if you live near or in the southeastern adirondacks, you have likely heard of and probably hiked buck mountain. it jumps out of the eastern shore of lake george and has a large, exposed summit that can, and usually does, hold lots of hikers without feeling too crowded.
we have enjoyed buck mountain many, many times over the years, usually starting at the shelving rock trailhead. sunday we started the hike from the west, from the pilot knob trailhead. this trail is longer (6.6 miles round trip) and nearly doubles the elevation gain (about 2,000 feet gained). despite this, the western trail offers views of lake george through the trees and off rocky ledges that the shorter, eastern access doesn't have.
nearing the peak, we moved through the mass of folks who either mistook the false summit for the top, or simply tired before the end of the journey. we found an isolated rock on the summit and took a moment to enjoy nature's spectacle; both the view and the unusually intense october sun and temperatures.
it's hard to imagine that in only a few short weeks, these trees will drop their leaves and we will be waiting for snow!