Tongue Mtn Trail to Five Mile Mtn - Trail, Bolton Landing, York

Tongue Mtn Trail to Five Mile Mtn - Trail, Bolton Landing, York

DESCRIPTION

This is one of the choicest rides in Upstate NY. It's also one of the most strenuous climbs, but the view from the top is well worth the pain (and so is the ride back down). This trail is primarily a hiking trail, but it is one of the last of the DEC "Wild Forrest" areas that are still legal for Mtn Bikes to ride. This may not last for long, so check it out this summer!!!! The ride is an immediate uphill climb right from the parking area. The first 1/4 mile is actually a good warm-up, gradual climb, but then the fun really starts!!!!! From this point, there is a short spur trail to Deer Leap, a cliff overlooking Lake George and Bolton Landing ( the Sagamore Hotel). The spur trail is about 1 mile long and it's ALL singletrack; dirt trail with roots and sections of slickrock/granite. Ride back up to the main trail and hang a left to continue towards the Mtn Top. The climb is pretty strenuous in spots, but it's all technical slickrock and roots. At three miles into it, there is a DEC lean-to, hope you bring a camera along!!!! From here you can see all the way to Whiteface Mtn (Lake Placid), Gore Mtn (North Creek), Lake Champlain (on a clear day), and Lake George Village. From here the trail runs along the spine of the ridge, so it's pretty much rolling terrain, with a few moderate climbs and some fast descents. You'll reach the second DEC lean-to at Five-Mile Mtn. I haven't been much beyond this point on the trail, but I'm told it descends steeply down the face of the Mtn on a hiking trail where it eventually meets up with the Northwest Bay trail at the base, along the shore of Lake George. (The Northwest Bay Trail is sweet, but if you do the loop thing, you miss out on the downhill ride you just killed yourself climbing up.) Turn yourself around, and enjoy the plunge!!!!! It'll take about three hours to clmib to the Top of Five-Mile Mtn, and about 30 minutes to fly back down, assuming you don't have to slow down to avoid hikers!!!! On a more serious note, this trail is for Upper Intermediate/Expert Riders ONLY!!!!! Do not take your girlfriend here, who has only been on the bike twice this season. If you are not in good physical condition, DO NOT BOTHER. This trail has an elevation difference from top to bottom of at least 1600 feet, in 3 miles, so don't kid yourself. Bring alot of water and Clif Bars. VERY IMPORTANT: There have been numerous reports over the years of Timber Rattlers on Tongue Mtn, I personally have never encountered one, however, they are there, and you are at least 10 miles from the nearest town, so be prepared. Cell phones do work up here, but bring a snake venom kit along, just to be on the safe side, OK, kids???? Best chance to not encounter snakes, ride in the Spring or Fall, besides the hikers crowd this trail in the summer something fierce!!!!

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 15  
[Aug 15, 2014]
NYsurfer
Cross Country Rider

Wow!

I experienced only a portion of the Nothwest Bay Trail (that leads to Tongue Mtn) and it was insane. Choose your route and level of commitment wisely (as thier are many options) within the Clay Meadows trail head.

I came in at the Clay Meadows trailhead (off of Route (N) and followed the blue trail for a few miles - it was epic. Some parts had to be walked but it was worth it - this is not for beginners - and the rideable parts are insane.

Customer Service

I came in at the Clay Meadows trailhead (off of Route (N) and followed the
trail for a few hundreds yards, eventually faced with a fork to go left (and up - on the red trail - I went right (and down) on the blue trail for a few miles and it was epic. Some parts had to be walked but it was worth it - this is not for beginners - and the rideable parts are insane. Tons of exposed roors, rocks and wild downhill sections.

Stop and soak in the area - the enormity of the forest and the size of the trees adds to the grandeur of the experience.

Similar Products Used:

Have not yet explored any others.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 22, 2009]
Pricey184
Weekend Warrior

This trail is sick and you will break your rear hanger, so pack extras! I thought that it was going to semi-easy to perhaps challenging ride, however was completely shocked by this ride. I get over here baout once a month to hammer this mnt, and it kicks my ass every time. You can ride the first mnt no prob. Once you get to the cabin/leanto, you have completed the easiest part....if it was tough for you to get to here, do not go forward unless you have great downhill skills. The trail from here on in is steep, extremly rocky, jagged edges and of course, tons of rattle snakes, so use your head!

Customer Service

Start at Deer Leap, and just start attacking the hills! I didnt care for starting at Crystal Pond as its kinda of an easier route, plus more people.

Similar Products Used:

Buck, Sleeping Beauty, Prospect, Big Hollow, and Spier. All of these are tough and will demand your skills at all times. Cheers!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Sep 13, 2005]
DangerousE
Cross Country Rider

This trail was obviously not built with bikes in mind but it's pretty darn fun nonetheless. I rode it on a 5 and 5 all mtn. bike and had a good time but if you are man enough (or woman enough) to pedal a freeride/DH bike up it then the downhill payoff will be way better. Although it's a relatively short ride the steep technical climb makes it feel like much longer. Worth trying once...

Customer Service

Start at the top of Tongue Mtn. and park on West side of road across from the trail head for Tongue, Deer Leap, and 5 Mile Mtn.

Similar Products Used:

Garnet Hill in North River--good single track.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 06, 2004]
RickyB
Weekend Warrior

This trail is definately an expert level ride. Don't go there with your girlfriend to look at the lake. The climb is technical and requires some hike a bike if you ride the trail in the right direction. You are looking at 1258 feet of vertical right from the parking lot for Tongue Mt. But it is worth it, the descent back down to the Northwest Bay Trailhead parking lot is awesome and VERY technical. A full suspension free ride kind of bike is highly recommended. If you try to tackle this with a SID, chances are you will endo. Just a great combo of climbing, slickrock granite, winding singletrack, and technical downhill through rock gardens and roots. 5 out of 5 by the boys at mtbhaven.com!

Customer Service

Park your first car at Northwest Bay trail head, then pack up everyone to go up the road to the Tongue Mt trail head. You'll park on the West side of the road, and the trail starts on the east side of Rt 9. Ride up and up, follow the blue trail markers, and then follow the signs back down to the Northwest Trail parking lot. Should be about a 2 hour ride, 14 miles or so.

Similar Products Used:

Not much to compare this too. Has way more climbing than the Stables in Saratoga, and the downhill is way more fun than Palenville in the Catskills. If you don't want to pay for Gore or West, but want that kind of downhill fun, and don't mind a climb, this is it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 03, 2004]
NoFearATB
Cross Country Rider

My comments to SMAN and Dougie-Style. . . I wrote this trail in initially 5 years ago, and I stand by my claims, best example of UpState NY singletrack. If you'd follow the directions to the northern-most trailhead on 9N in Hague, as directed in the reviews, you would have found the trail we all rave about. The southern-most trailhead along the lake is absolutely a hiking trail, and wet and unrideable 99% of the time. Even a trials rider would have difficulty clearing those roots!!! However, the other trail is the one to take, and it is all that it's made out to be. If you can't climb, and you want Albany Pinebush trails, don't waste your gas $$$ on the drive up here. If you are a DH rider, more power to ya, have fun riding the lifts at Gore and Whiteface. This is a XC trail, I never told you it was a DH race course. Sorry I forgot to mention there was no chair-lift access here. MY BAD!!!

Customer Service

Same as initial review, read it, then print it off and take it with you, so you don't end end disgruntled like SMAN and his DH racer friend, Dougie-Style.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 30, 1999]
Pete

Definately an advanced level trail, a lot of parts require walking up steep rocks, but it can be ridden all the way down. In short, 4 hours up, walking 40%, 20 minutes down, no walking. Very steep in some parts with a lot of roots and large rocks, and a few fallen trees, but a lot of hikers use the trail, and is easy to follow. The view is worth it at the top by the leanto.

Customer Service

By looking at a DEC topographic map, there are several trails, one which goes almost stright-up the mountain and the other that goes along the lake. I was attempting the flater lake trail, but wound up at the top of Tounge mountain. The easiest thing to do would be to follow the trail markers and look at a topo map.

Similar Products Used:

Watch out for easily startled familes who don't expect someone to actually be riding this hiking trail, especially going down. Just be polite and try not to take anyone's kids out. Most families usually hike only a mile and then decide it is toomuch exercise anyhow.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 21, 1999]
Barnes

Like the first guys said, this trail isn't for anyone who isn't an experienced rider in good shape. Parts of toungue are a good climb, on your feet, not your bike. The guy from Saratoga is wrong thoug, all trails in the adirondacks are not open to bikes. Ride in a wilderness area and get in trouble with the rangers. Really, try it . . . and get caught.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 14, 1999]
Chris

Once again, this trail never ceases to inspire and challenge me!!!! My friend Ken and I rode this trail 1 month ago or so, for my annual trek into the Adirondacks on this trail. It was his first time there, and he loved it!!!!! This is the 5th time in five years I have gone there, and I stand by my claim, this place is one of the best, most excellent rides in Upstate NY!!!!! Slickrock everywhere to play around on, especially at the 6 (at least) overlooks to Lake George. YES, the climbing is tough, especially with all of the leaves on the trail, but we did 80% of it, and if the trail was clear of them, we would've gotten traction enough to complete the other 20%. Once you get to the first overlook (side trail to your left), the climbing becomes less steep, and more ridable (even for those of you who would bail on the initial climb of 900 ft in the first 1 mile!!!) So, if you can bear with the first part, you will be rewarded!!!!! We did not make it all the way out to the second Lean-to this time, because we ran out of daylight and had to turn around, but we did end up doing the 4 (+/-) miles in and 3.5 miles flying back down. Don't let this trail (or your maps) fool you though.
There are alot of ups and downs after the first mile, so the ride back is GENERALLY down, but you will have several sections of climbing to do on your way back. I nearly bonked on one of them, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids and e3at lots of Gelpacks, etc. Leg cramps are a real bitch when your trying to enjoy a nice downhill ride. :-) As far as the Wilderness Area Police go, the Tongue Mtn Range is all Wild Forrest, and therefore open to multiple use, there are no horses allowed on this trail (finally someone has some common fucking sense), so the hikers are all you have to contend with, and most of them are friendly and will yield the trail if you alert them to your presence (even though this is not the general rule, it's nice to know that some people appreciate the merit of being in the middle of a good climb/descent and cheer you on as you attempt it).

Customer Service

Same as described in my initial entry/description post. Ride it in, fly back out!!!!!

Similar Products Used:

Shelving Rock Trails/Sleeping Beauty/Buck Mtn, Gore Mtn,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Mar 20, 2000]
Ken

Great advanced ride. Come prepared with plenty of water, tubes, tools, ect. This is a wilderness ride! The views are fantastic! Do this ride on an Indian Summer Day in Fall!

Customer Service

Follow Chris' directions.

Similar Products Used:

Shelving Rock, Gore Mountain.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 07, 2000]
McGuire

These are fantastic trails. As has been already pointed out, the trails around Lake George are among the only still legal in the Adirondacks, and it would be best if everyone did what they could to conserve them. That pretty much means not pissing off the hikers too much. Have a blast on these trails though, and carry lots of water. These trails rate among my favorites in upstate NY. Not for beginners, but definately challenging for advanced riders.

Customer Service

The climb to five mile from 9N is lot of fun, as is the ride out to the point. Do 'em as a loop and you've got a great ride.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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