Whiteface Landing in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness, in Wilmington, Essex County, can be accessed via the waters of Lake Placid or a 2.5-mile trail which is also the first portion of the Whiteface Mountain Trail to the Mountain’s Summit.
In winter, that distance is 3.7 miles due to seasonal road closures.
The trail to Whiteface Landing only ascends 310 feet from the trailhead to the shore of Lake Placid. The trail starts at the left side of the register area and soon climbs moderately away from the pond and the private camps on the pond before descending to the shore of the pond at 0.4 miles from the parking area.
The trail proceeds flat along the shore before swinging left to a yellow gate that marks the start of state land. The road from here becomes much more gravel strewn and adds on a bit of elevation. The footing is a bit tough in spots due to the rocky terrain. The trail descends 60 feet in the last 0.25 mile to a dock at Whiteface Landing. From Whiteface Landing you can view McKenzie Mountain, Moose Mountain, Moose Island, and the surrounding wilderness lands across the lake.
Trailhead Directions (Map)
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Wilmington to a large parking lot near the Ausable River, near the intersection of River Road. From here, you can access Connery Pond and Whiteface Landing. Just up the road from the parking lot, there is a dirt road that leads back to the trailhead for Whiteface Landing. There are few spots, so parking on Route 86 might be the best option. The trailhead is less than one-mile down the dirt road. In winter you will need to park at the large lot along the road. In winter, parking is limited to roadside lots on Route 86, near the bridge over the Ausable River and the intersection of Route 86 and River Road. There are large parking lots on either side of the road, which can accommodate many vehicles. There is a clearly marked ski trail that connects these parking lots to the seasonal road.