Years ago, buddies from Lake Luzerne told me about the cool views from Potash Mountain in their hometown.

It's one of those mountains you drive by, and with the ledges evident, you can also see that there is potential for cool vistas to the south and west.

Though it is popular with generations of rock climbers and hikers, there has not been an official public trail network up to the top of the mountain, despite the fact most of the mountain itself is state land.

There are plenty of herd paths from different directions, and a private landowner, Donna Gagnon, who will let those who ask permission cross her land to get to the state land. But until recently, that forest preserve was technically landlocked.

My wife and I have taken a route over the years that starts at a utility line cut off Potash Road and heads east to a trail that heads up the mountain fairly sharply. The best views are from a ledge just below the tree-covered summit. (I've not seen any posted signs here, and I have always been of the opinion that if it's not posted, might as well wander around.)

But with the recent creation of a parking lot off Potash Road and a "welcome" sign, and ribbons marking a trail, it appears the public Harris Preserve is ready for those who want to use it.

The creation of the preserve has been in the work for over two years, as this 2015 article in our paper shows. I haven't been on the trail from this side of the mountain yet, but I can vouch for the views when you get up there.

It has taken us about an hour to get up the 1,750-foot peak from the north, so I would imagine the trip from the western area of the Harris Preserve would be about the same.

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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