Thomas (& Cat) Mountain are Beautiful and near Lake George in the Adirondacks

Cat and Thomas Mountain Trailhead
Average read time 5 min

Thomas Mountain near Lake George in the Adirondacks has a beautiful view from its lower summit. Many people combine the hike with the outstanding Cat Mountain a few miles away. The actual summit of Thomas Mountain is privately owned and has no trail. This is definitely a family-friendly hike. A log cabin once stood at the viewpoint. The NYSDEC demolished the cabin in 2018 as it was a non-conforming structure.

The view from the Thomas Mountain overlook is expansive—Lake George with Buck Mountain and Pilot Ridge on the lake’s far side. At the end of the lake is French Mountain. Up in your face are Cat Mountain and the ridge that connects it with Thomas. Also noticeable is Crane Mountain, and through the trees, one can get a view of Gore Mountain and its ski slopes. Hundreds of other peaks are visible.

Table Of Contents

Thomas Mountain Trail Specs

Distance:Climbing:Difficulty:
1.5-miles to lookout785 feetEasy
Trailhead on Valley Woods Rd:Google mapsQwant Maps

Thomas Mountain on the Trail

  1. Start at the Cat and Thomas Mountain Trailhead on Valley Woods Road in the Town of Bolton. 0.0-miles
  2. Quickly enter the trail at the register and kiosk past the gate; sign in here’s why.
  3. You’ll hike with the road in sight for a bit.
  4. At .22-miles, you’ll reach a bend in the trail close to a stream that drains Thomas Mountain.
  5. In the next 0.40-miles, the trail will climb and cross another stream. 
  6. At 0.8-miles (the DEC sign says 0.6), you reach a trail junction left that goes toward Edgecomb Pond and Cat Mountain; you want to go right. You’ll have climbed about 251 feet.
  7. Now on the yellow-blazed Richard Hayes Phillips Trail, in 0.73-miles, you will climb 533 feet to the ridge top, then drop a bit to the Thomas Mountain Overlook. You are 1.5-miles from the parking area.
  8. Back to the parking area is 1.5-miles for a 3-mile round-trip.

Extend Your Trip to Cat Mountain

Beyond the overlook and continuing on the Richard Hayes Pillips Trail is a beautiful ridge with several views that connects Thomas and Cat Mountains. Continuing to Cat Mountain will add another 2.4-miles oneway (4.1-miles from the trailhead). From the summit of Cat Mountain, you could backtrack and enjoy the vistas again, spot a second car at the Edgecomb Pond Trailhead, hiking a point to point, or return on the blue trail from Cat Mountain to the Valley Woods Road trailhead.

Another hike nearby: The Pinnacle near Lake George

Photos

Chris signing the trail register at the Cat and Thomas Mountain Trailhead
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris signing the trail register at the Cat and Thomas Mountain Trailhead
Kiosk at the trailhead
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Kiosk at the trailhead
Frozen stream at bend in trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Frozen stream at bend in trail
Blue marker on Hemlock
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Blue marker on Hemlock
We found another hiker on the trail. He had an accident!
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking We found another hiker on the trail. He had an accident!
At a Junction, now follow the yellow-blazed Richard Hayes Phillips Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking At a Junction, now follow the yellow-blazed Richard Hayes Phillips Trail
Chris climbing on the road turned trail, look at the ice pouring out of the culvert
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris climbing on the road turned trail, look at the ice pouring out of the culvert
View from the Thomas Mountain Ledge
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View from the Thomas Mountain Ledge
View from the Thomas Mountain Ledge
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View from the Thomas Mountain Ledge
View from the Thomas Mountain Ledge
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View from the Thomas Mountain Ledge

One last picture, a broken down privy at the view point. Ugh.

Is the curtin conforming?
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Is the curtin conforming?
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Video View from Thomas Mountain

Thomas and Cat Mountain Map and Contact

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

Cat and Thomas Mountain Preserve
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Cat and Thomas Mountain Preserve
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)