Echo Cliffs on Panther Mountain are at the end of short, steep, well-worn trail off the West Shore Road on Piseco Lake. The climb offers challenging blowdown, interesting boulders formations, a steep scramble for the summit, and a great view as a reward.
We found this hike in Kids on the Trail! published by the Adirondack Mountain Club. It’s another great kid-friendly hike, but again today the book’s vague instructions for reaching the trailhead were frustrating.
With the Eastern Adirondacks off limits due to the effects of tropical storm Irene, we again looked to the west in our new guidebook. After hiking Castle Rock, Neve wanted to climb again for more views. We made the hour long drive over to Piseco Lake.
The Echo Cliffs trail has really no protection from downpours in the way of waterbars, so it’s eroded to rubble and bedrock in many spots. In addition, there was a significant amount of fresh blowdown from the recent storm. But the hike is under a mile in each direction, so we treated every new obstacle as an opportunity to improvise.
Towards the top, a young hiker needs great concentration to imagine the safest, surest way through roots, dirt, slippery bedrock and mud. It was interesting that all the blowdown, was farther down the mountain.
It was hot at the top. Much hotter than even a few steps back into the trees. But it was also spectacular — seeing almost all of Piseco Lake. After 45 minutes we headed down. I’m not sure why but for the first time in a long time, I enjoyed the hike down even more than the climb. It reminded me of skiing. Great day.