Mount Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail

HARD 582 reviews
#1 of 50 trails in

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.

Distance: 14.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,513 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

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.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 days ago

This hike was definitely hard. The longevity of this trail is what will get you. If you want to summit, make sure you have the stamina! We started early in the morning, 5am. We parked at the Adk Loj. When you drive in there is a small station where you take an envelope, write your info and put payment inside and hang the tag in your car. It was $10 from what I remember. There's bathrooms at the Loj and a check in at the trail head. The first 3 miles are pretty easy. It's a gorgeous view at the dam so if that's all you are able to do it is still worth it. On the other side of the dam there's the second check in and that's where the incline starts. It is so beautiful, but it is rocky and muddy if you go after rain. There are logs down to help with the muddy parts but the rocks can get slick. Definitely a good idea to wear boots, waterproof if possible. There's areas where you have to cross streams. about halfway in you get to Indian Falls. That in itself is a gorgeous sight. You'll be on top of the falls looking out. Great place to nap or snack. You'll have to go to the right or you'll miss it! If you don't think you'll make it to the Marcy summit, there are other trails to lower summits. My phone died before I got to the top so I have no pictures from that. I did take my dog and she loved it. The trails do get narrow at some points so make sure your pup likes other dogs and strangers in close quarters. Also make sure they are fit enough to make the hike! The decline felt even worse, it was very hard on the joints and muscles. This hike isn't just for everybody. But again, you don't have to summit to enjoy it or even see pretty views. Happy hiking!

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
6 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
7 days ago

The trail is absolutely stunning. I caution you to come prepared with good shoes because your feet will ache and blister otherwise. It is slow and dirt for a few miles then gets very rocky and wet (Pack an extra pare of socks). Highly suggest stopping at the beautiful pull off areas to have some lunch and refuel. 10/10 recommend. Don’t give up the view is like a painting :)

hiking
7 days ago

Just backpacked in the Adirondack for 3 weeks and hiking mount Marcy was definitely the highlight of the whole trip. The conditions were great the slab climbing was tricky but added to the experience. Overall great climb with an even better view!

hiking
7 days ago

Great short hike. I found it moderately steep after the first mile to mile and half. Many people on the trail.

hiking
11 days ago

My first high peak completed today! The trail was a bit muddy, but no bugs!! My fit bit clocked over 18 mile from the Loj but never sure how accurate it is! Great way to start the 46er quest! Amazing views from the summit! Trail is long that’s what makes it hard! Legs are a bit wobbly but it’s worth it!

hiking
muddy
rocky
11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Very nice trail but pretty long, tool us 5.5hrs to get to the top and 4.5hrs to go down. We took many breaks though to appreciate the trail!

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Was really looking forward to this hike as a way to celebrate my 50th birthday. Unfortunately, all this trail did was painfully remind me that I'm now 50. Conditions to hike were ideal. We started just before the sunrise. All went well up until we passed Marcy Dam at the next sign-in post. Then it was 5 miles of boulder hopping and tree root dodging. The terrain didn't agree with my arthritic knee and knee replacement. Not much to see from mile 2.2 to 6.0. It wasn't that it was particularly tough; it was that it was sustained for several miles. I'm not averse to long hikes, but this terrain really got the best of me. With 0.25 horizontal miles and less than 200 ft of climbing to go, thunder clouds rolled in and so did the rain. Views from the Arctic zone were phenomenal. But Mt. Marcy bested me. Just wasn't my day to summit. As bad as the climb was, the descent was worse. My ankles, both knees and back were in really rough shape. Rolled my ankle a few times. Knee still hasn't recovered. All things considered, I'm glad I gave this trek a go but it was much more punishing on my joints than I expected. Still feeling it even after being a week removed. Maybe, just maybe, I'll give this route another go- gotta think long and hard about my approach. But for now, Mt. Marcy did a number on me.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

Pretty good trail. Follow blue all the way to the ascent and then you will follow the yellow marked trail to the summit. There is not much to see on the entire hike but the last mile is pretty awesome. The reason for the 4 stars is because of just that. Your mostly just covered in trees and rocks the whole time with nothing else to see. The hike is definitely around 18 miles. It is not the elevation gain that will tire you out as it is spread out for 8-9 miles. But it is the length of the entire hike that will humble you. By the last two miles i was walking like a marathon runner on his/her last 1000 feet lol. But overall deff a milestone hike to cross off the list and I recommend hanging out at the top for as long as you can because the views are amazing and you will want to rest a little before finishing the rest. We started at 9am and finished at 5:30, so you can except a 8 and a half hour hike. Overall pleased and sore now!!

hiking
20 days ago

This was an excellent hike for my 4th peak. The first two miles is very manageable and then becomes more challenging after Marcy Dam. I started at 6 am, reached the summit at 9:30, stayed on the summit for and hour, and filled my water bottles at Indian Falls on the way down. I returned to the LOJ with sore feet at 2:20 but it was worth it. The summit was outstanding and the views breathtaking.

Great hike and amazing view at the top. Many people at the top but it's worth it. Physically demanding. We did 30km from the parking in 6h.

hiking
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Wonderful trail. Well marked. Follow blue all the way up. 6am to 230pm taking my time. Trail in good shape. A little muddy. Bugs were fine. So many rocks. Last 2 miles back to parking lot were so nice on soft earth. Trail clocks in at 16.5 miles from multiple people on trail. Felt long as hell. Trail moderate. Hard at times but then straight parts to rejuvenate you. Last part is straight up. Get to parking lot early. Fills up fast.

Awesome views, great rock scramble at the end!

hiking
muddy
30 days ago

Load More

Featured Trails