Donaldson Mountain is the peak located in the center of the Seward Range and boasts the best views of the ridge. With an open rock ledge you will have outstanding views of the ridge as well as Long Lake located to the south. When doing the ridge Donaldson is the peak climbed the most due to its location and the location of the herd-paths. The herd-paths are very remote and some of the most difficult in the Adirondack Park. Donaldson is often climbed with Emmons and Seward, also located along the same ridge. The combination of the three peaks is a very long day at almost 18 miles and should be started early in the A.M., with expected time of 12+ hours for an experience hiker.
From the trailhead you will hike along a well-used trail that can be quite bust in the summer months. You will pass by the horse trail on your right and continue left and soon come to a second intersection. Take a right along this old woods road and follow it to the Calkins Brook herd-path. The herd-path is marked with a rock cairn, take this left and follow up along the brook. The herd-path will cross the brook on a couple occasions on its steady and somewhat steep course before moving away from the brook and coming to a T-intersection along the ridge with the main herd-path. Take a right here and start a very steep, short section to the summit of Donaldson.
Emmons is located over the top of Donaldson; please see the page on Emmons for more details. Donaldson can also be approached via Seward Mountain from the north, but the herd path over Seward from that side is used much less and in typically less favorable condition. The Calkins Brook Herd-path has become the primary herd-path for the Seward Range.
From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in Tupper Lake follow Route 3 toward Saranac Lake. Continue for around 8.5 miles to Corey’s Road which will be on your left. Follow Corey’s Road for 5.5 miles to the trailhead on the right
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