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Adirondack Park: Giant's Nubble


Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 3.6 miles

This dayhike in the Adirondacks visits a remote tarn and a rocky lookout on the shoulder of Giant Mountain.
  • Giant Washbowl
  • Giant Washbowl
  • Great Range from the Nubble
  • Bottom of Roaring Brook Falls

The hike to Giant’s Nubble, a knob of rock on the southern side of Giant Mountain, is perfect for those who want a view but don’t want to scale an entire 4,000-footer. From the trailhead, follow the Ridge Trail east into the woods over a couple of small footbridges to the sign-in box. The path climbs moderately through a hardwood forest, where wild raspberries bloom profusely along the trail in early July. The path bends left over an unreliable streamlet and then angles to the northeast following the streambed; patches of wood sorrel blossoms brighten the ground here and there.

Soon the trail gets rockier and steeper. It crosses the streamlet again, angling up the slope. After several switchbacks and some stone steps up a particularly steep pitch, it comes alongside the streamlet again, and then crosses it. The slope eases a bit, crossing some sections of slab, heading north across the top of the rock wall on the left side of the ravine above the trailhead. Stop at the rock perch for views of Chapel Pond below and the Great Range (Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolfjaw, and Lower Wolfjaw Mountains) to the west.

From here, the trail dips as it continues north back into the woods, away from Chapel Pond. Almost immediately, at 0.6 mile, it comes to Giant Washbowl. Nestled below a cliff, the Washbowl is a 4.2-acre pond that the state stocks with brook trout. Frogs chirp among the water lilies that speckle the pond. There is a primitive campsite just beyond the pond on the right.

After taking a break to enjoy the Washbowl, continue a short way to the junction with the less-traveled trail to the Nubble at 0.8 mile. The trail climbs in spurts until it reaches Giant’s Nubble, crossing sections of slab and several openings in the weathered trees.

At 1.5 miles the trail climbs the Nubble, an obvious rock highpoint. From the Nubble, Chapel Pond lies directly below you. Round Mountain rises immediately across NY 73, forming the opposite side of the valley, with Noonmark just behind, and the Great Range, a string of 4,000-footers, to the right (northwest). The summit of Giant Mountain with its trademark slides are behind you to the northeast. Follow Roaring Brook Trail on the return trip.

-Mapped by Lisa Densmore, Densmore

From the junction of NY 73 and Ausable Rd. (the road to the Ausable Club) in Saint Huberts, head south on NY 73 for 2 miles, past the second entrance to Ausable Rd. and the parking area for the Roaring Brook Trail. The trailhead for the Ridge Trail is just past Chapel Pond on the left (north) side of the road. There is parking on both sides of the road.

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