Thanks to a tourism initiative begun by the village of Saranac Lake in May 2013, hikers who climb all six peaks earn a patch and the right to ring the 6er bell at downtown’s Berkeley Green. The peaks range in height from 2,452 feet (Baker Mountain) to 3,322 feet (McKenzie Mountain). In between are Haystack, Scarface, St. Regis, and Ampersand mountains.
Last weekend, it was our turn to become members of the 6ers family. We had already hiked five of the six summits, and only remained Baker Mountain, deemed to be an excellent family hike.
Baker is definitely the easiest and most frequently climbed. The hike begins across the road from Moody Pond on the outskirts of the village. The trail climbs nine hundred feet over 0.9 miles. Going up, there are a number of side trails. It seems that every inch of Baker has been trod by someone. The red disks are few and far between, but sticking to the well-beaten path is good enough.
About a third of the way up, the trail levels for a spell, then steepens again after surmounting a short rock wall. The forest changes from hardwoods to evergreens. Nearing the summit, there are bedrock slabs with views of mountains, lakes, and, directly below, the village of Saranac Lake. Nearby is a ledge with superb views of the High Peaks in the distance.