"I Hiked With You Once Upon a Dream" - Sleeping Beauty Mountain

As the famed preservationist John Muir once said “the mountains are calling and I must go”. In late August, I heeded John’s advice and headed up to Sleeping Beauty Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest.

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/sleeping-beauty-blog/Sleeping Beauty 2.jpgI had not ventured on hiking trails outside of the High Peaks Wilderness before, but was truly thrilled I had made the decision to do so, and Sleeping Beauty seemed just the place to start. After an easy two-mile hike from the Dacy Clearing parking lot, you reach the summit and are rewarded with breathtaking and panoramic views of Lake George. While silence is not attained at the summit because of the hustle and bustle of the lake below, the experience is not diminished.

In my opinion, there is nothing better than the views offered on the summit of a mountain. It makes you realize how truly incredible nature really is. After spending ample time on the summit, I finally decided it was time to see what else this mountain had to offer. I made the decision to take a detour to Bump Pond. This trail offered the seclusion and quiet one could only wish to experience as they explore. This trail will add on extra miles to the hike, but was absolutely worth the time.

On my way down the mountain, I had the good fortune of meeting a fellow hiker who told me about the history of the mountain. In the late 1800s, the Knapp family came to inhabit the area around Sleeping Beauty, known as Shelving Rock. Mr. Knapp had over 30 miles of carriage trails built on his estate, trails which would become the ones used to currently hike up the mountain. The Knapp family was not the only ones to live in this area. When walking to Dacy Clearing from the Hog Town Parking lot, remnants of an old farmhouse once owned by the family of Jack Dacy can be seen. Upon hearing the history of the area, it is easy to imagine these wide trails once being filled with carriages traveling to and from the Knapp and Dacy homesteads. More information about the Shelving Rock Community can be found on the website for the Warren County Historical Society.

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Unfortunately, during my hike, a common theme began to emerge; previous hikers had left trash. Not only was it left on the summit of the mountain, where it was obvious a bonfire had occurred the night before, it was also found on the trails, mostly in the form of food wrappers. This has become an unfortunate occurrence throughout our pristine Adirondack Park. More and more people are leaving trash as visitation occurs. The worst problems are occurring in the incredible High Peaks Wilderness. Some people are coming back from their hikes with multiple bags filled with trash found on the mountains. While the problem on Sleeping Beauty was minimal compared to the High Peaks, I worry that soon enough similar problems will be seen in other areas of the park. Sadly, the presence of trash on the landscape lessened the experience of this incredible hike and mountain..

Clarence Petty, a renowned Adirondack conservationist,  once said that “I’m only a temporary custodian of the land, but there are thousands of others who are going to own it in the future, and I have an obligation to those people who come after me.” The Adirondack Park is depending on us to be responsible stewards. If we don’t take care of these incredible natural resources now, future generations won’t be able to experience this national treasure like we have. In order to make sure we are leaving a minimal impact when hiking in the Adirondack Park or elsewhere, the Center for Outdoor Ethics has determined seven principles to abide by in order to leave no trace. These principles can help us all to change our behaviors and make the Park a cleaner and healthier place for visitors all over the world to experience.


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Dana Mancini joined the Council in 2016 as the Advocacy and Outreach Assistant working in the Council’s Albany office, and assists with outreach and government relations efforts. Dana began working with the Council in December of 2015 as our Clarence Petty Intern and then served as our Canvassing Coordinator the following summer. She is a 2015 graduate of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and is currently a graduate student at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy where she is pursuing a Master of Public Administration. In her spare time, Dana enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her family.


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