The weather in the Adirondacks was less than warm and welcoming for the annual Presidents Day weekend getaway. For years I have been meeting up with friends to frolic and enjoy the park in winter. This year we were treated to ridiculously cold temperatures. Whiteface Mountain recorded a windchill of -114 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit on Valentines Day. This of course did not sour the entire weekend, though. On Monday, 6 of us ventured out to the Adirondack Loj intent on hiking to the top of Street (4166′) and Nye (3871′) mountains.
When I woke in the morning the temperature was a balmy -28 degrees Fahrenheit. My friends Chris and Raiel were intending to summit both peaks that are part of the Adirondack’s 46 High Peaks. They are working on climbing the 46 4000′ peaks located in the Adirondacks. Of the two summits Street meets the true classification of a 46er since its summit lies at 4166′. Although Nye is only 3781′ in elevation it is one of the original 46ers and still needs to be climbed for the 46er club. Not wanting to brave the -28 temperatures we elected to wait until a more suitable temperature had been reached. At 10am we decided that 11 degrees was more than comfortable and safe for hitting the trail and we were treated to a pretty good day.
Start of the Trail
There is no maintained trail leading to the top of these mountains. There are remnants of an old trail that is not officially marked or maintained. So we headed from the parking lot at the Loj and headed towards Mt. Joe trailhead. As we walked along there was minimal snow and we enjoyed a nice view of Heart Lake.
Leaving the Trail
Reaching the trailhead for Mt. Joe, you get your first indication of what you are going to be hiking on for the next couple of hours. There is a sign that clearly states that the trail is unmaintained from this point forward. It wasn’t long before the group decided that micro-spikes were going to be necessary. The weather this year has really kept the snow pack down and the trail we encountered was a little icy in spots but nothing too serious. Our climb to the summits was made easier by the fact that we did not need to use snowshoes, but we did bring them along per the High Peaks regulation requiring having them and potential for their need.
The weather was sunny and beautiful at the beginning of our hike. When we crossed Indian Brook there was a little confusion as to which way we needed to go, but lucky for us there were a few other hikers ahead of us that found an old cairn that pointed us in the correct direction. After finding the cairn we were able to follow a heard path up to Nye and Street intersections. At the intersection, Raiel, Chirs and Kelly stashed their snowshoes because there was no doubt that they would not need to use them.
We first broke left towards Street Mountain and made our way a little over a half mile to the 4166′ foot peak. There isn’t a great view or much to see on the summit so Chris snapped a quick pic and we headed back down to the intersection. By this point the temperature had started to noticeably drop. During our ascent toward Nye, clouds moved in, the wind picked up and snow flurries began to obscure any potential views of the mountain around us.
The hike is around 9 miles (but felt longer to me) and gets a little steep with the occasional blow down towards the top. There are no views at the top, but still enjoyable and worth hiking.