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Exploring Mount Pisgah

By Adam Brothers
On April 20, 2012


The town of Westmore, and the Willoughby area, offers several mountains that are prime for hiking, perhaps most notably Mount Pisgah. 

There are two trails that lead to the summit of Mount Pisgah: the north trail and the south trail.

The south trail of Pisgah, with its start on the right side of route 5A just before reaching the lake, is a two and a half mile footpath up about 1,600 feet over Lake Willoughby. The south trail is a novice trail, taking anywhere between an hour to two hours to ascend.                        

The 1.7 mile trail courses over mountain streams, up stone stairways constructed by the Green Mountain Club, and leads to multiple spectacular vista­­­­s. There are a few lookout points on the way to the top, but the most rewarding view comes from after reaching the top and continuing back down the other side.

After reaching the rock-topped summit of Mount Pisgah, continue along the trail over the peak and down the other side for about a few hundred yards, and on the left will be a sign designating the lookout. Take this small side trail to the rock outcropping at the end of the path and be ready to take in a magnificent view that stretches all the way north to Jay and Canada, west, clear enough to view the Adirondacks of New York, and southeast enough that, if you look in the right direction, you'll see Lyndon State College. The outcropping is about 650 feet above anything solid so don't slip.

Having climbed over the peak on the south trail of Mount Pisgah to the outlook, this will now be the north trail. The summit is the intersection of the north and south trails. The north trail starts a few miles further along on the right side of the road along Lake Willoughby. There's a waterfall and a sign designating the north trail on the side of the road. The north trail is 2.2 miles in length and is steeper and tougher terrain than the south trail. The north trail is recommended for more experienced hikers.

The east trail, which courses Hedgehog Mountain, is also accessible from the summit of Mount Pisgah.

The hike up Mount Pisgah courses very close to the edge of the rock cliff-faces so caution is naturally advised. Caution is also advised for hikers with dogs ascending up to the summit, as dogs have been reported to have fallen off the steep cliff beside the trail.

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