Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau at the Scarface Mountain trailhead. The 3054-foot elevation mountain is one of the six mountains hikers must climb to become Saranac Lake 6ers.
The Saranac Lake 6ers
McKenzie Mt.: 10.6 miles round trip, 3822 feet elevation
Ampersand Mt.: 5.4 miles round trip, 3353 feet elevation
Scarface Mt.: 6.8 miles round trip, 3054 feet elevation
St. Regis Mt.: 6.6 miles round trip, 2874 feet elevation
Haystack Mt.: 6.6 miles round trip, 2864 feet elevation
Baker Mt.: 1.8 miles round trip, 2452 feet elevation
If there’s 46 things the Adirondack High Peaks are known for, it’s mountains.
And those mountains are quite a draw for tourists.
The quest to become an Adirondack 46er, an elite title bestowed upon those who manage to reach the summit of each of the region’s 46 highest mountains, brings thousands of adventure seekers to the area every year.
But Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau wants the world to know that his village, on the fringe of the High Peaks region, has mountains, too.
So the village designated six mountains, all within 15 miles of Saranac Lake, as “6ers.”
“With this program, we’ve started to introduce our village to the hiking and climbing community within the Adirondacks,” Rabideau said. “This is a way to introduce Saranac Lake and our beautiful mountains to that community, from Montreal and further north to New York City and beyond.”
The mountains—McKenzie, Ampersand, Scarface, St. Regis, Haystack and Baker—are all smaller than their High Peak counterparts, and a determined hiker can complete all six in one day.
A map, created for the program as a donation by the Adirondack Park Agency, provides directions to each trailhead and information on each mountain.
To drum up excitement, and to discover who will officially become the first Saranac Lake 6er, a kick-off event will be held Saturday, May 25 at Berkeley Green in downtown Saranac Lake.
Hikers can begin registering for the competition at 7 a.m., and the official start time is 8 a.m.
At 3 p.m., Rabideau and others will gather at Berkeley Green, where hikers that day must start and finish, to await the new 6ers.
Mountains climbed prior to May 25 do not count.
“There’s a lot of talk on the street about how fast this will happen,” Rabideau said. “We’ve heard anywhere from 9 to 16 hours for the first 6er to come back.”
The first three people to complete the circuit will receive a wood spirit walking stick, hand carved by Rick Gonyea.
Those who don’t place in the top three are still encouraged to ring the 6er bell, located in the Berkeley Green bandshell, six times, a new 6er tradition.
An afternoon of events will also take place in the village throughout the day, including Adirondack Trivia with local guide Joe Hackett, live music by Inisheer, and a “Walk of Fame” induction for Herb Clark, who became the first Adirondack 46er in 1925.
There will also be a “Sixer Saturday Spring Shopping” spree.
Participating businesses will give customers a raffle ticket for every purchase they make.
The tickets must be brought to Berkeley Green between 3 to 6 p.m. to be entered into a drawing for one of six prizes, including a pair of round-trip tickets to Boston and an Adirondack chair.
The all-day 6er-celebration isn’t the only day aspiring 6ers can complete the mountains—it is just the beginning of what Rabideau said will become a long-standing activity in Saranac Lake.
“This is a program that will last indefinitely,” Rabideau said. “We anticipate that a lot of families and individuals will be doing this throughout the years.”
People seeking the coveted 6er patch can take days, weeks or years to climb the mountains, but those who complete them in less than 24 hours will become “Ultra 6ers.”
To obtain a patch, hikers must mail the following to the village of Saranac Lake - the date each of the six mountains were climbed, the time at the summit of the last mountain hiked, the applicants mailing and email address and a $5 fee for postage and handling.
The village will send each finisher an official member number and a 6er patch and sticker.
The $5 check should be made payable to the Village of Saranac Lake and sent, along with all other information, to: Village of Saranac Lake, Saranac Lake 6ers, 39 Main St., Saranac Lake, NY 12983