10 Best Hikes in the Adirondack Mountains
Adirondacks in Upstate New York’s is home to at least 46 High Peaks that are part of 4,000 feet of the mountain range peak lines. The ranges have both elevation and vertical gain depending on the summit you take.
As you hike up this mountain range, the trail toughness cannot take away the natural beauty of the landscape and the thick forests.
Each summit is different, some are rocky, some lose their trail along the way calling for more adventure.
What is amazing about these mountains is that they can be accessed through all seasons. Hike up the towering mountains where you will find hidden waterfalls, rivers and swimming ponds.
If you are planning a hike at the Adirondack mountains, here are our 10 best hike trails to choose from.
1. Mount Colden, Keene, NY 12943
A hike up mount Colden rewards you as you ascend with beautiful views of the landscape. This is the motivation you need to keep going for the cherry on top at the summit.
Several of the spots along the way can be reached during a day’s hike. There is a clearing midway, once Marcy Dam, with clear views of both Colden and Wright peaks.
Along the way, you will see the Macintyre Range where your trail may seem to disappear, slightly ahead are beautiful canyons and gorges.
Make a stop by the Avalanche lake then find your way to Dyke. This will require you to climb on steep and exposed rocks that are easy to grip just ensure you wear your helmet.
Choose between the two trails; the north-eastern approach through Lake Arnold, this route is shorter and is at least 12 miles. You could also take the southwestern route which longer and needs more experienced hikers.
Experience level: Difficult
2. Pharaoh Mountain, Schroon Lake, NY 12870
The next hiking trail is to Pharaoh Mountain that has beautiful views of New York state on the west side.
When standing on the east side of the mountain, your eyes will get a sweeping view of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains in Vermont.
The way up the mountain can be taken from two sides; the northern side of the southern side. The hiking trail starts from the shores of Lake Pharaoh which is perfect for a swim or a raft ride.
The way up to the summit is short but steep, for an easy way up to keep looking out for the visible peaks and in no time, you will have reached the summit.
Experience level: Moderate but gets steep towards the summit
3. Gothics Mountain, Keene, NY
This Great mountain range meanders through the peaks of Mount Marcy’s summit. The hiking trail follows through the peaks on the range then drops seemingly lost in the valleys with steep rocks.
It is important to note that this hike is challenging but rewarding once you get to the summit. The gothic peak is at the centre of the range, so you will get beautiful views of the other peaks and valleys below.
Taking the southern entrance trail, you will get to pass by the Beaver Meadows falls and the gothic falls.
Hiking up the Gothic summit needs experienced hikers and therefore not suitable for children or beginners. The entire hike up and down is 15 miles and may take up to 10 hours to complete.
When descending from the summit checkout for the large fixed cables and ladders at strategic points. It will save you from having to slide down the mountain.
Experience level: Difficult hike.
4. Mount Arab, Pierce field, NY
This hike is an easy one suitable for families with children and beginners. The trail is 1 mile and leads to a fire tower, Arab Lake, lake Tupper and a museum nestled in a cabin.
The museum has information on the history of the fire tower and many others in the Adirondack range.
Climb up the fire tower for a view of Lake Tupper and forested landscape. A hike up this mountain is said to be the most scenic in the Adirondacks.
While at the tower you will find a map detailing the visible landmarks that you can see.
Experience Level: Moderate hike, beginner and family-friendly
5. Cascade Mountain, Keene, NY 12946
This peak is so close to the road such that you can the summit clearly from the trails. The trails are easy to follow and have spectacular views on your way up. Many hikers come early to catch the sunrise from the summit.
The trail used to be steeper but was changed to a more comfortable and easier one in 1974. So, on your way up, you are required to carry a rock with you. The rock will be used to build cairns and define the trails. There is a sign with the details.
This trail is one of the easiest of all the 46 peaks of the Adirondack mountains. Since the trail is rocky, it poses danger to children and hikers with little experience.
Experience level: Moderate, experienced hikers.
6. Mount Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail, NY
This is a 22.7-kilometre hiking trail that is frequented by many hikers and may, therefore, be crowded. Mount Marcy is the highest point in the state of New York.
The trail leads to Lake Placid and is considered to be difficult therefore suitable for experienced hikers. Pets are allowed but must be on a leash.
The first trail starts from Van Hoevenberg near Adirondack Loj, while the other one is near lake Heart. They all lead to Marcy Dam and this marks the start of the difficulty level.
The rocky terrain made up of boulders from the dam to the top. It gets steeper as you climb to the summit.
The trails are marked, it is a rewarding hike once you get to the summit with views of Adirondack high peaks, Mont-Royal in Montreal, Canada, and the Green Mountains in Vermont.
Experience level: Moderate to difficult hike.
7. Cobble Hill, Essex County, Wilmington, NY 12997
If you happen to be around Lake placid and need a short hike, then Cobble hill is a perfect choice. The hill is among the shortest in the range with beautiful views of the landscape. The trail is however moderate and steep at some point.
You will have to use a cable to ascend to the peak for vista views of the mirror lake, the Olympic village mounts Marcy and Algonquin.
Descending the hill has two options, you can go back the way you came u or choose the longer trail down leading to Echo Lake. The longer trail is less crowded.
This route is, however, becoming more popular because of the beautiful views and fewer hikers.
Experience level: Moderate hike.
8. Rainbow Falls, Keene NY
The trail leading to the Rainbow Falls is located within the Adirondack Mountain Reserve land. Although the reserve is private, early preparation for this unique waterfall will be worth your while.
Pets are not allowed in this reserve. The waterfall is half a mile from the trailhead. You will pass the beaver Meadow falls as you head to the rainbow falls that is an hour away.
Most of the trail to the falls is along the river and is marked so you won’t get lost. Not far from the falls are a dam and a footbridge at the base of Ausable lake.
Experience Level: Moderate hike.
9. Rocky Mountain, Inlet, NY 13360
A hike up the Rocky mountain is loved by many families and beginners since it is an easy one. Many hikers come here early morning or in the evening to catch the sunrise or sunset.
The trail is mostly flat but gets steeper as you near the peak. Watch out for the rocks that may trip you on your way up or down. It gets even more slippery during the rainy season so it is best to avoid the direct route.
Once you get to the top, you will get views of the Fulton lakes and the hamlet of Eagle Bay.
Experience Level: Easy hike.
10. Big Slide Mountain
There are different routes that you can use to climb to the peak of this mountain. One of the trails starts from the Garden at Keene valley taking you through the brothers, these are two smaller peaks.
Views from the summit are rewarding and this is one of the least challenging peaks. It is suitable for families and beginners.
On your way down you can take the trail leading to John’s Brook Lodge and the garden on the northern side of the Great Range.
Experience Level: Easy hike.