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Pick my hike -- Street/Nye or Haystack/McKenzie

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  • Pick my hike -- Street/Nye or Haystack/McKenzie

    Hoping for an LP area hike this coming Saturday, have hotel room cancellable until Friday PM if the current rain forecast changes our minds. I will hike solo (would be my first solo in HP area) while my wife drops me off at trail head, reinvigorates the local economy for a few hours, scouts out our dinner locale, checks in at the hotel, and returns to pick me up.


    1. Haystack & McKenzie - a couple of SL6ers, convenient trail head off Rt. 86 as we approach Lake Placid from Saranac Lake (coming from Finger Lakes) that will be easy for my wife. My plan would be to ascend straight to McKenzie and then descend with an up and over Haystack via the north herd path approach off the Jack Rabbit trail and continue descent along the Haystack Trail and back to the road. Allows an option to bail on McKenzie if I'm just not feeling it (or bad weather) when I reach the Haystack junction and perhaps only tag Haystack. I am aware I could take Jack Rabbit the whole way, but want to stick to the DEC trails even though they are touted as harder and somewhat maligned.

    2. Street & Nye -- hate to make a rare journey to LP and not pick up a HP as these two would put me halfway to my first 46. Wife does not hike and has never been down to the ADK Loj area, so would be slightly longer driving duties for her. As for the hike, read several trip reports and seems straightforward. Not concerned about herd paths, however, are there 2 brook crossings or 1? Only 1 on all maps I have seen, but some posts refer to 2. Am aware some hikers have become disoriented at the Indian Pass Brook crossing, and not to take the blue paint blaze trail south after crossing IPB coming from Loj. Ascent makes the drainage/brook a hand rail on the right. Split for S and N near the top. How does 5 hours sound for round trip? I do 1.75 - 2.00 mph on flat/rolling ADK terrain and slow to 1.5 mph as ascents wear on or possibly during a long return slog after descending. Give the wife a 6 hour pick up time. Also, Indian Pass Trail starts just before the parking booth, correct? She can just drop me off w/o paying?
    Last edited by aortadax; 06-22-2020, 07:14 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity.

  • #2
    Hi Aortadax,

    Answering your S&N questions. There is only one brook crossing of concern. I imagine the water is fairly low right now and easily walked across without even getting your feet wet. Do be aware the water can rise quickly here with a major rain storm, so be prepared to ford, or turn back if too much water. For the dropoff you will not have to pay parking. There is a turnaround at the toll booth, where your trail starts.

    I will let you pick your own hike though. Have fun!



    • #3

      Good morning. I did Street and Nye last summer after dropping my son off at his camp counselor job. I started around noon and was done around 5:30 iirc. It was a pretty hike with very limited views at the top. Kind of boring compared to other hikes. I just did Haystack/McKenzie yesterday. Much better views and yes, about a five hour hike. But that was from the Jackrabbit trailhead.

      EDIT: If summiting Haystack from the Jackrabbit, it is a small path that you could miss if you are daydreaming. There is what looks like a hiking stick stuck in the ground and a small cairn. Pretty easy climb from there.
      You can always amaze yourself and do both in two days’ time!


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        The Haystack herdpath starts ~0.35 miles west of the McKenzie junction on the Jackrabbit Trail. It's a small uphill walk from the junction. Just be aware that the start of the herdpath is at the height of land along the Jackrabbit there. If you are walking downhill for any stretch of time you have missed the turn.