Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain via Cascade Mountain Trail

MODERATE 531 reviews

Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain via Cascade Mountain Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2293 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

Cascade Mountain Trail is a popular hiking trail to access Porter Mountain and Cascade Mountain peaks. The trail is exposed and steep with easy rock scrambles along the way. Hikers will be treated to amazing views and a waterfall on their way up. The summit can be crowded during the summer months. The trail is a popular destination for Lake Placid hikers and ski enthusiasts. Check the weather before going as cold conditions and sudden weather changes are frequent. The trailhead can be reached from Route 73 before reaching Cascade Lakes.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a great day hike! I hiked both peaks 2/17, and the conditions were perfect. The snow was packed well enough to both peaks that I only used micro spikes. As others have said it's gusty at the top so bring an extra layer if you want to spend time up there! If I were to change anything, I would have brought trekking poles. Some sections of the descent were a bit hairy, and I fell on my butt a few times. I also would have gotten there sooner. I checked in at 3:05 PM. Knowing that I was battling daylight, I ran a good bit of the trail when it was level. Total time was 2 hr 24 min with about 10 minutes at the top of each peak. If you want a more comfortable pace, plan on 3.5-4 hrs. My GPS counted it at 5.9 miles round trip.

hiking
6 days ago

Girlfriend (23) and I (22) are in decent cardio shape but don't get to do many big hikes often. Took us 3h40m of moving time going at a very leisurely pace up and a brisk walk down. 4.5 miles total. We went in mid February so there was a good amount of snow and the entire trail was covered with ice, less so at the summit.

Parking is a little confusing as it's right along the road. There are spaces off to the side though. I think we saw 3 little parking areas. The start to the trail can be missed but it's at the middle space and there are signs once you start. The trail is nicely marked the entire way.
This hike gets steep at some points but doesn't throw anything too crazy at ya. Balanced by flatter areas give you nice breaks. Pack water and some snacks as always.

We were bold and did not use any spikes--just regular hiking boots. Spikes definitely would have helped but going slow and using some sweet maneuvers there was enough space to sneak around the tricky parts and make it all the way up.

The wind was brutal at the top, had to hunker down so I wouldn't blow away. Under armour, t-shirt, and a wind breaker was fine for top. Wore shorts under insulated pants for bottoms. Hat and gloves are a must if you want to reach the peak. It was right around 30°F the entire day and we were lucky enough for the clouds to break and get some nice sun about half way through.

We decided not to hit Porters, which adds another .7 miles out then another back. You get there towards the top of Cascade trail.

All around a great day!

hiking
8 days ago

We did it! Drove to cascade mountain from montreal with kids. 8 kids in total from 5 to 12 years old. It took about 3 hours to go up because we snacked a lot.

It's middle of February and the temperature was mild. We shed our layers just up to the junction but after that, it just got very very cold in the summit.

Microspikes were very helpful.

I brought 2L of water with hydration pack and drank it all.

A lot very steep ascend but doable. Just pace yourself, hydrate and snacka lot.

hiking
10 days ago

went with 17 and 12 yr old son and my 8 month old fox hound mix. Moderate hike....boys had no problem and dog made it even more fun. No problem hiking even at 8 month. views on top were even better than Mt Marcy and weather was perfect. Park in small lot at base of trail and head in Wonderful day with my boys!

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike, even in negative temps on a windy day! Great views from the top of Cascade!

hiking
23 days ago

My fifth time doing this pair of mountains. First time in winter. The trail as of today is basically an ice waterfall up to cascade. The open summit was very windy (I would guess 50+mph winds. Beautiful 360 degree views from cascade summit. My micro spikes broke on the way down which led to a few falls but no serious injury. I ended up climbing down the right side of the trail which was just pure snow and made it much easier with my broken spikes. The easy trail over to porter was less icy and more snow. Overall it’s a great hike if you are prepared for the conditions!

hiking
1 month ago

We went for a sunrise hike 7/17/17, and it was SO worth it! It was muddy when we went, but we had the appropriate boots, so it was fine.

I advise extra layers for the summit if you do a sunrise hike here. The bald face makes for great views, but there are no windbreaks! I brought extra layers and I was still cold because I wanted to watch the sun rise for about an hour. We saw another pair of hikers, and one wore shorts, and they barely stayed ten minutes.

hiking
1 month ago

Really fun little hike. Went on December 26th. The trail is mostly very easy with a few icy steep portions. I’d say that crampons or micro-spikes would be very helpful toward the summit. Appropriate cold weather gear (balaclava/shell) are a must, as windchill can reach ~ -20F.

1 month ago

Lots of snow, and ice up at the rocky summit. Super fun winter hike. The peak had hefty winds and low temps, but everything under the tree line was very manageable temperature-wise. We got by fine with microspikes. I think crampons would have been cool the last .1 miles but the spikes did the trick. Took us about 3.5 hours without feeling rushed. We are midwestern dudes so anyone who lives in the mountains could crush his in much less. Nonetheless, the summit was beautiful and the hike was mega fun.

2 months ago

Did this in December with snow and ice on the ground. Porter was a little non climatic and was difficult to tell where the peak was since there was snow on the ground. The final .1 or so to Cascade was a nice rock scramble and great views.

2 months ago

so many people...but the views let you know why

3 months ago

Favorite hike in the Placid area. Most of the trail is shaded and somewhat hidden. The exposure and view at the top is completely worth it.

3 months ago

I started hiking in the High Peaks region about 3 weeks ago and made the mistake( a very rewarding mistake) of doing Algonquin Peak first. Cascade and Porter was supposed to be much easier according to the reviews I read, but I’m already convinced that there are no easy 46 er peaks to hike. They’re all difficult!! Some just happen to be more difficult than the other ones! Porter Mountain was so so, but Cascade was spectacular!!! A must see if you’re in the neighborhood!!And now I have to start to plan my next one.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful view from cascade. Way to where the two trails meet is the hardest part of it all. Do porter first since it's farther away and the view is the lesser of the two. Very muddy and a little icy this time of year. Great hike though, friendly folk all the way up but a little busy

hiking
3 months ago

This was my first of the 46 peaks. I did this one because I wanted to see where my fitness level was. It seemed to go on forever, I would make sure you have enough water and food with you to recharge. I didn’t make it to Porter, but wish I had tried for it but I just didn’t have it in me that day.

The views at the top were magnificent and I’m glad I went. Make sure you have supportive footwear because the trip back down is very slippery with the crushed rocks under your feet, you will do a lot of sliding and it would be easy to sprain an ankle.

hiking
3 months ago

Saw no children under 12 the entire day so that tells you what the expectations are regarding this trail. Must have been 40 to 50 cars in two lots and on the side of the road when we arrived back to the car after completing this hike. CRAZY busy trail; late October, Saturday, 65 and sunny is why. I'm told it's always slammed, so get to trailhead way early. Wasn't too bad for parking when we got there at 8 am.
Easy hike, just longer-ish for noobs to hiking. This is a short trail with gradual ascent if you're doing 46'ers. Def make the right turn at the fork and do Porter (you'll know when you get there because you'll see the sign) first and do Cascade 2nd. Porter is fine for views but there's trees; it's not wide open there. Cascade is wide open for great panoramas. Porter trail was swampy so be aware. Fun to puddle jump and log walk on that trail!
Wish people would leash their dogs. Found quite a few rude hikers to that wouldn't move over to pass or even acknowledge you saying hello; hey, that's the world in which we live now. I'm used to it.
Kinda bummed about how crowded it was; tough to get good pics without a bunch of cidiots in them. Should have gotten there at 6 am I guess. And who hikes with a boom box with gangsta ramp bumpin? Thanks for the noise pollution moron...we're in the ADKS...respect!!!! This ain't Flatbush Ave.

3 months ago

Great views ... heard alot of people say they did cascade first ... do porter first then cascade ... a: because view for cascade is a ton better ... and b: if you do cascade last less land to travel on the way out ... helps alot ... and yes i know it’s the same mileage but helps at the end on the way down...

birding
3 months ago

Very busy (as expected) but fun trails. We do a lot of hiking so this was pretty easy. Great summits on both.

3 months ago

beautiful view on Cascade,Porder was a little muddy though

hiking
4 months ago

Took our 5 year old! He did great! Only made it to cascade but it was still totally worth it! My husband and I are feeling it. Beautiful view and nice trail up. Very busy but everyone was very friendly and defiantly worth it!

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