The twenty-fifth highest peak in the Adirondacks it is also the last peak in the MacIntyre Range. Dominated by its neighbours to the N, Algonquin and Iroquois and the large and dramatic cliff of Indian pass, this peak is largely ignored by the throngs of peoples who swarm over the rest of the range and the valleys below.
The traditional route was to simply head due S and up through an impossible tangle of spruce scrub, blowdown, and heardpaths from the height of land between of the Marshall and Iroquois Pass. Basically this route went up and over a small col to the head of Herbert brook and then bore to left and up until the summit is met.
Thanks to the ADK 46ers an alternate trail, that has been around for years but not that popular, has now been improved and standardized by them and should now be used as the trail of choice for those wanting to reach the summit.
Various new State regulations have led the ADK 46esr to be more proactive in trying to save what is left of the high peaks wildness and eco-system. So as part of this, it is establishing standard trails in order to cut down the number of needless heard paths crisscrossing the mountains causing undue damage. See the posting on Tabletop mountain for a further explanation.
The new trail is marked with a dashed line on the latest AKD Mountain Club map and starts just to the N of the bridge over Herbert Brook. This is the brook that is coming down from Marshall from the E. Note this brook is not marked on most maps of the area. By traversing the trail that leads from Lake Colden Dam on the N side to the Calamity lean-one should come to a small cairn just before the bridge. This is the start of the new trail.
The trail should be in good shape and its first part is quite wondrous because of the very thick cover. It is more reminiscent of a West Coast Rainforest than your typical Adirondack trail. The trail leads up along the E side of the brook until a point where it goes through the middle of it and head up to a series of open slabs and then up to the summit.
Though tree covered one does get an excellent view of Iroquois and Indian Pass, once can also see Colden and a few of the other Major Peaks of the area.
Because Colden Dam is the major trail junction in the High Peaks area there are many many ways to get to the trailhead.
The major or normal route is form Adirondack Loj to Marcy Dam and then through Avalance Pass and down to Lake Colden.
Here are just a few more one can come from the E from Four Corners, the NW and SW from Indian Pass, and the South from the Upper Works.
No permits as of yet but one has to pay for parking at the Loj and make sure you sign in and out of the trail log. As well large groups 10+ will require a permit.
As of June 30th, 2001 all parties regardless of size in the Eastern Zone (High Peaks) of the Park must fill in and possess a self-issuing "trip ticket," which may be obtained at the trailhead. People have been fined and turned around for not having one and at the more popular trailheads the Ranger on duty will not let you pass without one. This can cause some delays in getting onto the trail.
Any season is good but because part of this trail goes up a brook late spring or early fall can be very wet.
General rules for the Adirondacks
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping withing 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing withing 150 feet of water
4) Pack it in Pack it out is the rule for garbage
5) Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and set in a proper fire pit. ( local etiquette is to use a stove and not a fire)
Another mountain that has seen its fair share of name changes over the years. It was first named Clinton Mountain after a Governer DeWitt Clinton of New York. He is most noted for having started the Erie Canal. Covin had come up with this name first for the peak we now know as Iroquois. Later he discovered the local name of Boundry Peak for the Peak in the middle and since he had already named the tallest mountain Algonquin, Iroquois seemed like a better name than Clinton. So he just transferred the name Clinton over to the next highest peak in the line which happened to be the one we now know as Marshall.
The name was again changed some time later to honour Herbert Clark, the Marshall family’s guide and one of the first 46ers. Note: some earlier maps still show this name.
In 1939 after Robert Marshall’s death the Adirondack 46ers successfully petitioned the Board of Geographic Names of New York to change the Name to Marshall to honour one of their founders.
Founding the 46ers is only a small part of Robert Marshall’s legacy. He along with Herb Clark were the first to climb all 46 of the Adirondack major peaks as well he was a well known explorer, author and conservationist. There are a number of wilderness sites across the US that owe their existence to his tireless efforts to preserve the few wild areas that were left. The most noted of these is the 950,000-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness area in Montana.
The name of the brook that flows down this mountain and the one which the new standard trail goes up is know locally as Herbert Brook recognizing Marshall’s good friend and guide.