The trail in North Pole, Essex County, in the Wilmington Wild Forest, extends 1.3 miles one way with little change in elevation from a trailhead on Gillespie Drive (aka Franklin Falls Road) to a large rocky ledge with views of nearby Whiteface Mountain, and across the Ausable River drainage to Jay Mountain, Hurricane Mountain, and many other peaks.
The start of the trail is marked by a sign at the highway and with blue markers on the trail itself. From the trailhead, an old road leads up gradually to an old quarry. Past the quarry, the trail is flat for a few yards before turning up and left and climbing in stages to a broad shelf at 0.4 mile from the trailhead. From here, the trail is mostly flat or gently rolling to the ledge at 1.1 miles from the trailhead.
Santa’s Workshop is directly below the ledge with Wilmington further below. The great bulk of Whiteface and Esther mountains are to the right, with Giant Mountain and other High Peaks straight ahead.
Trailhead Directions (Map)
From the four corners in Wilmington, take Route 431 for 3 miles. At the three-way intersection with the Whiteface Memorial Highway, bear right on Gillespie Drive (county Route 18A on some maps). Continue for 0.3 mile to the trailhead and parking area on the right, just past Lake Stevens. The start of the trail is marked by a sign at the highway and with blue markers on the trail itself.