my report from my hike on Wednesday, June 17, 2015:
Overall, the trail is in great condition! Of course, with all the rain we’ve recently had up here, it’s definitely soggy in places. (Don’t worry- the views from the summit make all the mud worth it.) The trail is dry until you come to a few newly built footbridges (about 0.4 miles in) where a rather large puddle has formed. If you’re going to walk through the standing water to the bridges, just be aware they are floating so they move up and down. After the bridges, there are periods of muddy spots and dry spots. Most of the muddy places are easily crossed by searching for stepping stones or sticks hiding in the mud. The bigger bridge over the stream (about 2.2 miles in) marks the end of the really muddy spots. The rocks heading up from the bridge are wet and may be slippery but there are not big challenging mud puddles standing in the way anymore. The rock staircases definitely make the climb easier with all the wetness. I would just suggest a few cautious steps to avoid any slips on the rocks. One other note: all the standing water and mud has attracted some mosquitoes. Don’t forget your bug spray!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!