Hiking Mount Marshall

I can officially check off my first high peak of 2016 off the list, Mount Marshall! And this is the year. I’m planning on finishing hiking the 46 high peaks this summer.

I met Jenna and one of her friends at Exit 9 Park and Ride at 5:30am on Saturday. The weather was going to be mild. It was supposed to be in the 50s up in Lake Placid. We arrived at the Upper Works trailhead in Newcomb at about 7:30 and were on the trail at about 7:45.

We took the trail to Calamity lean-to. It’s about a 5.5 mile hike in. There are signs on the way in, we had to follow the signs for Lake Colden. We weren’t actually going that far, but that was our general direction.

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The trail follows Calamity Brook and crosses it at a certain point. There is a new-ish looking high water bridge that felt a bit wobbly. I wasn’t a huge fan of that bridge!




The lean-to is located near the Flowed Lands, a spot I had never been to before. The hike in wasn’t too bad and served as a nice 2.5 hour warm up. We stopped at the lean-to and had a snack before picking up another trail on the left that takes you to the herd path to Marshall. Thankfully a helpful guy on his way to Iroquois helped us find the herd path. There is small cairn on the left that is kind of falling over that would have been easy to miss. The herd path follows along Herbert Brook, so it’s easy to stay on. In the winter it meanders back and forth over the brook a few times. It didn’t get too steep at all until we got closer to the summit. The summit is only 1.5 miles from the main trail.





Finally, after a really steep section, and five hours after we left the car, we arrived at the summit of Marshall! Since it is an unmarked trail, there is a sign indicating the highest point of the peak. It’s pretty wooded, but just beyond the summit sign there are a few great lookout spots.

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15 high peaks left!


The views from the lookout were incredible!







Jenna and I wore our microspikes for the entire trip up, but switched into crampons for the descent, since there were some really icy spots. The herd path down didn’t take too long, but the trek out to the car was deemed the death march.



We stopped quickly to see the Flowed Lands, since we didn’t stop on the way in. So pretty! Apparently last week hikers could cross over to take a shortcut to the herd path. Not the case on Saturday. It was melting.



Time to start the loooong hike back to the car…




Somehow we missed the Henderson Memorial. It stands near Calamity Pond. It was erected by Henderson’s family in the 1800s after he accidentally shot himself, hence the names Calamity Pond and the nearby Calamity Brook and Calamity Mountain. It’s pretty creepy if you ask me!

We finally got back to the car a little before 6pm. The cars were a welcome sight! The hike to and from Mount Marshall took nearly 10 hours.

Mount Marshall
Elevation 4360′
Ascent 3185′
Total distance: ~16 mi
Hike time, including stops: ~10 hours


Gear used: EMS backpack, EMS Waterproof gaiters, EMS hiking pants, Vasque snowblime hiking boots, Katoohla microspikes (ascent), CAMP crampons (descent), Leki hiking poles, Icebreaker merino wool baselayer top, EMS Freescape 3-in-1 jacket, 2.5L water in 3L platypus bladder. Snowshoes never left my pack.

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1 comment

  1. Yes! When we hiked Marshall we got to cross the Flowed Lands for the shortcut AND it was super easy climbing because the brook too was solid. I’ve seen the Memorial – it’s a really pretty, peaceful spot. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse when you hike Cliff + Redfield 🙂

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