Five Ponds Wilderness Area
Cathedral Rock, is the high-point of the James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest, a working forest that serves as an outdoor classroom for the
The trail to Cathedral Rock, winds through conifer plantations, established and maintained by the Ranger School Students. You will also pass through areas still recovering from the 1995 wind-storm that flattened over 300 acres of the Dubuar Forest, and approx. 140,000 acres across Northern NY.
At the end of the trail, an authentic Adirondack Fire tower
awaits your climb where you can enjoy rewarding views of the Northwestern Adirondacks.
The fire tower originally stood upon nearby "Tooley Mountain", but was disassembled, moved and reassembled on top of "Cathedral Rock" now stands in dedication to all Adirondack Forest Rangers and DEC officers, past, present, and future.
Cathedral Rock can be approached from either NYS Route 3, or from the Wanakena Ranger School.
Both trails are just over 1-mile to the summit.
From the intersection of Route 3 and CR61 (Wanakena Road) follow CR61 and make two lefts onto Ranger School Road. Follow this road down to the left which brings you behind the Ranger School. Take you first left back to a large parking area by a field.The Route 3 trailhead is located about 0.75 miles east on Route 3 of Wanakena Road. Locate a gated forest road for the trail.
Ranger School Trail:
From the parking area behind Ranger School, locate the gated road and hike down this. Continue for a couple hundred feet to the trail on the right. Pass through the campus forest and cross a few back roads and eventually come to the final leg of the trail upthe mountain. From here the trail approached steep cliffs and swings around to the topof them. Above here there are steep drop–offs be very careful, especially with young children. You will climb up a few stairs to another small cliff and swing back around to a small pavilion. Soon after the pavilion there is Tower Road which you will have to follow to the tower.
Trail uses: Hike, Snowshoe, XC Ski
Route 3 Trail
From the gate follow the old forest road all the way to the summit. Take a right at the first intersection and a left at the second. The second intersection will start you climbing. The next intersection will be Tower Road, take this left and continue toclimb to the fire tower.
Trail uses: Hike, Snowshoe, XC ski, Mountain Bike
Additional Important Information:
Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.
H, SS, XC
Cathedral Rock Road Map
Cathedral Rock Fire Tower
Click an image for an expanded view