The Adirondack Mountain Reserve also known as the Ausable Club grants you access to Colvin, Blake, Dial, Nipple Top, Haystack, Basin, Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, Upper and Lower Wolf Jaws, Sawteeth and more.
THE AMR IS PRIVATE, NOT PUBLIC LAND:
Keep in mind that while the State of New York has obtained for you permission to hike in the AMR, it gained that right through negotiation with the Ausable Club which are the owners of the land. You can pass through the AMR, but you cannot camp there, swim there, leave the trails, or bring pets with you. You will know when you leave or enter the AMR; its boundaries are clearly marked by green signs with white lettering posted at points of entrance/exit. Hats off to the Ausable Club trail crew that does the trail maintenance. These are the best maintained trails in the Adirondack Mountains.
(Numbers in parentheses such as (ADK #123, McM #456) on these and all other pages of Adirondack Journey, refer to trail numbers assigned by the McMartin and ADK guidebooks. References to "NYSDEC" or just "DEC" appear frequently on these pages. For all of you visitors to New York's forests these cryptic letters stand for "New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation" more commonly referred to as DEC ("deck"). You'll see uniformed rangers with some frequency if you spend much time in the forest. All my life I have found these guys and girls to be very friendly and courteous. By all means, say "hi" or ask them any question you may have.
Finding the DEC Parking Lot for the AMR:
From the Ausable Inn in the center of the tiny town of Keene Valley, drive South on Rte. 73 a distance of 2.54 miles where you will pass by the entrance sign for the Ausable Club on the right side of the high- way. It's huge; you can't miss it. DON'T ENTER HERE. Instead, continue another 0.55 miles south on Rte. 73. As soon as you see a DEC trail sign for "Roaring Brook Falls" on your left, hit the brakes! Immediately to your right across the highway will be the entrance to the DEC parking lot for the AMR (see photo #1, at the thumbnails near the bottom of this page). Turn right and drive less than 100 yd. to the parking. There will be a standard street sign at the turn-off, but the bigger "Roaring Brook Falls" sign on your left is much easier to spot from the highway than the standard metal street sign that marks the AMR parking on your right. Incidentally, the sign says "Ausable Club Rd". "The Gate" separates the AMR from the Ausable Club proper. Lake Road passes through. (photo courtesy Charlie Hoffer.)
It's a very big lot so you should have no problem finding a spot to park. It's also the only place on the Ausable Club's land that you can legally park for accessing this trailhead. You might be tempted to drive up the dirt road that heads uphill out of the north end of the lot. Don't! This leads to the trailhead itself, which is on the Ausable Club's grounds. You are permitted to pass through the AC grounds on foot, but your vehicles would be trespassing.
Getting to the Trailhead from the Trailhead Parking Area
After parking, walk from the parking area up the aforementioned dirt road 0.9 miles across the Ausable Club's manicured grounds to the trailhead. The dirt road you started out on shortly becomes paved and will pass through the golf course on your right. On your left you'll see a few summer homes and the tennis courts. As you approach the impressive main lodge of the Ausable Club, the road will branch left just at the end of the tennis courts. Follow the road left and you'll be at the sign-in shack/trailhead in a minute or two.
Registry by all hikers is now a legal requirement at any trailhead in the Adirondacks. This includes filling out a registration form that you must carry with you on your hike as well as putting your name and address and a contact person in the log book at the trailhead. You'll notice a few postings that explain the rules for hiking in the AMR. They are very serious about these rules. I know! Once you leave the sign-in booth you'll quickly come to the Gate shown in the photo above and enter the AMR. The Gate is the starting point of Lake Road which runs to the Boathouse at the foot of Lower Ausable Lake. Lake Road provides you with access to all of the main trails out of the Ausable Valley.
Peaks directly accessed via this trailhead: Colvin, Blake, Dial, Nipple Top, Haystack, Basin, Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, Upper and Lower Wolf Jaws, Sawteeth, Pyramid, Round Mtn, Noonmark, and the Dix Range.
Getting to where you're going via the AMR and Ausable Club:
The links just below take you to the main arterial trails in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). These three take you from The Gate (above) to the trails you want to hike. All three begin at the trailhead shack near The Gate and then converge at the dam at Lower Ausable Lake. Which you use depends only on preference, time available, or destination. Each has advantages and disadvantages. You can click on the links below, or just scroll down this page.
Lake Road (ADK #25)
Lake Road starts at The Gate and runs to the Boathouse. It is by a good measure the fastest route to any of the trails that start along the Lake Road. Naturally, it is very easy. There are a few crossover trails from the Lake Road to ERT and WRT, but we have found these difficult to spot. You may feel that Lake Road, being a road and not a trail, is less the kind of experience you want, but if you have planned a long hike, say, to Colvin & Blake or to Nipple Top & Dial, then Lake Road may be an aid for you. The blue line on the
maps below is Lake Road, although we have started it at Rte. 73, at the DEC parking lot.