At 4,091 feet, Seymour Mountain (4,091 feet) is known as one of the “untrailed” summits of the Adirondack 46ers, though as peakbagging lists have become more popular in the Northeast, Seymour has seen increasing traffic. There is now a well-defined herdpath that goes straight from the Ward Brook Trail to the summit. And straight is not an understatement.
Start at the Ward Brook Trailhead on Corey’s Road. This is the trailhead used to hike all four mountains of the Seward Range. The winter trailhead is located 3.1 miles before the summer trailhead. In winter, the summer trailhead can sometimes be reached, but only with the right vehicle and with winter tires.
The first intersection occurs just a half mile in, and it separates the hikers from the horses, literally. The second intersection determines your destination. Going south toward Caulkins Brook leads to Seward, Donaldson and Emmons; keep going east on the Ward Brook Trail toward the Blueberry and Ward Brook lean-tos.
This trail is mostly flat and has no technical section. Enjoy the leaves in the fall and the snow-covered trees in the winter. After 3.4 miles, an intersection is reached roughly around the Blueberry lean-to. A cairn 0.3 miles from the lean-to indicates the start of an unmarked herdpath that leads to Seward Mountain. This trail is rarely broken in winter and is not a recommended way of climbing Seward in the cold season. The ascent is very steep and the snow is usually deep and unconsolidated. This should only be attempted by fit and experienced hikers in a group.
You'll reach the Ward Brook lean-to about 0.8 miles after the Blueberry lean-to. The trailhead to Seymour starts shortly after, and it is identified by a cairn topped with a metal bucket. That’s when the ascent starts: about 2,000 feet in 1.5 miles. There are no technical sections, but the grade is steep.
On a clear day, the views toward the Santanoni Range, the rest of the Seward Range, the MacIntyre Range, and Whiteface are excellent. Mount Marcy, New York's highest summit, can also be seen. Walk around the summit area to enjoy all the views. The summit is usually marked by a wooden sign located a few dozen feet from impressive views to other mountains in the Seward Range.
Note that you'll want to wear or carry snowshoes for this hike. Microspikes may suffice if there isn't much snow on the trail, but snow depths can vary greatly over this route, and snowshoes are much better suited to new or deep snow. As some of the trails leading to this summit are not maintained, expect to break trail.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.