Split Rock Mountain, the locale of an ancient boundary between nations, is the exotic and mysterious Far East of the Adirondacks. It’s home to rattlesnakes, bobcats, eagles, and peregrine falcons and the scene of a marital murder, a mining tragedy, and Revolutionary War intrigue. You’ll find here disappearing ponds, Lake Champlain’s sheerest shoreline, panoramic vistas, and a wonderfully varied network of trails.
I’ve been lucky to visit these woods often on foot and on skis. The mountain straddles adjoining corners of Essex and Westport. My first jaunt here was in 1984, soon after the state’s first big land purchase in the area, and my guide was Gary Randorf, the first executive director of the Adirondack Council. We explored a rolling dogleg trail, his favorite, now called Gary’s Elbow. That spring day we observed the deeply soft lavender of hepatica (to me, the loveliest early wildflower), and we hiked to the lookout over Snake Den Harbor, a deep anchorage bounded by precipitous haunts of the eastern timber rattlesnake. » Continue Reading.