Blake was named after Mills Blake, Verplank Colvin’s assistant during the great survey of the Adirondack Park.
This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 43 on the classic 46er list, but sadly has fallen to 45th as new surveying methods discovered its sub-4,000 foot status. Tradition keeps Blake on the list, as it should; it has potential missed by many. Blake has three distinctive trails to the summit, where only two are typically used; the third is located in an area where extensive hiking is involved and a multi-day excursion almost a necessity. Blake offers limited views from its wooded summit, but the approach opens up several opportunities for photographic remembrance.
This is a very demanding climb in winter and should not be passed off as a walk in the park or a stroll. Mountaineering skills and proper equipment is a must. Look at our checklist for gear you should have for attempting a summit bid. Heavy and deep snow fall is frequent. The peak is sheltered by trees so wind is not usually an issue. AMR Trail is best for winter ascent and most often broke out quickly.
Blake is climbed with Mount Colvin, almost 100% of the time. Why? You have to climb Colvin to reach Blake on the AMR trail.
AMR Trailhead: This is the most popular route and leaves from the AMR. Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 through Keene and Keene Valley and into Saint Huberts. Parking is across the road from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead for Giant Mountain.
This is a 15.5 mile RT with mixed terrain. The hike starts along a road for 0.75 miles to a wooden gate, where you will continue along a dirt road for an additional 2.5 miles before you enter a foot trail. The foot trail starts off very moderate but continues to get steeper in sections. The final approach to Mount Colvin (which you have to climb first, before Blake) gets very steep. After taking in the winning views from Colvin you will work your way along the ridge and descend steeply into the col with Blake. The climb out of the col is very steep as well and in rough condition.
Elk Lake Trailhead: This route leaves from Elk Lake; Leave Lake Placid following Rte 73 to Interstate 87. Get off at exit 29 and follow the Blue Ridge Road toward Newcomb. Look for Elk Lake Road on the right in about 4-5 miles; follow it to its end.
This is an 18.0 mile RT with a moderate to steep ascent. Starting along the trail to Panther Gorge and Mountain Marcy you will drop to cross The Branch before starting a flat approach to the beginning of a wet hike to the shoulder of the Pinnacle Ridge and then drop slightly to the Pinnacle Ridge Trail. From this point the trail is very demanding and encompasses several smaller peaks with no official names. There is a spur trail to the summit of Pinnacle, which is recommended for outstanding views. Blake will be at the end of the ridge. It is recommended to traverse over Colvin and out to the AMR and a second car. As a warning~~ There is no water along the Pinnacle Ridge and none to be had until well off the other side of Colvin, be prepared and bring lots of H2O.
Elevator Shaft Trailhead: This route is also named the elevator shaft because of its very steep terrain. It is typically used for a winter ascent when the lake is frozen. In summer the hike would involve traversing Sawteeth. Start your hike in the same location as the AMR trail.
This is a 24 mile RT and may require the hiker to have an overnight as an option unless it was combines with the AMR route as a descent route. The hike starts along a road for 0.75 miles to a wooden gate, where you will continue along a dirt road for an additional 3.3 miles to Lower Ausable Lake. Here you will follow the trail up and over Sawteeth and locate the trail that leads to Upper Ausable Lake. This trail gets very light use but is a very scenic one. This will deliver you to Upper Ausable Lake and eventually to the Elevator Shaft that lead to the col between Blake and Colvin. It is recommended you use the AMR trail as a descent route for a quicker return to the trailhead.
Family with Young Kids: not recommended – all trails
Experienced Hiker: AMR trail – 4 to 5 hours to summit, Elk Lake trail – 5 to 6 hours to summit, Elevator Shaft trail – 7 to 8 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: not recommended – all trails
Consider combining the AMR and Elk Lake trails for a longer TWO CAR loop.