Yet another of the four fallen sisters poor Nye now stands well back of the pack and is now the fifty-first highest peak in the Adirondacks. Despite this it is still considered one the Major Peaks and one still needs to climb this one to gain membership in the ADK 46ers.
Like Street, its near neighbour, Nye is actually quite a different climb than the other Major Peaks. Characterized by open hardwood forests, of birch, elm and maple and its soft non-muddy trails. It is totally tree covered and unfortunately it is perhaps the most ho-hum or the 46 peaks absolutely nothing to see at the top.
This is outweighed now by the fact that this peak is now the easiest of the Peaks without a trails to reach. This is thanks to the very good trail work of the ADK 46ers. See the Tabletop
entry for more details on why they are standardizing the trails.
At one time Nye like Street was one of the more difficult peaks to get to not because of isolation or climbing difficulty but because of the tangled web of heard paths the crisscrossed the summit plateau between it an Street.
All guidebooks, except maybe the 2000 edition of the ADK guidebook, for the area are now frightfully out of date, as the many different trails to the plateau have been standardized to one new trail.
Like the old trail start the on at the W corner of Heart Lake and follow the old Nye Ski Trail but now there is a nice sign to guide you onto the trail. Simply follow it until it ends at Indian Pass Brook. You should cross the brook and pick up the new trail on the other side and from this point on you will basically shadow the small brook that comes down the plateau between Street and Nye.
You will cover almost every type of ground from grassy meadows, soggy bogs, and open hardwood landscape and you will cross the brook a few times but the trail should be very easy to follow and eventually leads up and to the W and onto the plateau.
You will come to an intersection on the plateau between Street and Nye and according to what I have been told there will be a tree clearly marked with S (Street) & N (Nye). Head to the right or N (for Nye not North duh!) and in a few hundred yards you will be on top of Nye.
The majority of the confusing heardpaths have now been obliterated by the 46ers but some evidence of them are still around just stick to the main one and you should be Ok just remember that a map and compass never hurt anyone so it might still be a good thing to bring along.
The Trailhead is Adirondack Loj where you can rent a room, and get a meal as well you will have to pay for parking and if you stay at Heart Lake pay for camping.
The area around Heart Lake is ADK proerty so you will have to pay a small fee to camp there. You best bet it to reserve a camp site at there are great throngs of people in the area.
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.
When To Climb
The best time is early fall just after the leaves have dropped (mid September) as you get a much better view of the area since the area is largely covered in hardwoods you might even see something from the summit.
In early spring or after a severe cloudburst Indian Pass Brook can be a problem or even quite dangerous to cross
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)
some good links
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's In a Name
The peak honours William B. Nye a guide from the North Elba area who along with Old Mountain Phelps and others started the guiding tradition still goes on till this day.
Nye is also famous in local lore for carrying Dolly across the many fords that were then on Avalanche Lake. As the water got deeper, Mr and Mrs. Fieldings (Dolly's aunt and uncle) called out to her to "Hitch-up, Matilda".
An artist from Harper’s magazine duly recorded this scene and the spot then became quite famous and greatly increased Nye’s business.
Even today all bridges or boardwalks that are bolted to any cliff in this area are called “Hitch-up Matildas”.