Day 4: Mount Arab and the Wild Center

Wild day in the Adirondacks

Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weather: Mix of sun and clouds. High of 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Distance: ~4.5 miles

Huzzah! The girls slept soundly overnight and the adults didn’t fare too badly either. Perfect start to our ‘wild’ land-based adventures planned for the day.

We fortified ourselves for the day with eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast before packing water, lunches and snacks. Our goals for the day: hike Mount Arab, visit the WILD Center, and maaaaaybe track down some ice cream. The trailhead to Mount Arab was about 45 minutes away from our campsite, back the direction we had come in from so we quickly washed our breakfast dishes and hopped in the cars.

We arrived at the trailhead around 10:30, just behind a group of teenaged boys. We dawdled around the car, retying shoes, lathering on more sunscreen and bug spray, to give them a headstart up the trail. After we signed the trail register, the girls set off on a blistering pace while we adults set off on one where we could still manage a conversation.

Mount Arab is a fire tower peak that rises to 2,525 feet but because its trailhead is already at elevation, the trail only gains 750 feet over a mile. It was completely manageable for the six of us with frequent water stops. At the trail register, you can pick up a guide and follow along with numbered signs throughout the trail that inform you about certain natural features which also gave us time to stop and catch our collective breath.

The view from the summit is obscured by trees but if you can manage your fear of heights (ahem), climb the stairs to the top of the fire tower and take in the 360 degree vista. The girls loved it. I loved it long enough to take a couple of photos and then gingerly made my way back down. After we descended from the tower we followed a short trail through the trees to a clearing looking over the north side of the park.

On our way back down to the trailhead, we watched six volunteers from the Friends of Mount Arab organization haul equipment and materials up to the summit. We were grateful we were only responsible for our backpacks. Round trip, we spent about a couple of hours on Mount Arab.

After a picnic lunch by the cars, we headed back through Tupper Lake to our next destination. The WILD Center bills itself as the natural history museum of the Adirondacks and it is wonderful. Look for a future post about all that it has to offer. We were surprised how packed it was on a Tuesday afternoon with people of all ages. Given tired legs and overheated heads, we left after an hour and went for ice cream. Hooray!

Back at camp we all enjoyed a little downtime reading and relaxing before going on a hunt for firewood and materials for wish boats like birch bark and moss. As the sun set we sent our wishes off into Rollins Pond in a solemn ceremony, a lovely way to mark the last evening of our Adirondack adventure.

For the rest of the trip report, click here.

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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