Please note changes in access and rules for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please act responsibly during this stressful period. Please read the DEC info carefully.
Cat Mountain Trailhead Sign
Average read time 8 min

Cat Mountain is a 1956′ peak located in the Lake George Wild Forest of the Adirondack Park. It is one of the Lake George 12sters and Adirondack 29er Challenge, ranking 9 and 40. From the Edgecomb Pond trailhead in Bolton Landing, only minutes from Lake George, the moderate hike takes you to a commanding view of Lake George and its surrounding mountains. The Tounge Mountain Range is particularly noticeable as the ridge extending out into the lake terminating at the point of tongue is visible. The loop is about 4 miles with an elevation gain of just under 1100′.

The Dirt

Hiking Distance:4.1-miles (loop)Route Type:Loop or out-and-back
Total climb:1100′ (red trail)Hike type:Trails
How hard?ModerateTrailhead:Edgecomb Pond Road

We opted to climb Cat on the steep red trail on this mid-winter day and descend on the more moderate blue trail. We were greeted with unexpected ups and downs as the red trail crosses a few minor hills and one ridge. The trail is beautiful as it winds its way through a wonderful pine, hemlock, and fir forest, crossing streams in some sharp gullies. When the trees are bare, you’ll get glimpses of the rocky face of Cat. The views on the red trail and summit are outstanding.

Trail Description for Cat Mountain

The trail begins at the large, well-maintained trailhead at Edgecomb Pond. The lot is large enough for about 20+ cars which we imagine would fill up quickly in season. On this day, with temperatures at the trailhead at 19-degrees with snow squalls, there were many people hiking and skiing.

Parking at Edgecomb Pond Trailhead
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Parking at Edgecomb Pond Trailhead

From the parking area, following the red-blazed (disks) woods road that tracks the contour of the pond, you walk a third of a mile to the junction with the red trail (paint blazed) that heads to the summit. Make sure you stop and enjoy the views of the pond.

Woods road along the pond
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Woods road along the pond
Edgecomb Pond
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Edgecomb Pond
Chris snapping photos at the shore.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris snapping photos at the shore.

At about 0.33-miles, you reach a junction with the red trail that is paint blazed. This junction is not marked with a trail sign. Continuing straight will eventually lead to the blue-marked trail, which ascends Cat Mountain and is more gradual. This route may be a better option for families with young hikers. Looking up to the right, you’ll see a sign to the Pinnacle, which you can hike from the Edgecomb Pond trailhead, although longer than from the Pinnacle trailhead down the road.

Red Trail up Cat Mountain
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Red Trail up Cat Mountain
Red paint blazes
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Red paint blazes

The red trail will wind its way over a hill and cross some small streams. Be careful at times; you’ll be hiking over frozen drainages without knowing it.

Chris crossing a stream on the red trail
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris crossing a stream on the red trail
Chris getting ready to descend another hill to a stream.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris getting ready to descend another hill to a stream.

The red trail begins with a woods road feel and eventually becomes a footpath as the trees close in on the trail.

Red trail becoming a footpath
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Trees closing in on the trail as we climb up from the stream.

At about 0.6-miles from the trail junction, you’ll begin a steady ascent that is at times a steep climb to the summit of Cat. You’ll climb a steep ridge and drop a bit before making your final push to the summit. The unfolding views at the upper section of the trail are outstanding.

One of the better blazes!
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking One of the better blazes!
views looking back at Edgecomb Pond with the Tongue Mountain Range and Point of Tongue.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking One of the first views looking back at Edgecomb Pond with the Tongue Mountain Range and Point of Tongue.

At about 1.2-miles, the trail gets steeper, and more expansive views begin to appear, with the best being at the broad summit, which is reached at 1.45-miles from the junction (1.78-miles from the trailhead), which allows for about 280-degrees of view.

Climbing toward to summit.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Climbing toward the summit.
View from summit with snow squalls.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking View E from summit with snow squalls.
View SE from summit with snow squalls.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking View SE from summit with snow squalls.
View SW from summit with snow squalls.
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking View SW from summit with snow squalls.
Looking across the open summit of Cat Mountain
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Looking across the open summit of Cat Mountain

Panoramic view from Cat Mountain Summit

Click to enlarge image.

Chris | copyright Challenged Hiking Panoramic view from Cat Mountain Summit (click to enlarge)

Back to the Parking Area on the Blue Trail

From the summit, you can follow the blue-blazed trail back to the red trail to make a loop of about 4-miles. On your way back, you’ll intersect with a couple of trail junctions. One takes you to the Thomas Mountain overlook on the yellow trail (0.4-miles from the summit) and the second at the red trail (1.3-miles from the summit).

Yellow trail to Thomas Mountain
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Yellow trail to Thomas Mountain overlook
Junction of the Blue and Red Trail
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Junction of the Blue and Red Trail

Note, on the red trail at about .20-miles from the junction with the blue trail; you’ll reach a T-intersection. A path heads uphill to the right, and you want to continue left downhill past the gates, which is the red trail returning to the trailhead.

Red trail continues past gates
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Red trail continues past gates

Cat Mountain Weather

wb_sunny

Cat Mountain Weather

Mountain weather is hard to predict. Starting out on a seemingly sunny day can quickly turn “bad”. Always check the forecast before heading out and prepare accordingly.
Check the forecast here

Trail map for Cat Mountain

Click the map or here for an interactive version of this map.

Cat Mountain Trail Map
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Cat Mountain Trail Map

Contact Information

Lake George Wild Forest
Contact Information:DEC Region 5 Warrensburg Office: (M-F, 8:30AM – 4:45PM), (518) 623-1200; Info.R5@dec.ny.gov
Backcountry Emergencies: 518-891-0235 (24/7) or 911
Enforcement Matters: 518-408-5850 (24/7)
Location:Towns of Bolton, Chester, Hague, Horicon, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, Queensbury and Warrensburg in Warren County; the Towns of Dresden, Fort Ann and Putnam in Washington County; and the Towns of Ticonderoga and Schroon in Essex County
Map:Lake George Wild Forest – North (PDF)
Amenities:Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Hague, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, North Creek, Ticonderoga, and Warrensburg.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Hague, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, North Creek, Ticonderoga, and Warrensburg.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Hague, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, North Creek, Ticonderoga, and Warrensburg.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Hague, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, North Creek, Ticonderoga, and Warrensburg.

Lake George Land Conservancy

Adirondack 29er Challenge

Lake George 12sters

Cat & Thomas Mountains Preserve (Facebook Page)

Last Updated on March 1, 2021