Adirondack Hike: Cat and Thomas Mountains

It is the perfect time to head to the Adirondacks and see the foliage, but this hike is gorgeous in any season. Cat and Thomas Mountains [761 Valley Woods Rd, Bolton Landing, NY 12814] is just over an hour north of Albany and offers a variety of trails leading to extraordinary views of the Adirondacks and Lake George.

cat and thomas mountainsThis preserve is really cool because you can hike to awesome view points with little effort and mileage, you can pick either peak, or you can combine it all for an awesome afternoon and 8+ miles of hiking! It is a very popular hike on account of all of these options. Lots of different people ranging from kids learning to hike to experienced mountaineers were enjoying this a beautiful autumn day due to all of the different levels of trails. I wanted to see it all, and so up the orange trail we went. It was gravely and moderately strenuous up this path, but the foliage made everything so chipper!

cat and thomas mountains 2In just a mile and half you’ll reach the cabin,

cat and thomas mountains 5And with it splendid views down towards Lake George!

cat and thomas mountains 4After soaking that in look for a tree with orange and blue arrows.

cat and thomas mountains 6We chose to head onto blue. Shortly after heading onto blue there was a split in the trail, both directions blue. We headed towards the ‘view’ to check out another overlook where the mountains were more dominant, at Thomas summit.

cat and thomas mountains 10The view path is a dead end, with the option of looping back to the parking lot. You could return and have had a great little hike with perfect views. If you want more, go back the way you came through the woods. On that little woodsy trail we saw a chipmunk, a snake, and more of that awesome foliage!

cat and thomas mountains 8 cat and thomas mountains 11 cat and thomas mountains 7Remember that fork in the road when you picked to visit the view? Now you want to continue on blue, away from the cabin. This is the Richard Hayes Phillips Trail, though you won’t see that name anywhere but on the trail map, it spans 2.3 miles. I thought this trail was really interesting and exciting. It leads you through so many different environments, there always something new to see, and it’s never too strenuous.

cat and thomas mountains 22 cat and thomas mountains 44 cat and thomas mountains 33After some time we reached a junction, and decided to head to the view again. I never pass up the opportunity for a good view!

cat and thomas mountains 66This one was stunning, as you might have suspected.

cat and thomas mountains 77Carry on though, head back the way you came from and then just a .5 mile stretch till Cat summit! Follow the clearly marked trail through the intersection with yellow, and continue on straight ahead the markers will be painted on the rocks now.

cat and thomas mountains 88Just a bit of climb up and you’re there – what a sight too. More vibrant views, and some happy hikers too.

cat and thomas mountains 99 cat and thomas mountains 222 cat and thomas mountains 111Retrace you way on blue when you’re ready to return, it’s all down hill from here. Pass that intersection with yellow – it is closed, there is another chance to head on yellow in just a few minutes.

cat and thomas mountains 333Follow that yellow arrow to create a loop back to the parking lot. I love a good loop, always something else to see, we saw gorgeous shrooms, a fiery reflection puddle, a warty toad, and a striking lake along the yellow.

cat and thomas mountains 444 cat and thomas mountains 555 cat and thomas mountains 666 cat and thomas mountains 777 cat and thomas mountains 888After just about two miles you will rejoin the orange trail, the intersection should look familiar.

cat and thomas mountains 999The trail begins to level out and you will reach the parking lot in no time, which is looking mighty fabulous this time of year.

cat and thomas mountains 1111So is the road home for that matter.

cat and thomas mountains 2222Hey, you don’t even need to hike, the view from the car is good enough! Just kidding, don’t miss out on everything this wonderful preserve has to offer – pristine Adirondack nature for any level hiker.

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