At 2,440 feet in elevation, Baxter Mountain is certainly not one of the tallest Adirondack peaks. The stunning views from the top however will surprise hikers who give it a try. Indeed, for a small investment of time and energy, outdoor recreation enthusiasts who make it to the top of Baxter Mountain are treated to scenery that rivals and exceeds that seen from the top of many taller Adirondack peaks.
This sweet treat is also another perfect hike for children, puppies, and those who like almost immediate scenic view gratification. There are three trails to the summit of this popular Adirondack mountain. The approach we took a few weeks ago and the one described here is the easiest.
Located about 20 miles from the Village of Lake Placid, the start for this way up Baxter Mountain is found at the top of Spruce Hill, the big hill on New York State Route 9N, between Keene and Keene Valley. To begin this 2.18 mile round-trip hike, take Route 73 out of Lake Placid and down the hill through Keene for approximately 17 miles. At the intersection with Route 9N South, make a left and continue for 2 miles. The trailhead is located on the right side, headed south on Route 9N, across the road from the junction of Hurricane Road.
The easy and sometimes moderate 1.09 mile trek to the summit winds through a pine forest and sun-dappled trails to blueberry-covered ledges with views of Keene Valley, the Great Range, and Mount Marcy. Before long, 25 minutes in our case, hikers can enjoy wild blueberries and beautiful views of distant mountains.