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Mount Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail is a 14.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 14.1 mi Elevation gain 3,513 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Rock climbing Snowshoeing Running Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy Rocky Scramble Snow
Description
Waypoints (6)
Facilities
Getting There

Mount Marcy peak is the highest point in New York state within the High Peaks Region. This is a challenging hike due to its length. Starting on the Van Hoevenberg Trail from the Adirondack Loj or near Heart Lake, the trail is easy until you reach Marcy Dam. Once you have reached the dam, you begin climbing up rocky terrain, as the trail is mostly boulders, and this persists most of the way from there on. Stop and take a rest by Phelps Brook and Indian Falls to take in some excellent views. You will want to refill water bottles here as there are no streams the rest of the way. The hiking gets harder as you get closer to the summit. The last 1.2 miles is the toughest climb of the hike and the last push is bedrock that feels steeper than it is. However, the payoff from the Mount Marcy Summit is a fantastic view of the Adirondack high peaks, Mont Royal in Montreal, Canada, and the Green Mountains in Vermont all from the highest peak in the state. This is a popular route within the Adirondack Mountains is heavily traveled, well maintained, and very well marked, however it can be rough on weak ankles. Hiking boots with good ankle support are recommended.

Take Adirondack Loj road in Lake Placid. Turn left onto South Meadows Road and park near the gate if there's room. If there is no parking, add on an extra mile or so to your total distance.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (887)
Photos (3141)
Recordings (502)
Completed (2940)
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Dan Golaszewski DC
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 24, 2020
Rock climbing

Awesome hike with slow & steady incline until final 1/2 mile where you will need your hands at times. Big temperature difference between 1 mile off and on summit. Views will be some of the best you will see. Took around 6 hours round trip with 15-20 minutes at summit.

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Xu Zhang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!IcyMuddyRockyScramble

There were a few sections that are a little icy going up. PeakFinder is very useful to identify all the surrounding peaks from Marcy. Consider bringing a water filter to save some weight. Layering makes a difference between enjoyable hike and miserable experience. But to be fair there were people with jeans and T-shirt made to the top. Hiking shoes with good grip and thicker soles work well on this trail. Comments here provided good tips in preparation of this hike.

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Tatiana Teslenko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2020
Rock climbingFeeRockyScramble

Killed my knees. Can't walk for 4 days already. It took 7 hours to go up and same down.

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SF Akers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking
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SF Akers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking
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Matthew Jason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

‘Twas good. We got to the Loj at 5:15 and headed out. Bit icy near the top. Other than that, it was all good. Compared to Giant to Rocky Ridge, it was a walk.

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SF Akers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking
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Chris Roger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

Arrived at the LOJ by 6:45am and plenty of parking available... A long hike worth the effort. The view at the top of New York State was wonderful (beautiful day) and the trail was not very busy. Very few people at the top and easy to maintain social distance. The temperature at the summit was about mid-30s but the wind made it feel a lot colder (bring warm clothes). Lunch with the view at the top protected from the wind felt quite warm! Trekking poles recommended.

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Seth Rouch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2020
Hiking

Wow what a view! Got to the parking lot around 4:30am and started the hike up. First 5 or so miles aren’t easy but I wouldn’t say they were terribly difficult either. The trail to Marcy Dam is pretty flat so you’re able to cruise through that first 2ish miles fairly easily. The trail starts to incline after that. Once you hit about mile 5 prepare for the quad burn to the summit. The trail gets kind of muddy after you pass Indian Falls but waterproof shoes and trekking poles will help. It was pretty windy at the top so possibly bring a jacket. I would say take your time on the decent. It’s pretty rough on the knees. There are plenty of places to filter water if you need some on the trail as well. Have fun and enjoy the highest high peak!

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Support DateJamFun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2020
Mountain biking
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Sam yee Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Hiked 9/13/20 . Arrived at site at 6:15am on a Sunday and parking lot was only half full. Started hike at 6:30am and finished at 16.1 miles at 4:30pm. We hiking from main path to Indian falls but it was unclear where the falls were. Like other reviewers have said u definitely need trekking poles and waterproof shoes as the weather is unpredictable. Forecast said 50% chance of rain but only 0.6inch of precipitation but we got drenched. If any chance of rain I would advise waterproof jacket. If it didn’t rain then could wear non waterproof shoes but to save time and energy I would recommend it. Not technically difficult but was gruelinlly long especially with the rain, lots of rocks coming down. You go up same way you come back down at Loj. Very windy at top so definitely bring a jacket. First peak with huge cairn is not the top so don’t let it fool you.

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Vanessa Snyder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
HikingFeeFloodedGreat!MuddyRocky

Overall this trail is great. My friend and I parked at the Adirondack Loj ($15 fee) Lot 1 and started at 6AM with headlamps and shoe lights. The trail is very beautiful but it is very rocky and very mushy in some areas. This is why the hike takes as long as it does. It took us exactly 6hrs to submit Marcy. I am an endurance athlete so it was a challenge but it wasn’t as difficult as hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The last 2.2 miles up to the summit though are no joke. It’s hard and very steep. Use a daypack and set up your camp prior to hiking to the top. The less weight on your back going up those last 2.2 miles the better. My friend is a novice hiker. He really didn’t know what he was in for and grateful to have me. He is very fit but not “hiking” fit. Overall, it took us a total of 12hrs from when we started..6AM-6PM including all of our short food/water breaks as well as the summit. If you enjoy backpacking and camping I suggest doing that for this hike. I am very into backpacking but my friend is not so camping wasn’t an option. If I did this hike alone with my dogs I would’ve hiked up until the last privy, woke up and finished it the next day. Be prepared on this hike. It’s no joke. Take your time, take water (there are a lot of places to get water along the way), food, dry socks, warm gear for the morning, evening and at the summit and whatever it is you need to make it a fun and enjoyable day. It is a full day hike if you plan to do it all in one day, so prepare your mind for that.

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Sarah Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

It was a gorgeous hike - the trail is very well maintained. We got to the lodge at 5am and it was already very crowded. You will need headlamps for the first 1-2 hours of the hike. Make sure you dress warm, as weather starting the hike and at the top is very chilly. This is a challenging hike, but mostly due to the length. The last ~2ish miles were the toughest - you will climb up slabs of rock like Spider-Man. Make sure you have hiking boots (not sneakers) with good grip. Also- plenty of food and water is key! Going down is tough on the knees/ankles, so trekking poles are really helpful. This was one of the best 360° views I’ve ever seen.

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Greg Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020

What makes this hike hard is the length and the ruggedness of the trail. The elevation gain is spread out over a good distance, the first 2 miles to Marcy Dam are basically flat. After that the trail goes up and becomes more rugged. Lots of rocks, and very wet in some sections. There are places where water is actually running down the trail, this makes coming back down slippery at times. Amazing views at the top and above the tree line. Not much scrambling at all. We hiked this on a weekday and started hiking at 6 AM, the LOJ was almost empty at that time, on the weekends/holidays the lot fills up very early. Great hike

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Herpa Derp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!Muddy

First and foremost, I must praise the environmental steward, Isabelle, who greeted everyone at the summit to inform us of the protected species of plants we should watch out for. She was a wealth of information about the local flora, as well as the other surrounding trails and mountains. Secondly, I must praise the trail maintenance crew. According to the steward, the crew of about 15 members maintain the trails only through the use of hand tools. And they do such a fantastic job that when I ended up doing the last 2.5 miles coming back down in the dark, I barely even needed to turn on a light until it got absolutely pitch black. All that being said, it was a lovely hike, with plenty of opportunities to veer off and check out some other neat things if you have time. Just keep in mind that if you visit during a particularly popular day as I had (Labor Day weekend), parking may be difficult. I arrived at 6am and barely got a spot.

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Sarah Vargas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 9, 2020
HikingMuddy
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