Little Ray Brook along trail to Haystack MountainLori and I took a break during a nice visit with family in Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks to hike up Haystack Mountain (the little one in Ray Brook, not the big one in the high peaks). The 3.3-mile  hike starts off as an easy stroll through beautiful mature open hardwood forests.  After the initial stretch, the trail runs parallel to Little Ray Brook, a classic little Adirondack stream that had plenty of water running  through it from recent rains.

Eventually the trail gets serious and quickly steepens for the last mile of the hike.  This is Adirondack style: no wimpy switchbacks here, just scramble up a beeline toward the summit.

Lori searches for view from inside cloudWeather report to the contrary, the clouds had not cleared by the time we reached the top.  As is often the case in the Adirondacks, we found ourselves taking in a panoramic view of the inside of a cumulus cloud.

After we munched on a snack and prepared to head back, the clouds started dissipating enough to give us a few glimpses of the summit view.  Nearby McKenzie Mountain was partially revealed and the lakes around Saranac Lake could be seen through the wisps of cloud. We didn’t get to see the distant high peaks by the time we left the summit though.

Near the end of our return, the sun broke through the clearing clouds, taunting us with what no doubt would be a fine view from the summit for the few late hikers we encountered during our return.

Lori takes in Haystack view as clouds retreat