“One of the Saranac Lake 6ers, Scarface is a moderate trail with an fair view.”
— Mike Biolsi
Bring insect repellent! The first two miles provided swarms of mosquitoes just waiting for you to stop. However, if you can tough it out until a little higher elevation, the bugs thin out significantly.
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Expect a lot of exposed tree roots at the beginning of the trail, and mud and steep rocks in the middle.
Start by singing in at the trailhead and then head south to soon cross a railroad track. After about a half-mile, you'll traverse a wooden footbridge over Ray Brook. The trail is so thickly cushioned with pine needles that you'll wonder if anyone else has been on the trail for some time. The first 1.6 miles are through a thick, moss-covered woods.
At 1.6 miles, the trail takes a sharp, well-marked left. Continue on the trail a short ways before connecting with a small creek. The trail begins to take on grade here.
At the 2.0 mile mark, cross the brook and begin up a steeper grade. It's a continuous uphill from this point on. At 2.75 miles, the trail gets even steeper with some occasional small rock scrambling and plenty of mud.
By 3.0 miles you're rewarded with a view of the mountains around you. There is a small clearing on a rock face that provides a nice view and a good place to take a break. Many think this is the summit, but you're not quite there. If you came for a view, you might as well head back now. If you want to claim that you climbed the mountain, you must continue.
For the final 0.6 miles, runners follow the ridge at the top of the mountain, where you can see the sky between the trees when you look both left and right. A very gentle rolling trail will eventually lead you to a rock in the middle of the woods. You'll see a round marker that says "Scarface Mtn" on it. You have reached the summit! Sadly however, there's no view to top it all off.
On your return to the car, the mud and rocks from before conspire to make your last memory a painful one, but if you take your time, it is very manageable.
Flora & Fauna
There is a lot of evidence of animal activity including droppings and the remains of foragers. I counted a few dozen types of mushrooms, especially on the lower part of the trail.