When you hear “New York”, the last thing on your mind would be mountains, or the outdoors, or even hiking. Usually, when you hear New York, you think Manhattan, the subway, pizza, the Empire State Building, and Times Square.
But New York actually holds a beautiful secret – Sleeping Beauty Mountain overlooking the breathtaking Lake George and surrounded by the roaring Adirondacks
It isn’t just a name – Sleeping Beauty Mountain really is reminiscent of a fairytale about a beautiful princess, not just in form, but in the views, you will find during your hike.
Sleeping Beauty Mountain rests on the east side of Lake George and is surrounded by the Adirondacks and located near Fort Ann, New York. The trail length depends on where you start; it is 6.4 miles from the Hogs Town parking lot and 4.8 miles from the Dacy Clearing Parking lot.
If Dacy Clearing is open and you can drive to there, the hike is about 1.8 miles both ways to the lookout (also known as the fake summit), and another 0.4 miles to the actual summit. People often prefer the “fake” summit because it has a better view of the surroundings.
It is an easy to moderate trail with an elevation gain of 1,466 feet and is moderately trafficked; although peak hiking times are from the months of May to September.
It is mainly known for the view of Lake George and the Adirondacks, as well as the panoramic vista of the surrounding forests and other mountains like Crane Mountain, Pico Mountain, Killington Mountain, Gore Mountain, and West Mountain. The trail has many switchbacks that help keep the steepness of the trail moderate.
The trail is family friendly but it is suggested for slightly older kids who can handle those rocky switchback sections. Aside from your kids, you can take your dogs on this trail as well – which I’m pretty sure they can help you to play with your kids as well!
FUN FACT: Switchbacks are zigzag routes up a steep hill. It is done this way to protect the hill from excessive erosion especially when used as a hiking path.
Where Did The Name Come From?
For such a uniquely named trail, it is only natural that you wonder where the name actually came from. As much as I have tried to search for the reason why it is called the “Sleeping Beauty” mountain, I haven’t found any real information about it. Although what I’ve heard, and what makes the most sense to me is that the mountain seems to be shaped like a woman who is lying down as if she were asleep.
If you want to see it for yourself, try viewing the mountain from just outside Fort Ann and look at the mountains that border Lake George towards the east. Since I haven’t really read any definite reason for the name, check it out for yourself and let me know if you see it too.
Navigating The Trail
When taking the hike on Sleeping Beauty, you can start at two different points: the Hog Town Trailhead and the Dacy Clearing Trail Head.
You will pass the Hog Town trailhead first and then you’ll find a 1.5-mile dirt road that will connect to Dacy Clearing. This is why the Dacy Clearing trail isn’t always open and not always passable. If that is the case, you’ll have to go through the Hog Town Trailhead.
If the road from the Hog Town parking area to Dacy Clearing is closed, the hike will start with a 1.8-mile walk to the trailhead. The total length of the trail is about 7.8 miles which you can do a few ways.
From Dacy Clearing, follow the yellow markers until where the trail will split. The blue markers will lead to the summit of Sleeping Beauty and the Bumps Pond, while the red markers will lead to Fishbrook Pond.
If you want to do the full 7.8-mile hike, follow the blue markers all the way to the summit of Sleeping Beauty Mountain then continue to Bumps Pond. Then take the path from Bumps Pond to Fishbrook Pond Trail by following the red markers back down to where you started.
If you want a shorter hike, which is only about 1.8 miles long, start at Dacy Clearing then follow the yellow markers until you reach an intersection. Then from there, follow the blue markers to the summit.
Things To Expect
BONUS TIP: Use snowshoes during winter climbing and stabilizers if you can. It will make your hike a bit easier. There is no need for crampons though, that may be too much!
Camping and Where To Stay
Without a doubt, Sleeping Beauty Mountain in upstate New York, along with all the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains will take your breath away. It is one of those few mountain trails where you have to stop to take a deep breath in just to gather all of your appreciation for such an amazing vista.
If you’re ever in New York (or anywhere near) and you are looking for a place to hike, I seriously suggest you try this mountain. There is a lot so see so bring your cameras to capture the beauty that nature has to offer. Then come back here and let me know how your trip went.
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Now go, your adventure awaits!