Do the best things come in small packages? That might be debatable. What is not debatable however, is the quality of a visit to Silver Lake Mountain (2,374 feet). This small mountain is often overlooked, but it makes for an excellent family outing that provides a great view-to-effort ratio.
The trailhead is on Silver Lake Road, just east of the namesake lake. The small parking are can accommodate about 10 cars. The trail ascends steadily for 0.8 mile, gaining about 700 feet in the process. There are steeper sections toward the summit, but nothing technical. From the rocky ledges around the summit there are numerous views of the surrounding lakes, ponds and mountains, especially in winter when the leaves have fallen. Whiteface and the Wilmington Range are also quite prominent to the south.
As this mountain is not on any peakbagging list, the trail is not as popular as the ones leading to the higher peaks or to mountains with fire towers. It may stay unbroken longer in winter, but there is usually less snow than on higher peaks because of the lower elevation. This also means solitude can usually be found here.
This is an excellent mountain for a family outing with children or to introduce people to snowshoeing. It is also located close to Catamount Mountain, which could be summitted in the same day.
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.