From the western side of Lower Ausable Lake, the summit of this 4100-foot peak resembles the serrated teeth of a giant saw, hence the name Sawteeth. Though it is unknown exactly who is responsible, the residents of Keene Flats (the name for Keene Valley from about 1797 to 1883) likely granted the peak its name in the 1850s. The first recorded ascent of the peak occurred around 1875 by Newell Martin, a graduate of Yale University who had a keen interest in climbing the cliffs of Lower Ausable Lake.
The primary trail to Sawteeth Mountain passes through several miles of the privately-owned Adirondack Mountain Reserve. In the spring of 1886, twenty-nine stockholders joined together to form the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, with the goal of protecting “unspoiled” lands from the lumber industry. The AMR purchased 25,000 acres of undeveloped forest land in October of 1887, using the Beede House- the site of the present-day Ausable Clubhouse- as a gathering place for stockholders. By 1910, the AMR had acquired 45,000 acres of land, including Sawteeth and most of the Great Range. Since then, much of this land (including all of the summits) has been transferred to the state. Most of the trail to Sawteeth, however, remains under the jurisdiction of the AMR. Through an easement negotiated with the DEC, the public may use the trails within the reserve, though are subject to certain restrictions (such as the prohibition of dogs and swimming).
“Keene, NY.” Adirondack History Museum, www.adkhistorycenter.org/keene.html.
“The Adirondack Mountain Reserve.” The Ausable Club, 2016, www.ausableclub.org/about.