Archive for the ‘Fun in the Adirondacks’ Category

Adirondack High Peaks Scenic Flight

Posted on: April 29th, 2015 by Erin Weir No Comments

Thanks to majorfogs for this video of their  Adirondack High Peaks Scenic Flight

Armstrong Mountain – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: November 1st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Armstrong_from_NoonmarkNumber twenty two in magnitude of the high peaks, Armstrong stands between the Gothics and Upper Wolf Jaw.  It provides fantastic views of the Great Range and of Johns Brook Valley.  Climbing this mountain can be very entertaining and memorable, with its ladders and fixed cables to assist in ascent.

It is among the less popular mountains in the area, but makes a great spot for lunch if you’re doing the circle route from Johns Brook, over the peaks of the great range.

There are several ways to get to the top of this peak, but the usual route begins at the hikers parking lot in Keene Valley.  Approach via the Johns Brook trail and then come over Upper Wolfjaw to Armstrong, or continue on John Brook and come over Gothics toward Armstrong.

To reach the Armstrong Trailhead, take Rte 73  toward Keene and into Saint Huberts.  You can find parking across the road from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead leading to Giant Mountain.    You will cross through private property and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve on this trail.  No dogs are allowed in the game preserve.

The hike is 5.8 miles to the summit with moderate to steep terrain.  From the parking lot, follow along the dirt road to the paved road next to a golf course.  About .5 miles from the parking area, take a left between two tennis courts and get to the gate to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve.  From the gate, hike the dirt access road for about 2 miles to the Gothics access trail located on the right.  This trail takes you through forest to a bridge crossing over Ausable River, and then to the base of Beaver Meadow Falls.

From here the trail climbs very steeply to the left of the falls.  You will climb a ladder, and find that conditions are quite slippery at the top of the falls.  The trail from here becomes steady, with a few steep sections.  You will descend a few more ladders, and reach the trail leading up to the Great Range.  Armstrong is located to the right, and Gothics to the left.

Macomb Mountain – North Hudson, NY

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

The twenty first highest peak in the Adirondacks, Macomb Mountain is the furthest south of the major peaks. It is marked as the first of the Macomb, South and East Dix ridge walk.  It is relatively isolated in comparison to the other peaks. The views it provides are very similar to the views from East and South Dix.  It provides a good view of the Great Range, and a few lesser peaks.

While Macomb is commonly climbed by itself, it is also frequently combined with the some, or all of the Dix Range.  Macomb is one of the more exciting climbs on the Dix Range.  While the views from the summit are quite nice, the climb is what is especially memorable.

The most common route of approach is from Elk Lake via the Slide Brook herd path.  The summit is mostly wooded, but there is a large viewing platform that provides breathtaking views.

The trailhead can be reached by taking Rte 73 toward Keene and Keene Valley.  Continue onto I-87 South.  Take Exit 29 and follow Blue Ridge Rd toward Newcomb.  Continue for 4 miles to Elk Lake Rd on the right.  Continue along this road to the hiker parking lot.

The primary trail is 8 miles round trip, if you Macomb on its own.  Follow along the well traveled trail toward Dix Mountain.  Take a right after crossing Slide Brook.  This will take you through the Slide Brook campsite, and you will come to a herd path, which climbs above the brook through the forest.  You will descend to the base of the slide, which is mostly rubble and loose sand.  The slide is very steep and makes for difficult footing, especially on the trip down the mountain.  The upper portion of the slide can be especially difficult to maneuver, but the path soon returns to wind through the trees until you reach the summit.

Redfield Mountain

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

See the view from Redfield at 4:28


Located almost directly in the center on the Adirondack Park, Redfeild Mountain is the fiftieth highest peak in the Adirondacks.   Though the peak is wooded, it has a very large and dramatic summit which provides astounding views.

Because it is in the middle of the park there are several different routes of approach.  However, the most traveled route beings at Uphill Lean-to and follows along Uphill Brook to a large waterfall.  There are several waterfalls and watercrossings along the route, making for some very pleasant scenery.

To reach this route, follow Rte 73 toward Keene and continue toward Adirondack Loj Rd, located on the right.  Follow this road until it heads at Heart Lake and park in the main parking lot.  There will be a parking fee.

The hike from here is approximately 9 miles to the summit.  Follow the hikers approach trail to the High Peaks, which leads toward Marcy Dam.  From Marcy Dam, follow the trail to Avalanche Pass.  The climb begins once you’ve passed Avalanche Camps.  Take the left trail toward Lake Arnold.  The climb will be quite steep up the shoulder of Mount Colden, as you approach Lake Arnold.  Stay left at Lake Arnold and continue to climb to the top of the pass.  Here you will descend into a valley, which can be quite wet at times.  You will pass by Feldspar Lean-to and then come to a T-intersection.  The left trail leads to Four Corners, and south leads to Mount Marcy.  Take the path to the right, to Uphill.

The climb from here will be moderate, and can be quite wet up to the Uphill Lean-to.  Follow the herd path, which is marked by a cairn, directly across from the lean-to.  This is the beginning of the Cliff Route. The Redfield Route continues staight, after the Cliff Rte turn off.  You will walk along a very pretty brook, and will come to several water crossings and waterfalls along this path.  Make sure to turn around and enjoy views along the path!  The summit of Redfield is a large boulder, which offers some very beautiful views.

While Redfield is one of the more challenging hikes, if only because of its grueling distance, the view is well worth the hike.

Mt Van Hoevenberg Bed and Breakfast – North Elba, NY

Posted on: October 11th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-File_BobsleighrunLPHidden between the pines and furs sits the beautiful Van Hoevenberg Lodge & Cabins.  This cozy retreat offers rooms in an inviting farmhouse or private cabins that make for the perfect hideaway, or a great base for your Adirondack vacation! Sitting outside Lake Placid, this bed and breakfast is far enough away from the traffic and tourists, while remaining close enough that anything you’d wish to see is right outside your doorstep.

Cabins offer great views of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg luge and bob sled runs! And the mountain’s 50 km of cross country trails are just a step away.  You could practically ski from your doorstep!

Cabins are small yet cozy, and offer anything you could want! The atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable, though rustic.  Surround yourself with wood floors, walls, as the smell of basalm pine wafts through the air.  Cabins offer a kitchenette,  bed. and dining area.   While there is WiFi, the lack of television and other unnecessary electronics make this a perfect rustic retreat, allowing you to truly get away from everyday life.  It’s an authentic mountain experience!

The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to get away from it all.  Its secluded location make it the perfect hideaway.  However, it’s still close enough to Lake Placid that you won’t miss out on any of the fun!  Its lack of unecessary amenities, like televisions, make it an authentic mountain experience.  No frills, no fuss, but a special, intimate getaway.  This is a place where memories are made!

Street Mountain – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Number 31 on the list of high peaks, Street Mountain is very commonly climbed with Nye Mountain.  The climb is markedly different than the rest of the high peaks.  The trails wind through hardwood forests of elm, birch, and maple, and trails are soft.  While the summit is tree covered, it is not with dense pine and spruce like most of the High Peaks.  The summit itself offers no spectacular views, but there are some very good views as you approach it.

Street was, at one time, one of the more difficult peaks to reach because of the lack of trails.  Climbers followed a web of tangled herd paths which we difficult to navigate.  The area has long been used by the National Guard, the Alpine Club of Canada, and the Boy Scouts as a training area for navigation.   However, many of the trails have now been standardized and the hike is now much easier.  It is now one of the easiest untrailed peaks to climb.   While there is still evidence of some of the herdpaths, if you stick to the main path you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the summit.  However, it is always a good idea to bring along a map and a compass.

There is a parking fee at the trailhead (Adirondack Loj), and all hiking parties must fill out a trip ticket, or risk a fine.  The best time to climb is in early fall, just after the leaves have dropped (usually in mid September), because your views will be wonderful.

The trailhead can be reached from Adirondack Loj.  Begin at the western corner of Heart Like and follow the Old Nye Ski Trail.  Follow this trail until you reach Indian Pass Brook.  You will need to cross the brook and pick up the trail on the other side.  From this point the path will wind along the brook that flows between Street and Nye.   The trail will take you through open hardwood forests, grassy meadows, and bogs.  After 1.75 miles you will reach an intersection between Street and Nye.  A tree is marked S (street) and N(Nye).  Head toward the S (left).  The summit is about .5 miles from this point.

Nye Mountain – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Despite being only the fifty-first highest peak in the Adirondacks, Nye Moutain is considered one of the Major Peaks in the area.  Anyone who wants to become a 46er must climb this peak.  It is a significantly different hike than most of the other 46 peaks.  This hike will take you through open hardwood forests of maple, elm, and birch, and its trails are soft but not muddy.  While the summit is tree covered, and offers no view, of the trailless peaks, it is the easiest to reach.

Nye is typically climbed with Street Mountain, which is one of the more difficult peaks to access.  The summit of Nye was, at one time, equally difficult to reach because of the multiple crisscrossing herd paths that led to it.  However, trails have now been standardized, and the summits of both are significantly easier to reach.  While the summit of Nye offers no views, there are some very nice views along the path.

The trail can be reached from Heart Lake or from Adirondack Loj.  All hiking parties should have a trip ticket, or risk a fine.

Begin at the western corner of Hearth Lake and follow the Old Nye Ski Trail.  Follow the signs until you reach Indian Pass Brook.  Once you cross the brook you will pick up the trail on the other side.  This trail winds along the brook that sits between Street and Nye.  The trail will take you through bogs, forests and open meadows.  You will also have to cross the brook several times.  However, it is a fairly easy hike.

When you reach the plateau, you will reach the intersection of Street and Nye mountains.  There should be a sign marking “S” for Street and “N” for Nye (NOT North and South).  Follow this, and the summit is only a few hundred yards down the path.

Nye is a relatively short and easy hike.  While it does not offer views from the summit, the hike up to the summit is quite enjoyable, and offers its own views.

Algonquin Mountain – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: September 7th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

The second highest peak in New York State and the tallest of the McIntyre Range, Algonquin Mountain is number 2 on the list of high peaks. AlgonquinmtnAdkLojThe climb to the summit is quite short at just four miles, but it becomes quite steep as you get closer to the summit.  However the spectacular views from its bald summit make the steep climb more than worth it.  There is a steward at the summit who is happy to educate hikers about the rare and endangered vegetation found on the mountain, and to point out the gorgeous views.

The trailhead begins at the popular Adirondack Loj trail. Follow Rte 73 out of Lake Placid toward Keene.  Take a right onto Adirondack Loj Rd. and follow it until you reach the trailhead.  There is a $10 parking fee.   Hikers must fill out a trip ticket at the trail register or risk a fine.

The hike from here is 4.3 miles to the summit and has mixed terrain.  Follow the trail leading to Marcy Dam, and after about 1 mile you will come to an intersection.  Continue straight here and head up Algonquin.  The terrain becomes increasingly steeper and comes to a waterfall at 2.6 miles.   At 3.4 miles you will reach the intersection for Wright Peak.  As you reach the final ascent to the summit, the trail becomes very steep as you reach the tree line. Once you are above the tree line you will be exposed to the elements and the temperature may drop considerably.   Cairns and paint marks mark the trail when conditions limit visibility.    The view from the summit is 360 degrees, which especially gorgeous views of Mount Colden.

The hike up to the summit of Algonquin is challenging.  However, the hike is not especially long and the views from the top are very rewarding.




Mount Colden – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: September 6th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

MtColdenNumber 11 on the list of 46 High Peaks, Mount Colden is among the most popular peaks in the High Peaks Region.  It is known for its very distinctive Trap Dike, which runs up the center of the mountain. The dike, which drops off into Avalanche Lake, is considered one of the best slide climbs in the area.

This peak is less crowded than Marcy and Algonquin but you can expect to see a few dozen people if you visit on a weekend.  The summit provides beautiful views of Algonquin and Marcy as well as amazing views down to Avalanche Lake.  The trail to Avalanche Lake also boasts its own impressive views.

There are two maintained trails up to Mount Colden.  Both can be reached from the Adirondack Loj trailhead.  The first makes its approach from the northeast, passing by Lake Arnold and crossing over the false summit before reaching the true summit.  The second approach comes from the southwest, beginning at Lake Colden.   The trails can be combined to make a loop.

You can reach the Adirondack Loj trailhead by following Rte 73 out of Lake Placid toward Keene.  Take a right (just after the ski jumps) on Adirondack Loj Rd.  This road ends at the car park and hiker trailhead.  There is a $10/day parking fee.  Be sure to fill out a trip ticket at the trailhead.  Without one you may be fined.

The primary route is 12 miles round trip.  The hike begins on the trail leading to Marcy Dam.  From Marcy Dam, take the well used trail toward Avalanche Camps.  Take a left and begin your climb toward Lake Arnold.  From here you will turn right and hike past the bond, and continue to climb, which will give you some breathtaking views.  The terrain will become much steeper in sections, and views become considerably less grand as you reach the false summit.  There is a slight descent followed by a very steep climb up to the true summit, which has some very rewarding views.

The secondary trail is nearly 15 miles round trip.  From Marcy Dam again take the trail toward Avalanche Camps.  Head toward Avalanche Pass instead of Lake Arnold.  The following mile is called the “Misery Mile,” but don’t be discouraged by the name! It’s steep, but manageable.  Pass through Avalanche Pass (where temperatures may drop considerably) and carry on past Avalanche Lake.  The trail passing by the lake is quite demanding and is dotted with boulders, rock stairs and ladders.  When you pass the lake, the trailhead becomes much more moderate and descends to a register at a junction.  Take the left trail leading to Lake Colden, and then go left again and begin the very steep and strenuous climb to the summit of Mount Colden.

Whichever trail you take, the hike is quite challenging (though markedly more so on the secondary trail), however, the gorgeous views along the way and from the summit it make the climb well worth it.

Mount Emmons – Tupper Lake, NY

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

1024px-Seward_Mountains_as_seen_from_Mt_SeymourThe fortieth on the list of 46 high peaks, Mount Emmons is the lowest mountain on the Seward range.   It is also the most western peak of the 46 High Peaks, which makes it the highest peak until well past the Mississippi. It is very commonly climbed together with Mount Donaldson.  The summit of Emmons boasts great views of the rest of the High Peaks, and a view of the Santanoni Range.

The path to Emmons is more isolated than most of the other 46 peaks, as the best approach is from the peak of Mount Donaldson, which is already rather remote.   Because it is quite remote it is recommended you bring food and water with you.  Also be sure to bring a map and compass, or hire a guide who can help you traverse the mountain.   If you plan to use a GPS be aware that overhanging trees may interfere with the signal and make it unusable, so you may wish to have a backup plan for navigation.

The approach to Emmons follows the same path for Donaldson and Seward.  You can hike all three peaks in one day, but it is quite a long and grueling hike at 18+ miles.

The herdpaths up to the summit of Donaldson can be reached by taking Rt 3 out of Saranac Lake toward Tupper Lake.  After 12.5 miles, take a left at Corey’s Rd and follow it for another 5.5 miles.  The trailhead is on the right.

The first 1.2 miles is a well used trail.  Then you will take a right on an old woods road and continue for another 2 miles until you meet the Calkins Brook herdpath.  This will wind along the brook and cross over it several times, as it rises steadily.  The summit of Emmons is about a mile further on from the summit of Donaldson.

From the summit of Donaldson, the herdpath descends to the west side of the ridge between Emmons and Donaldson.  It then begins to climb up to the top of Emmons.  The trail is very open in some parts and provides some great views of both mountains.  Once you reach the summit of Emmons, you’ll find some gigantic boulders that provide fantastic views, if you’re willing to climb them.