dogs on leash
cross country skiing
The Adirondack Park is a protected park in the U.S. state of New York. It’s known for its fall foliage–viewing and forested mountains, with hiking trails crossing the Adirondack High Peaks near Lake Placid. Whiteface Mountain’s ski runs are nearby. West, paddling routes weave through St. Regis Canoe Area. Rapids swirl along Ausable Chasm canyon to the east.
First mountain climb I’ve done. What an amazing experience. It took me 4 hours round trip, depends on your fitness level you could add or take time off, and I’m not very fit. The only negative is that depending on the time of day the trail can be congested. Bring gloves (some rock climbing) and a jacket (top is usually windy). The last mile seems to just be nothing put elevation. Put the view wow so worth it.
My favorite in the North Eastern section. Did a winter outing with some friends back in December of 2000, I remember the hike well. Very cold with howling winds and blowing snow. I guess that's the winter in the Adirondacks. We enjoyed the area very much and the views weren't overcast by the time we got to the tower.
My review might be a bit bias as I went on a strange day in February. It was a windy 65 degree day that was filled with ice, snow, and mud. I went in shorts, spikes, and short sleeves and it roved to be the right choice as I was never really cold or warm.
The trail was a good mile and a half or two of road (icy) until the official trailhead with the option to go right or left to make the loop. I went left which was a steady incline, making its way back around a small frozen pond.
The trail then switched from yellow to blue markers around the pond and up a few more hundred feet for the wooded summit in the snow. From there it started to descend down towards the rewarding view a few hundred feet down on the right.
The view really is the best part as it gives about a 180 angle of the lake and mountains near it. Because it was a cloudy and windy day, I didn't spend much time up there but I could have as it really was nice.
From there I went back down and finished up the loop on a gradual decline back down to the trailhead at the road. Then it was another 2 miles or so to the lot.
It was about 7.5 miles round trip but 3.5 of it was walking straight on the road in. During the summer that road is open and if you do the hike (unless you want to walk more) I would advise to wait until summer to park there and do the loop.
Doing this trail in mid February became my first winter hike. Microspikes were definitely needed as there was plenty of snow. Snowshoes weren't needed but that was mainly because of the trails being beaten down and packed heavily from warmer temperatures beforehand.
This hike is exactly as it's mapped out. It's a pretty straight shot for the first 2 miles to Marcy Dam. This proves to be a little less than halfway, but certainly a good spot to take a nice little break.
From there is where the trail gets a bit more difficult with a steady incline. Again, doing this hike on a 30 degree clear day with plenty of snow proved probably a bit easier than if you had to scramble rocks.
The last mile is the hardest and the steepest. It can be pretty icy but we took our time and made it to the summit in about 3 hours total. The summit has a few different points you can get some pretty amazing views. The last half mile or so has views of Marcy, Colden and Algonquin on the way up.
The summit was surprisingly not windy at all (probably because of the wooded center area blocking most of the wind). We retreated the same way back down sliding part of the way down the frozen snow.
Overall the hike isn't too difficult until the last mile and can be split up nicely into 3rds to keep pace. 1/3 to Marcy Dam. 1/3 with a gradual incline towards the turn. 1/3 sleep to the summit. The lineage isn't split up in exact 3rds but it's easy to use these as a point of reference. It will take anywhere between 4 1/2 - 6 hours to complete, depending on pace.