Adirondack Hike: Seymour Mountain

Updated on May 21, 2019
The views of the Seward Range from the lookout point on Seymour
The views of the Seward Range from the lookout point on Seymour

My friend Kory and I planned to do a single day hike to Seymour Mountain, the thirty-fourth highest peak in the Adirondack Park with an elevation of 4,120 feet. We did this hike on the third weekend of May.

Seymour is a 14-mile round-trip hike on the Eastern edge of the park and resides right next to the Seward Range. Many people hike in and do Seward, Donaldson and Emmons on one day, then Seymour on the next. We decided to break them up with Seymour early on and the rest in the middle of the Summer.

To get there, we took route 3 east through Tupper Lake. Eight and half miles after Tupper Lake, Corey's Rd. is on the right and is well marked. The road starts off paved but quickly turns to dirt and small rocks for another ten minutes until you come to the parking area that is well-marked on the right side of the road.

This was the first weekend that Corey's Road was opened, and it was our first trip to this parking lot, so we didn't know what to expect in terms of other cars in the lot. When we arrived at 9:15 a.m., there were already seven other cars there and we found a spot. After filming, I did notice a privy off into the woods for hikers to use.

We geared up, signed in and at 9:38 a.m. were on trail. For this hike, we packed a few extra layers because we expected some snowy conditions at the top as that is what we had last year on the same weekend doing Nippletop and Dial. It was 45 degrees and sunny in terms of weather when we got going.

Mileage Sign
Mileage Sign

The signage right after the signin book says that it is 4.8 miles to Ward Brook, but the National Geographic topographic map has it at 5.5 miles. I personally think that National Geographic has it correct after doing the hike.

Route in Blue
Route in Blue

We did the first five-tenths of a mile in about ten minutes and came to the junction of the turnoff for the Seward Range. We stayed left and in another twenty minutes came to the junction point where we could see the road again (see below).

Thirty-Minute Marker
Thirty-Minute Marker

In the section between the turn off for the road and the Blueberry lean-to, there are about eight different small water crossings on this 3.3 mile distance. We noted a chopped up piece of wood that had a hole in it at the hour mark and dubbed that the wooden toilet marker.

At the hour and a half mark, you begin to head down a hill to a larger bridge before heading back up. We dubbed this one the bridge of death since the hill coming out was going to feel like death.

Stream Crossing
Stream Crossing
Another Stream Crossing
Another Stream Crossing

One hour and fifty minutes into the hike, we arrived at the Blueberry lean-to (below) and took a second there to rest and get a quick snack.

Blueberry Lean-To
Blueberry Lean-To

There was a nice stream and bridge on the walk between the Blueberry and Ward Brook lean-tos, with that taking us about twenty minutes to traverse the seven-tenths of a mile.

Just before noon we got to Ward Brook where we ran into another hiker who had come down from Seymour. He told us to expect snow and how he postholed (when you sink down into deep snow) down five feet on one occasion.

The temperature had risen to the high fifties so Kory and I removed a layer in preparation for the climb where we knew the hard work would keep us warm enough.

Ward Brook Lean-To
Ward Brook Lean-To

Right out of the campsite, there's a cairn, but that's not the one you want. The one for Ward Brook is five hundred feet up the trail and easy to spot on the right. At 12:05 p.m. we made the turn onto the trail heading up to Seymour.

Cairn Marker for Seymour
Cairn Marker for Seymour

Things started off pretty tame as you follow Ward Brook up on the left side. There were a ton of leaves on the trail and the trail isn't very wide, so it will be easy to stray. We crossed over the brook to the right side and noted a two-rock cairn further up the trail right before is starts to get steeper.

Posthole City
Posthole City

At about 2,800 feet, the snow started to make its appearance. The trail was pretty tight and there were instances of climbing under trees. But you really had to watch your step to make sure you didn't fall through a thin snow area.

We ran into two groups of hikers on the way down, including one woman on her twelfth round of the forty-six, so seeing that kind of royalty gave us good motivation to keep on going.

After the initial thirty minutes, the trail stayed pretty steep for the next hour to hour and a half. Near the top it flattens out, but the snow there was softer due to getting more sun and that's where the postholing was more prevalent.

Lookout Point
Lookout Point

We arrived at the lookout at 2:30 p.m. and I sat down to rest for a few minutes before taking off my soaked shoes. I changed into dry socks and wrapped two plastic bags around each sock to insulate from the wet shoes, a tip I had read about on the Facebook hiking group for the Adirondacks. My feet were immediately warm and dry.

View Up from Lower Lookout Boulder
View Up from Lower Lookout Boulder

The lookout shelf has a boulder right below it that's easy to access and gives you great views to the left for the Seward Range. To the right, you can see Marcy and Colden. Straight ahead, you can see Whiteface off in the distance.

From the lower boulder, I was able to get a view of Kory with the Seward Range behind him and we spent a good twenty minutes at this point taking photos.

Lookout Point Towards Seward Range
Lookout Point Towards Seward Range

From the lookout, it's only a couple of minutes (100 feet) to the actual summit and off the backside there's some good views also. We were happy with the payoff for this hike. We had done Street and Nye and there wasn't much to see there, so we were happy with how open it was at the top.

We spent another ten minutes there taking photos of our thirty-fourth hike peak and then began the descent down at three o'clock.

Seymour Summit
Seymour Summit
Summit Views
Summit Views

The descent was pretty tricky, with some more postholing at the top and one instance of me butt sliding until I impaled myself on a broken tree stump that wasn't visible until I was basically mounted on it.

At a few points we got off trail and were parallel to where we needed to be, but were able to correct when we didn't see footprints of those before us in the mud.

The whole descent took us an hour and a half and we were ready for the five and a half mile death march out.

Blowdown on the Descent
Blowdown on the Descent

We made pretty good time on the way out, with the bugs coming out to force me to break out the bug net. Kory got two pretty good bites and I got one on my neck. But we were back to the parking lot at 6:35 p.m. and on the road by seven o'clock. It was a nine hour hike, but would have been less if we didn't stop to talk to hikers at both lean-to's on the way out and if there wasn't so much snow at the top of the mountain.

All-in-all, a good hike with some nice photo opportunities at the top. It was cool enough for most of the hike where the bugs weren't an issue, and we're not looking forward to doing the Sewards with warmer temps.

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