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11/17/18 - fun hike, definitely glad to follow the route here and save cascade for last as porter was great but much less climactic. Lots of wind at the top of both so either don’t spend more than a minute or be prepared. Brought along snowshoes because we were told by a worker at EMS that you can be fined for not carrying/wearing them but we just carried them the whole way and wore crampons and gaiters. Mountain got fresh snow the day and night before but by 9 am the trail was pretty packed down. Started later than we would have liked and ran into 2 or 3 10+ groups so if you want solitude definitely go early. Make sure to constantly take sips from your camelback to keep it from freezing! Especially when up on the summits. Started around 9:10, stopped multiple times for food/equipment/layer changes, flew down after both summits and got to the car around 3:00.

This was a beautiful trail. Some sections were steep and rocky, but overall it was very doable. Some of the ice at the top has turned to slush with the rain the last few days. Microspikes are needed about an hour into the trail. Use the app to tell where the summit of Porter is because it's not too well-marked on the trail. The 360-degree views from the top of Cascade are breathtaking.

Oct. 27th 2018
Did this trail this morning. I was reading the reviews for this trail and to all the people on here saying to bring your micro spikes, thank you. Lifesaver.
When we started it wasn’t snowing but I knew as the day goes on lake placid would be getting some snowfall. The 2 hours it took to reach the peak it was snowing pretty bad at the top it felt like glass shards hitting your face. Although we couldn’t see the amazing view this trail has to offer it was still breathtaking
Definitely want to come back to do this trail on a clear day.

awesome hike and not even the easiest in October (25.10) but I did it in 5 1/2 hours.
In the beginning very beautiful view. later just snow in the air and ice on the ground.

Awesome hike . It was quite wet and muddy , fairly challenging in mid October . We hiked for about 8 hours

Made this my first two adk high peaks today. Climbed with a head lamp around 5:30 this morning. Your crazy not to have microspikes and climbing.

Did this hike on 10/22/18. Started about 6:30am. The hike is relatively simple for high peaks. Low effort high reward at least for the views on cascade. 360 views on cascade were absolutely stunning. Hit porter on the way back down. Porter is a very unassuming summit as I stood on the summit but did not see a summit marker so i kept hiking. Thankfully I had service up there (Verizon) and pulled out the AllTrails app and realized I had hiked too far. 180 views on porter summit are stunning as well. Lots of ice on the trail so be prepared with micro spikes.

Good elevation gain for the length of the hike. Pretty well marked trails and amazing views up top. Pretty icy and windy up on cascade. Definitely wear spikes. Porter summit can be misleading and doesn’t offer the same amazing views as cascade but still worth the small trek out after Cascade.

Awesome hike! I did this with my dog last week, for the most part it was pretty easy terrain, towards the top it did get a little rocky and I did have to lift him up at some points because he couldn’t jump that far. It was very cold and windy at the top as well which he wasn’t a fan of. Overall the hike was great! So beautiful. It got pretty muddy half way through so make sure to wear appropriate boots for it!

What a great hike! An enjoyable introduction to the ADK 4ks. I mainly hike in the White Mountains, so this trail was a little less rugged than I am used to. The trail is maintained, but could use water bars in a few places before the Y intersection. It was extremely windy on the top of Cascade--what fun! I recommend carrying microspikes if you hike this from now until April. We began early, and spikes were certainly needed. By the time we were coming down, the ice was melting and all the snow had melted from the trees. Still, would recommend traction throughout the winter for the slabby sections!

Not a good idea to hike when there is snow, ice on the ground. Otherwise it is a enjoyable hike with rocks on the trail and view at the top is spectacular.

My first high peak! Loved it and the view was awesome!

This was a little tougher than I thought it would be. The first overlook, when you turn around was magnificent. The top was cloudy and very windy. When the sun did peek through, the view was a 10 all around. This was my first high peak, I'm 61 and I am so glad I did it. No crowds, great people along the way. This years foliage was outstanding!!!

Almost run entire way up in 2.5 hrs to make sunset, exhausted. What a race!

Very beautiful sunset!

From autumn colours to snowy winter on top and iced road at the end, you would experience huge different landscapes which makes the hiking very exciting.

Very muddy in certain area indeed.

Coming down taking memorial highway, which closed in Oct. Took 2 hrs. Clear night, star shining and Milky Way is high up in the sky. But it ends in a different trailhead. We were so lucky to meet a family from Tennessee. They drove us to our car. Big thanks here!

Overall, perfect and excellent hiking.

Short hike to top - 1:45 moving slowly. Amazing 360 views on top. Did it in the Fall - beware of icy rocks coming down. Crowdy but great hike if you have less than 4 hours.

Was a relatively challenging trail, picked a day during the August heat wave, big mistake. Did not make it to Nippletop, will have to do that one separate if possible.

hiking
1 month ago

What a great hike. We started from the observatory parking lot and of course added Esther for a total of 10 miles. Check out my full write up.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/whitefaceandesther/

Awesome trail. Well marked. Lots of mud.

Such a gorgeous hike! It was rainy, foggy, and filled with leaves. When you got the chance to see views through the clouds and Fogg they were worth the hike up, even the trees were gorgeous! Will definitely go again, just take your time and enjoy nature ☺.

If you are looking for views this trail is for you. However, plan on spending up to two hours going up and and two for going down looking at your feet! The rocks are unbelievable and very dangerous going down! I personally think this is not a great way to spend 4-5 hours. Would not recommend unless you are in very good shape and experienced on climbing on wet large rock. I've hiked all over country including Canada and this was one I would not do again.

Hiked up via the brothers on 10/5/18. Parked at the last free spot in the Garden which was super lucky considering we got there at nearly 11. It is definitely peak week for the leaves in the ADKs! Didn't realize how much elevation we gained in the first mile of that hike! Beautiful views of all sides of the park on our way up to and at the First Brother. Would have been a nice hike on its own if you weren't looking to make it all the way to Big Slide. The rest of the hike from here is pretty easy until the last half mile or so. The trail from the Third Brother to Big Slide is a charming shaded birch filled forest that we really enjoyed. As mentioned, the last .3 after the junction is a bit more strenuous, lots of scrambling and a few spots where we had to lift our dog up (she’s got short little legs). Ladders to the top were easier to go up than to come down, since they were steep and slippery. Big Slide offered an amazing view of the Great Range although the summit is very small compared to some other peaks. As we had began late, everyone left the summit to head back once we arrived and we ended up having the whole mountain to ourselves! We went down via what I believe is the Phelps trail to Johns Brook near the lodge and then back to the garden. Lots more people on this side of the trail than the Brothers, which is always comforting if you’re getting off the mountain later in the evening. Took us about five hours total and recorded as 9.4 miles. Definitely would recommend.

It was an excellent hike. After Marble Hill the trail does get pretty wet, and I’m not even talking about the trail to Esther. No visibility from the top today but it was still worth it! It took me 3 hrs and 20 min up and 2 hr and 20 min down.

1 month ago

This was a really beautiful hike with great fall colors. It was pretty muddy, especially Esther, but still a fun hike!

This was my first high peak hike. It took 4.5 hours. I found it to be extremely rocky and steep and totally worth it. Luckily my experienced hiking mate was patient. I have hiked Bald, Rocky and Black Bear near Old Forge and Inlet, these are cake compared to Cascade. Hiking shoes are a must to grip the rocks, poles are helpful. Snacks, water and layers are advisable. This weekend the DEC set up shuttle buses from Mt Van Hoevenberg, it was very organized and the rangers were very helpful. The roads are crowded with cars and hikers. Enjoy!

Did this hike on 10/6/18. Weather was cool limited sun only in the afternoon. Did the loop counter clockwise going up elk pass to nippletop first. Got a late start due to the parking situation. The lots at the AMR hiking lot was full had to park on highway about .5 mike away. Note don’t park along the roadways but n the AMR hiking parking areas. There were about 20 or so cars parked in no parking areas that got tickets. By the time we got to Nippletop’s summit it was socked in by fog and clouds. Very windy and cold. Had a quick lunch. Made out was over to Dial . Views were better but clouds came in. Made our way done and out via Bear Den . Trails were very muddy . It’s hard for me to say what direction is easier because I was tied from a long road trip the day before and a little under the weather. I would say doing elk pass first because it’s steep. Over all a great hike wish the weather was better. Might have to return and do this one again.

I did the loop clockwise and I’m glad, the trails are so wet and muddy that coming up from Elk Pass the water would be running down your sleeves. The promised clear sky never happened so I skipped Indian Head, no views. I loved the ups and downs of this loop, and the easy run back on Lake Road.

Easy to follow, very muddy, non-technical hike with Nippletop showing the best view of the entire great range without actually being in it. Our group enjoyed Nips’ view even more than Algonquin’s. Dial is nice but not amazing and Noonmark shoulder is less than Dial but still enjoyable.

After a lot of contemplation we did the loop clockwise and were so happy we did. The views only improve this way giving you something to look forward to. The ascent is more gradual with only a 40 min stretch up to Noonmark shoulder being steep. It’s as steep as Elk Pass but much shorter and way less rocks. We left Nippletop with lots of energy still from a pretty easy morning climb and feeling fresh and rested from lunch at the summit. Descending Elk Pass was pretty non-technical (only 2 or 3 bigger rock slabs) and totally fine for us. If your cardio isn’t very strong but you have good knees definitely do clockwise. Going up Elk Pass will hit your lungs and legs hard, it’s steadily steep and long. If you have any issues with knees or pain descending normally, then take the loop counter clockwise.

We added on Indian Head and it is a must for this loop being so close. Its a stunning and perfect ending with Lake Road being an easy cool down to a long day instead of descending that steep section down from Noonmark shoulder, tired, with mediocre views after Dial. 10.5 hours from the car with an hours worth of breaks but we moved slower than average with everyone passing us that day. Hiked with 2 newbies with no hiking experience but good physical strength.

We hit the trail around 4pm. The hike to Porter was a bit wet but nothing terrible. Porter had a couple of nice views. The hike to Cascade was fairly easy from Porter. The sunset on Porter was nothing less than amazing. Highly recommend for sunset. 360 views. It got windy and cold very quickly as the sun set. Make sure to dress warm and bring a headlamp if you decide to hike in for sunset. Overall a great trip!

There has been a bit of rain so the trail was very wet - made for a challenging descent. The views from the summit of Cascade were spectacular. The trail connecting Cascade and Porter was a soggy mess. Overall great hike. Took us about 5 hours with about 30 minutes spent between the two summits (20 cascade, 10 porter).

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