Big Crow

This very short, but sometimes steep, hike leads to a large summit with several generous lookouts with exceptional views of the Adirondack High Peaks.

Hike Length: 1.2 miles (1.93 km)

Total Ascent: 560ft (171m)

Intensity: Easy Adirondacks Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail

Parent Big Crow

Similar Entries In: Adirondacks, The Best Hikes, The Easy Hikes, The Most Popular Hikes, , , , , , .

scenic view of mountains

View of Adirondacks High Peaks

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 An easy, straight run up and down.

Big Crow Mountain is a short do-able Adirondack hike with the tremendous payoff of several exceptional High Peaks lookouts.

Although Big Crow is an easy Adirondack mountain to hike, it has a lot of open rock slab which is extremely slippery and dangerous when wet. Personally, I would not hike this mountain unless its rocky sections are bone dry. There are a few steep-ish sections, but they are short.

The summit has several separate open rock lookouts, each with amazing views of the Adirondack High Peaks. You can do this entire hike, out and back, in apx 90 minutes — amazing considering the quality of its scenic lookouts.

Big Crow is one of the nine Lake Placid 9er peaks.

Big Crow Mountain Trailhead & Parking

From Keene, NY, head east on Hurricane Road for 2.2 miles. Watch for a fork on the left side of the road, and turn left onto O’Toole road.

In winter and spring, you may need to walk the final section of road to the trailhead. O’Toole Road is an unmaintained dirt road: unplowed after snow and very muddy after rain or snow melt.

The parking area is a large loop. The trailhead on the SE side of the loop is the beginning of the trail to Hurricane Mountain. For this hike, use the NW trailhead which leads to Big Crow Mountain — as well as the amazing Nun-Da-Ga-O range (post coming soon).

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Big Crow Mountain Hiking Trail

Start here, noticing that the trail sign says both Big Crow (0.7 miles) and Little Crow (1.2 miles). Follow the red blazes.

hikers on trail heading to Big Crow
Big Crow Mountain trailhead

The trail is flat at first, passing the trail register.

big crow trail register
Trail register, closed

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big crow trail register
Trail register, open

This trail has a lot of rock slab, which is great when it’s dry — but very slippery when it’s wet. Use extreme caution after any rainfall or snowmelt. Turn back if it feels sketchy; coming down is always more dangerous that going up.

rock slab trail bed
Rock slab

Just below 2600’ you’ll pass this junction which leads (on the right) to the Nun-Da-Ga-O Range — aka the Soda Range — which is a spectacular hike.

trail junction with signs
Junction with Nun-Da-Ga-O trail

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Above the junction is lovely too…

big crow hiking trail
Big Crow trail

More gorgeous rock slab

big crow hiking trail
Big Crow trail

And then the first great view

scenic view of mountains
View of Adirondacks High Peaks

Big Crow Summit

There are no summit signs on Big Crow Mountain but there are several areas of open rock, each with great views. Make sure to explore the full summit ridge.

I think this is the highest point (but it’s hard to be sure)…

summit of big crow
Summit

Great views from this spot, though…

scenic mountain view
Summit view

So many Adirondacks high peaks are visible…

scenic mountain view
Summit view

Keep following the trail westward and you’ll pass through several small areas of open rock face…

summit of big crow
Big Crow summit

From this spot on the far side of the summit, the trail continues down (somewhat steeply) to Little Crow. I didn’t have time on this day to get down there but I can’t wait to go back and hike down that way.

hikers in big crow summit
Hikers enjoying the view westward from Big Crow

Also on the summit of Big Crow are several large areas of mixed reindeer moss and other lichens. Be careful to stay on the rock, as these lichens are very slow growing and, if crushed underfoot, take many years to recover.

lichens
Reindeer moss and other lichens

big crow lichens
Lichens

Back at the first big summit view, take a minute to see if you can spot the fire tower on top of Hurricane Mountain. It’s about 2.5 miles away, as the Big Crow flies.

hurricane fire tower
Summit of Hurricane Mountain

From the summit, follow the red blazes (eastward) downhill to your car.

Finally, here’s what Big Crow itself looks like, as seen from the Nun-Da-Ga-O range…

big crow mountain seen from a distance
Big Crow Mountain

Similar Hikes

I don’t know of any trail in the Adirondacks or Catskills that packs as much scenic sightseeing power for such little effort.

This is definitely one of the most popular hiking trails in the area.

Nearby, a tricker hike but with even better high peaks views is Balanced Rocks.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Big Crow.

If you do this hike, let me know how it went in the comments below. Your feedback makes this site better.

Trailhead Info for this Hike

Large circular lot with trailheads on two sides. For this hike, use the NW trailhead.

Google Maps Location: 44.261328, -73.733461

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Patchy service once you get some elevation. My network is Verizon. YMMV.

Your comments are welcome here…

Hi, I’m Sean

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Winter Gear Checklist

The perfect quick reference to keep you safe on your next cold weather hike