Part of a loop including Haystack, McKenzie and Moose. Beautiful day and great views of Lake Placid and Whiteface.
After driving by the trailhead on Rt 86, halfway between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, numerous times over the past few years, I finally got a chance to hike up McKenzie Mt. This trail starts out over rolling terrain for the first few miles before really going up the mountain. When I went, the second 1/2 of the trail was basically a stream, then the steep part for about the last 1/2 mile was a wet, muddy mess. The whole trail along this last part is badly eroded. Had a great time though and it got a little chilly up top in the clouds. Only brief views for me, can't wait to go again on a clear day.
UPDATE: Hiked again on 1 May, 2015. Mud and ice on the way up, then 2-3 feet of snow up top that I didn't plan on. The snow made for slow going and I had to kick a lot of steps and posthole across/between the two summits. Didn't have the time or energy for Haystack on the way back as I had planned. Great day and awesome views this time though!
Hiked up on Jackrabbit Ski trail, somewhat overgrown along the ridge, great Balsam smell. Great view of Lake Placid & Whiteface from summit.
We enjoyed this peak sometime around Mother's Day in 1997. The snow was hip-deep in the trees and we had no snow shoes, making for VERY slow going. We made the summit, though. We were young and laughed the whole while, postholing up to our knees, then our hips, then digging ourselves out, etc. Partner: Jay.