Discover Cat Mountain

Buried deep in the wilderness surrounding Cranberry Lake, Cat Mountain offers a challenging hike with spectacular views from its summit.
TRAIL ACTIVITY
LENGTH
10.0 miles, Round Trip
DIFFICULTY
Difficult
TOWNS
Clifton, Fine
SURFACE
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rocks/Ledge, Grass
PETS
Permitted
FEES
No

Description

Cat Mountain is most quickly accessed by a series of four trails, beginning with the Dead Creek Trail and ending with the Cat Mountain Trail.

The Dead Creek Trail follows an old railroad bed south toward the shore of Cranberry Lake. As the trail approaches the lake, it passes over a series of gentle hills. The trail circumnavigates Dead Creek Flow and reaches the junction with the 0.25-mile spur trail to Janacks Landing and its lean-to and tent sites in 2.8 miles. Past this point, the trail becomes known as the New Plains Trail.

The New Plains Trail travels for 0.8 miles to a junction with the High Falls Trail and the Cowhorn Junction Trail. Here the route to Cat Mountain turns left and east on the Cowhorn Junction Trail. The trail passes by Glasby Pond on narrow and muddy terrain before reaching the final junction on the route after 0.75 miles with the Cat Mountain Summit Trail on the left.

Climbing in elevation, the Cat Mountain Trail summits at 2257' with outstanding views of the Five Pond Wilderness from a partially bald summit. A fire tower once stood on the summit, but now only a radio repeater exists. From the summit, it is five miles of backtracking to return to the Dead Creek Trailhead and parking area.

Other Information

In the winter, this trail is used by cross-country skiers, please be considerate and walk beside their tracks in order to protect the condition of the tracks.

Trail Manager

The trails accessing Cat Mountain are on land maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as part of the Cranberry Wild Forest and the Five Ponds Wilderness.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Potsdam Sub-Office

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Potsdam Sub-Office
6739 US 11
Potsdam, NY 13676
Phone: 315-265-3090
information.r6@dec.ny.gov
View website

Nearby Businesses

Trail Tips

Friendly Fire
Minimize the impact of your campfire by using an established fire rings in permitted sites only. Burn only dead down wood and put out your fire before leaving. A cookstove can make cooking faster and easier.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

Dead Creek Trailhead: Located on the side of South Shore Road in Wanakena, 0.5 miles past the bridge over the Oswegatchie River. There is a small parking lot adjacent to the trailhead. Additional parking is located earlier on South Shore Road at the High Falls Trailhead, just after the bridge.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Rebecca Blackmer
September 14, 2019
The trailhead is just past the sewage treatment plant if you stay right on South shore rd. There's a handy lean-to with a privy, nice place to take a break if needed, about 3 miles up the trail. The first 4 miles are relatively easy, it's the last 1.1 miles that really challenged us. My husband and I, along with our 7 year old son, climbed this today. Such beautiful views, and well worth the tired legs.
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