This was a really neat hike. As with most hikes, there is always something neat that is discovered on the adventure, to me it was the awesome views. I had traveled from Plattsburgh south, down to this hike. While it's easy to get to, it is on the east side of Lake George which takes a little bit of navigating to get to. I'm sure there was a better way to get to it, but I took the north-way south to exit 28, then Route 74 to Route 22 south to the junction of Washington county Route 6. If I remember correctly there was a sign at that intersection stating to turn there for Black Mountain, then again about 5 miles further at the intersection with Pike Brook road. The trailhead was a mile from Route 6 on the left.
When I arrived at the trailhead there was only one other vehicle in the lot. As I was getting ready, another car pulled in, a young couple with a dog. They signed in and quickly were off and hiking, that would be the only time I would see them.
I signed in at the register, threw on my pack, grabbed the dogs, and we too were on our way. We had the trail and mountains to ourselves today. I would not see another person until we got down off the mountain near the first junction.
The trail was made up of snow and ice, from less than 1 inch at the start, to 4-5 inches at most up top. There was no need for snowshoes, however, micro-spikes proved to be beneficial as they allowed me to move freely without worrying about slipping. I find this very helpful on the descent.
The entire trail was gradual in elevation gain, nothing too steep. I can't help but think this would be an awesome mountain to snowshoe. From what I could gather the summit is just over 2600 feet, with an elevation gain of about 1200 feet, and that is spread out over 2.5 miles. This was a beautiful 5-mile round-trip hike. If I had more time I would have done the loop, maybe I'll snowshoe that next time.