Rocky outcrop seen through trees

Sleeping Beauty Trail

Trail Details

Region: Eastern Adirondacks
Town: Fort Ann, New York
Unit: Lake George Wild Forest
Distance: 3.3 or 4.4 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
View the Photo Gallery
Rocky mountain top in the fall after leaves have fallen
Sleeping Beauty Mountain


The trail, wide enough for two to hike side by side, was once a part of the Knapp Estate’s road network that weaves through the area. In 1931 4,300 acres of the Knapp Estate were acquired by the state, including much of the southeastern section of the Lake George Wild Forest.

Trail Overview

The sheer cliffs are a spectacle in and of themselves, but once you add the views of Lake George from Sleeping Beauties Summit, this becomes a must-visit trail. Though the hike is steep in sections, the short distance from Dacy Clearing* places it easily within the grasp of hikers of all experience levels. A longer approach or additional circuit can be added for hikers who desire a more extensive adventure.

Panoramic view of Adirondacks during the fall
Owlshead Panoramic View
Panoramic Viewer


Rocky outcrop seen through trees
Sleeping Beauty Mountain

This was the very last trail that i hiked while researching the book. It was a beautiful crisp autumn day and a great time to hike the trail. Without the foliage of summer, the lookout could easily be seen from below and the crunch of the thick mat of dried leaves oddly satisfying. Sure the spectacular display of fall foliage has past but anyone who has hiked in the Northeast as at this time of year knows what I am talking about. The air feels crisp and cool though is sun bright and you can feel its warmth on exposed skin. There is a special scent that is in the air from the crushed leaves and the wind cause them to rustle about in tiny cyclones occasionally. I passed a few people on the trail who were also enjoying the trail and reached the summit fairly quickly. Though there were a dozen people at the top there cleared area surrounding the two lookouts was so spacious you could fit dozens more. You could barely hear people talking at the opposing lookouts out and it was good time to sit back enjoy the view and reflect on the trail and the book. I had planned on hiking two trails that day in case the first did not turn out to be “book worthy” or if I decided that one of the previously hiked trails was deemed the same. On the one hand this trail was very close to the Shelving Rock Falls Trail and when I set out to write the book, spreading the trails out geographically was an important criteria. The next trail on the itinerary was further away and isolated relatively speaking. The trail was obviously popular and not going to get a high rating for solitude. These were strikes against it but looking out on the pristine view I knew I had to include the trail in the book. It was in but would I choose to bump another trail for the second trail on the itinerary. I had already hiked and planned to exclude a half dozen hikes. I thought over the list o hike in my head and reminisced about hiking them. They were all good; no they were excellent each in their own way. The list was set and low and behold the hiking was done. And yet as I made my way back to my car I couldn’t help but think of the other trail and dozens more I had in mind. And so I thought “well just because the book is done doesn’t mean I can’t hike those trails…… and just because this book will soon be done does not mean there won’t be another.”

For more information including directions to the trailhead, a trail elevation profile and in depth trail descriptions and detailed directions buy the book!

More Trail Info
Rock wall that forms switchback along trail
Sleeping Beauty Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery
GPS Data

Lower Lookout
UTM Zone(WGS 84): 18T
Easting: 0617199.3
Northing: 4823086.8
Latitude: N 43° 33′ 5.51″
Longitude: W 73° 32′ 56.70″
More GPS Data Coming soon!
Additional Resources
  1. Current Trail conditions for the region on the DEC website.
  2. Unit Mangement Plan on the DEC website.
  3. More information for the Shelving Rock area campsites and Lake George Wild Forest are available here on the DEC website.


* As of 6/29/11 the Dacy Clearing road and Parking area are closed due to washouts. Presumable the roads will be repaired and we try to keep this up to date. (7/18/11)