In the early morning hours of August 10, 1969 a small single engine Piper Cherokee 140 plane piloted by F. Peter Simmons crashed into the small valley between Mount Marshall and Iroqouis in the Adirondacks High Peaks Region. When his plane came down, it landed in a grove of small pine trees narrowly missing several large boulders that would have torn it apart. When rescuers finally reached Simmons later that day, they found him only semi-conscious, with broken bones all over his body, but alive.
The wreckage of this plane crash is still there today and very well preserved, remaining just as it landed on the morning of August 10th among the small pine trees that saved Peter Simmons life. Seeing the plane in person is extremely interesting, and powerful in an eery sort of way. As you stand on the wing of the plane looking at the wreckage, you have to continually remind yourself that the pilot survived, and you’re not actually staring at what looks to be a flying metal casket. The hike to reach this plane is equally as rewarding, with the most popular route traveling through the beautiful Avalanche Pass, following the shore of Avalanche Lake in the shadow of Mt. Colden on one side and Mt. Algonquin on the other.
The plane crash itself is located not more than 100ft off a rarely hiked trail called the “Indian Pass Trail”. This trail can be difficult to follow at times, as it is very overgrown and seldom traveled, especially in the off season. Unfortunately there is no specific marker for the plane crash, so it can be a bit tough to find. Basically, when you find yourself no longer ascending on the Indian Pass Trail and reach the valley between Marshall and Iroquis, keep your eyes peeled for a large and distinct boulder sitting directly on the left side of the trail. (Assuming you’re coming in from Lake Colden/Avalanche Pass area). The plane crash is visible from behind the boulder if you look carefully, so if you can’t find it very quickly, you should keep going until you reach another large boulder.