Poke-O-Moonshine Trail

Adirondack Park, New York

Distance1.0mi
Elevation Gain1,311ft
Trailhead Elevation2,175ft
Top2,177ft
Elevation Min/Max890/2177ft
Elevation Start/End2175/2175ft

Poke-O-Moonshine Trail

Poke-O-Moonshine Trail is a hiking trail in Essex County, New York. It is within Poke-O-Moonshine Campground, Taylor Pond Wild Forest, and Adirondack Park. It is a mile long and begins at 2,175 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,311 feet. The Poke-O-Moonshine Campground camp site can be seen along the trail. There are also viewpoints along the trail. The trail ends near Pokamoonshine Mountain (elevation 2,162 feet). There is also an observation tower near the end of the trail.

Poke-O-Moonshine Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking the Adirondacks: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Falcon Guides)
Lisa Densmore Ballard
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"This short, steep hike along a nature trail takes you to a ?re tower atop a 1,000-foot cliff where you’ll ?nd a fantastic view across Lake Champlain and into the High Peaks region. Poke- O-Moonshine is an anglicized version of two Algonquin words, “pohqui,” which means “broken,” and “moosie,” which means “smooth.” It is an apt description of the well-used rock-strewn trail to the top of this famous cliff, a wall of granite gneiss that rises 1,000 feet from the valley floor. It is a popular spot for rock climbing, though some of the routes may be closed if peregrine falcons are nesting. Day hikers miss the vertical ascent up the cliff, but the trail feels almost as vertical. It’s worth the short effort for the long 360-degree views from the fire tower on top." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Adirondacks (Falcon Guides)
Lisa Densmore Ballard
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"A short, steep hike along a nature trail to a fire tower atop a landmark 1,000-foot cliff with a fantastic view across Lake Champlain and into the Adirondack High Peaks. Poke-O-Moonshine is an anglicized version of two Algonquin words, “pohqui,” which means “broken,” and “moosie,” which means “smooth.” It is an apt description of the well-used rock-strewn trail to the top of this famous cliff, a wall of granite gneiss that rises 1,000 feet from the valley floor. It is a popular spot for rock climbing, though some of the routes may be closed if peregrine falcons are nesting." Read more
Hiking New York (Falcon Guides)
Rhonda and George Ostertag
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"This short, straightforward hike climbs an eastern Adirondack peak, passing through mixed woods and topping outcrops before reaching the rocky summit and a 1917 fire tower, on the National Historic Lookout Register. Granite-gneiss cliffs, mixed forest, a lean-to, and the elevated tower view of the Lake Champlain–High Peaks neighborhood urge hikers skyward. Peregrine falcons judge the peak’s cliffs wild enough for nesting." Read more

Poke-O-Moonshine Trail Reviews

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11/23/2009
It was a very steep but short trail. At the peak we enjoyed a magnificent view on top of the fire tower. I'm 35-year-old woman and I climbed up with a 9-year-old son. He was complaining as he approach near the peak but that's a great deal my fault because I didn't bring anything -- nothing to drink, eat, etc. We did this for the spur of the moment. The climb is steep, so make sure you bring a water bottle. It's a very good exercise. You will feel hot going up! We were there in November but we have to take off our jackets and sweaters. You may also want to have something to eat too, because we were very, very hungry going down -- all we could think about was food! Some of the trails were not well-marked and seemed a little dangerous especially for young children but I wonder if that's because we went there at an odd time of the year. But it was totally worth it. Everything was misty pink, white and brown. very pretty. I also saw a few local people going up and down, even though it was November.
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7/10/2009
This trail is rated moderate but could be at the high end of moderate since it is basically straight up the mountain hiking in a rock strewn streambed. The reward is terrific with nice views of the Champlain Valley and White Face Mountain. Fire Tower was open and has descriptions of the various peaks which were visible on a rare sunny day this year.
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9/3/2007
This trail is often rated for families, and indeed we saw little ones hiking with their young parents. We middle- aged folk found it challenging, steep, and rewarding for the panoramic views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. We saw falcons as well. I don't think I could have packed in a little one on my back or hauled a four year old up that ascent however. It took us 4:15 including a stop on the out crop for lunch and at the top for a restful nap and tower ascent.
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8/1/2005
Nice day trip. great little state park campground. Highly recommended
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7/6/2003
First place I ever saw peregrine falcons in person. Short, steep climb.
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Trail Information

Adirondack Park
Nearby City
Adirondack Park
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Hunting, Rock Climbing
Additional Use
New York State DEC, Region 5, PO Box 296, 1115 Highway 86, Ray Brook 12977; (518) 897-1200; www.dec.ny.gov
Local Contacts
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018