Yesterday I went hiking with the Hiking Mates from Meetup. We were still in the Adirondacks, but went past Lake George for the first time (for me) to hike up to the fire tower on top of Vanderwhacker Mt. The closest town is Minerva, NY.
It took about two hours to drive there from the Albany area with the last portion over a fairly bumpy road so try to bring a four wheel drive whoride if you can. Someone made it nearly to the trailhead in a Chevy Cavalier so I guess you don't need four wheel drive, but it won't hurt.
It rained on the way up, but stopped before we got there. The "trail" was mostly up a stream bed or maybe the trail became a stream. The first part is flat, but then gets pretty steep. It's only about five miles down and back, but it took me about 1.5 hours to get to the top. I was first again because I can't stand to hike behind people. I want to keep my heart rate going as I hike as well.
We had lunch at the top at the fire tower. Even though I'm scared of open heights, I made myself climb the tower. I was holding on to the railing like a little bitch, but I'm proud that I did get up and down without any trouble.
The hike down took much less time, but was still pretty slippery.
Here is a picture of some of the fire tower:
Here is the view from the mountain:
As usual I took a bunch of short videos of running water and any animals I saw and stitched them together. In one you can see a toad. I had trouble keeping him centered because he blends in pretty well. He jumped away because I spooked him on purpose with my foot.