Hooper Mine Trail
This is a fun destination for kids, those curious about the area’s mining history, and anyone interested in finding the unique garnet that populates this region (hint: you don’t have to look far). The Hooper Garnet Mine opened in 1898, but closed shortly thereafter when Mr. Hooper realized he couldn’t compete with the Barton Mine next door and went to work for his competitor instead. The abandoned mine is now state-owned and accessed via a short, uphill trail from the Garnet Hill tennis courts. Head around to the north side of the pit to view an abandoned mine structure and climb up to the top of the pit. You’ll be rewarded with a great view of Ruby Mountain Mine and the surrounding Siamese Ponds Wilderness.
Location: 4-H Road (off of Thirteenth Lake Rd), Johnsburg
Parking and Directions:
Take the Northway to exit 23. Turn west off the exit and
then right onto Route 9 North for 4.2 miles. Turn left onto NY28 for 21.2
miles. Turn left onto 13th Lake Rd for 4.4 miles. Follow the signs for the
Garnet Hill Ski shop to the right and park at the tennis court. The trail starts
on Garnet Hill’s property, so be sure to check in at the ski shop and let
them know you’d like to hike to the mine.
Follow the road to the left of the tennis courts a
short distance until you see an old trail kiosk off to the right. Follow the
sign for Hooper Mine to the left. Be sure to bear right and up the hill on the trail.
Google Maps directions
Trailhead Coordinates: -74 6.29 45 42.53
Things to Do Nearby: Garnet Hill offers a number of recreational opportunities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and mountain biking, as well as a lodge for overnight guests and a restaurant. Numerous trails in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness are nearby, including the lovely Balm of Gilead Mountain, which can be accessed from the same trailhead. Visit Barton Mines to tour the mine and learn more about the history of garnet mining in the area.