Number thirty-eight in order of height for the Adirondacks being just over 4000 feet it is still one of the nicer morning/day hikes in the area.
There are great 360 degree views from the summit though it is not 100% bald and as such requires you to do quite a bit of scooting around to get the best view. It has a one of the longer summit ridges of the 46 being about two hundred meters long, and only a few meters wide at parts. It is almost but not quite a knife-edge, just too flat on top, covered in trees and without the steep sides but the effect is still there.
A good beginner hike for kids and older people as most of the trails are only moderate in grade and there are plenty of things too look at up on the way up including some nice meadows, the remains of the 1903 fire.
On can easily get to Cascade Mountain from here so it is very easy to bag both in the same day.
There are basically three options for trails one can either start from the Garden Parking lot at Keen, the airport at Keen, or the trailhead for Cascade Mountian. All three routes offer something different.
From the Garden one gets to climb over little Porter and has the most moderate grade but parking is usually a problem. Keen airport offers ample free parking but this is the longest and hardest of the three routes. The Cascade trailhead is the shortest route but again parking can be a problem.
Normal restictions apply
Just watch out for parking in Garden at Keen. The lot fills quickly and there is no parking allowed in the street or near the trailhead of trail 16. You will have to park at the graden lot and then walk to the trailhead.
Most of the early section of the trail is over private land or trails so please respect this.
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.
If you car is imporperly parked it will be towed.
In the summer there is a shuttle bus from Keen Valley airport to the trailhead.
When To Climb
Any season is good.
Winter it can be very exposed and can have a very deep snow cover.
The best is early fall since one gets a great view of the fall colours.
Same as for all Adirondack mountians.
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 sites:
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's In a Name
The Mountain is another that was renamed in honour of someone, but at least this time it is someone who is actually closely linked with the peak.
The original name was West Mountain but it is now named after Dr. Noah Porter who was a local summer resident of Keen and he made the first recorded ascent with guide Ed Phelps (son of Old Mountain Phelps) in the summer of 1875. Porter is most remembered as being President of Yale University form 1871-86 and being and early and vocal spokesman for the preservation of the area.