I decided to return to an old favorite conveniently nearby, about 30 minutes drive. It was forecasted to be a Bluebird day, and the weather did not disappoint. I was out the door a bit after 6 am, stopped for gas, and was soon on my way. I had decided today not to take my pups as I felt the trail would be crowded.
I eventually arrived at the parking area a little after 7 am. I quickly grabbed my pack and was soon signed in and headed up. The trail-up is pretty easy to follow, you need to pay attention to where you are going, as there are several switchbacks, and in some of them, you could walk straight off into the woods if you're not paying attention. One of the critical things to hiking is carrying a map and compass, knowing how to use them, and paying attention to the trail. This time of year could be a challenge with all the leaves falling and covering up the trail. I'll explain later why I added something so obvious. The path is in pretty good shape, with very few muddy areas and a few areas where the trail has running water. In most places, you can rock-hop right through the mud and water, and in a few areas, you have to hike right up through it. By avoiding walking around the mud and water, you will prevent the trail from widening and mitigate further erosion from the foot traffic. There was a young couple that had arrived before me, and I eventually met up with them just below the summit. They were on their way back down. I stopped and chatted a bit and was happy to find out the wind was not that bad on the summit. Lyon mountain has a tendency to be windy, I have always had a blustery time up there.
I enjoyed the summit to myself for a good half hour or more before four young men from Montreal arrived. They had traveled down for the day, and this was their first trip to the Adirondacks. We exchanged pleasantries and chatted for a bit; it was nice to see the look on their faces when I pointed out that the city of Montreal was visible from there; you could even see the high rises reflecting in the sun.
As I was leaving, there were a couple in the fire tower as I passed by on my way down. I would eventually meet several people making their way up to the top. I stopped counting the hikers on the trail when I hit 50, and there was about 15 canine companions total as well. It was nice to see most of the hikers had their pups on a leash. It was a busy day today, and the parking area was overflowing with cars as well.
I mentioned earlier carrying a compass, and map, being prepared, etc., earlier. I say that because every year, there are usually 2 or 3 cases on Lyon Mountain alone where people get lost, caught in the dark, hurt, etc. That plays a huge toll on local fire and ems, which are made up mostly of volunteers. While they enjoy serving their community, some of these incidents, if not most, are avoidable if only people were better prepared for their hike. Of those 50-plus hikers I met on the way back down, half had backpacks, and most had nothing with them (water, food).
Take a few extra minutes and prepare, read up on your hike, and know your limits. Enjoy nature, but don't be a statistic.