Seward Range

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New York, United States, North America
4347 ft / 1325 m
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Created On: Jun 18, 2014
Last Edited On: Jun 24, 2014


Much of the Western High Peaks in the Adirondacks are forgotten by most beyond those who have acquired their 46, or, like me, are still working to attain the patch.  And although I have yet to explore this range personally, I have talked to several people and found many mixed reviews.  Some love the range for its remoteness, while other dislike the over-all muddy and mosquito laden trek through the herd paths to treed summits.  For me, I am attracted to the remoteness of the 2-3 day trek, although many have done it in 1 "long" day.  It does have a dryer climate than many of the high peaks, and therefore while in the Seward Range one should keep in mind that they should have their own water available.  Fortunately, I have read that much of the water that is here is potable.  However waterborne illnesses can really louse up a great trip, I would still boil or filter any water I consider for drinking purposes.

Much of the trails are simple herd paths, and thanks to the trail maintenance of the 46 alumni and volunteers, are reasonably well maintained.  There is a red marked trail, that I believe is the Blueberry Foot Trail, leading to a cairn marked herd trail for Seymore shortly after the Ward Brook Lean-to.  I am not sure if there are other cairns marking herd paths off this trail that lead to Seward and the ridge connecting the remaining two. I would like to know if there was a way to camp at Ward Brook or Blueberry Lean-to's, hit Seymore the first day, sleep and then bushwack (herd path?) to summit Seward, Emmons, and Donaldson.

I do know that there is the more commonly used Calkins Brook Truck Trail 1.4 miles from the trailhead that leads to the cairn marked herd paths that lead to the summits of Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons. 

The Seward Range consists of four peaks all over 4000 feet, making this a necessity for any of those looking for the 46er accomplishment.  Mt. Seward, for which the range was named, is the northernmost and tallest peak in the range at 4347', and ranked 24th on the 46 peaks over 4000'.  There are views from the south of the peak, however most of the summit is within the tree line.  Mt. Donaldson is ranked 33rd at 4108' and has views to the east.  One has to beware of the false summit on Donaldson, the true summit has a large boulder with the summit post a few feet from it.  For the best views, atop the boulder or the false summit clearing are reportedly good.  Next along the ridge connecting Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons, would be....Emmons at 4039' and 40th on the 46 high peaks list.  Emmons is the southernmost peak in this range and is named after Ebenezer Emmons, who named the Adirondack Mountains and led the first recorded ascent of Mt. Marcy.  Emmons is also the westernmost peak of the Adirondack High Peaks, and claims to be the highest peak until one reaches the Mississippi.

Because of the remoteness of this are, one should have experience with and be comfortable using map and compass navigation.  The herd paths connecting this range, are reasonably well marked and are being maintained as well as possible by volunteers.  This range is also dog friendly, providing that you are responsible and clean up after your pet "leaving no trace."  As with any trips into the back country, leave behind nothing except memories and the wilderness as you found it.


Getting There

Off of Route 3 heading East towards the town of Saranac Lake, turn R (South) on Coreys Road and continue past Stoney Creek Ponds onto Ampersand Rd.  There will be a free parking area on the right (south) of the road, marking the trail head.  From here you can head east along the red marked Blueberry Foot Trail to the Ward Brook Lean-To's or Blueberry Lean-to.  Continuing along the trail east from the Lean-tos to the south (right) there will be a small cairn marking the herd path to the Seymore summit.

Between the Blueberry Lean-to and Ward Brook Lean-to lies a cairn to the right marking the herd path to the summit of Seward.

Red Tape

The first part of both the Upper Works trail and the Duck Hole trail are on private land, the Ward Brook trail skirts along private land (you will see many signs pointing this out),please observe these simple rules;

1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking, or use of non public trail
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted unless on a leash

The Seward Range and all of the Adirondacks for that matter, has a big game hunting season that starts on the next to last Saturday in October and lasts until the first Sunday in December. Do have on bright colored clothing and do not be alarmed is you hear shots, or men (99.999999% of the time it is a guy but i suppose that are some women hunters out there too) with guns.

External Links


Same as for all Adirondack mountains
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping within 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing within 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)