Archive for the ‘Fun in the Adirondacks’ Category

Upper Wolfjaw Mountain – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: July 17th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Upper_Wolfjaw_MountainCommonly completed on conjunction with Lower Wolfjaw, Upper Wolfjaw Mountain is number 29 on the list of high peaks and is a great place to stop for a snack or lunch while you’re on the trail.

The summit itself provides beautiful views, but you may find that the views on the way up are even more enjoyable! Don’t be fooled by the false summit, which offers stunning views.  The actual peak is another 500 yards or so down the trail and a few yards off the path.

The hike itself quite difficult in parts.  Total ascent is about 4100 ft, but involves climbing over rocks and boulders, and some very steep climbs.

The shortest trip to the summit beings at the Ausable Club, though there is also a trailhead at Adirondack Loj. Beginning at the Ausable Club, make a right just before the clubhouse onto Lake Road.  You’ll reach the trail register and the gate to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The trail begins through the gate about a mile down the road.  You will cross a small bridge and find the marked trail.

Follow the East River Trail along the South side of the Ausable River.  After a short time you will come to another bridge, which will cross over the river and lead to the West Side Trail.

From here you will begin a gentle ascent along the river.  It will quickly fall away below you.  Depending on the season you may see some very lovely foliage.  You will come to the Cathedral Rocks area which has a beautiful waterfall.

For the next 2 miles the trail is very moderate with occasional steep sections.  It is a pleasant walk through wooded paths with some charming views.  You’ll come to a steep section at the ascent to Woljaw Notch.  Through the trees you’ll be able to see the tall cliffs of Lower Wolfjaw.

Continuing along the trail you’ll find some great lookout spots to see the slides on Upper Wolfjaw.   You’ll come to an intersection where you should go left on the Range Trail.  Follow the signs for Upper Wolfjaw.

The trail at this section becomes markedly steeper. In spring you may find snow patches make it difficult to navigate, but it is manageable. The false summit has a rock perch which provides very pretty views to the South and East.  There is a short descent and then another climb to the true summit.  The rock is 10 yards or so from the path and has beautiful views to the South and partially obscured views to the West and North.

From here you can turn around and return to the Ausable Club or continue on and hike Armstrong and Gothics.  If you hike only Upper Wolfjaw it is about 6.5 miles round trip.



Big Slide – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Big_Slide_Mt_from_The_Brothers_TrailNumber 27 on the list of High Peaks, Big Slide is one of the best of the 46 Peaks.  Of all the peaks this may turn out to be your favorite.

Many peaks offer lovely views along the route, however the views along the route to the summit of Big Slide are so spectacular that you’ll want to climb it again!

The most popular trail requires climbers to ascend three other summits (called the Three Brothers) before making it to Big Slide and is 4.0 miles one way.   The trailhead is at the Garden Parking Area near the Ausable Inn.  Overflow parking is available at Marcy Field, with a shuttle running to the trailhead.

The climb begins almost immediately from the parking lot toward a brook crossing.  From there, there will be a steep climb to the summit of the 1st Brother, where you will find some very beautiful views.  The first ledge you come to faces east where you’ll find a gorgeous view of Giant and Keene Valley.

After a short descent you will begin a second climb toward the summit of the 2nd Brother for even more better views!  Along this path you’ll find many other ledges which afford many more beautiful views to the west. This portion of the trail is so beautiful that you may find you take more pictures here than you do at the summit!

Past the 2nd Brother you will descend into an open valley.  From there you will come to a steady climb to the wooded summit of the 3rd Brother.  You’ll get a closer view of the Great Range, and the woods will shade you from sun or cold.

After a descent there will be a moderate climb to an intersection.  From here there are two routes to the summit of Big Slide.   At this point the trail becomes especially steep as you get to the base of the summit.   At the summit some astounding views can be seen to the North East.  A better view on the North side of the Great Range is hard to find!  There are beautiful views of the Great Range across Johns Brook Valley which are awe inspiring.  You might find that it’s the perfect place for you to stop and have some lunch.

While the trail continues on to Yard Mountain, it is most common for people to stop at this summit and loop back.  While you can return over the Brothers, it is also possible to take the split, continuing straight over a path which crosses Slide Mountain Brook several times.  Turn left at Johns Brook Trail, and then left again at the Trail Register, where there is a short descent to the Garden parking area.  This return path is 1.5 miles longer than the trail over the Brothers.

The route to Big Slide and the summit itself provide some of the most beautiful views in the park.  While the view from the summit is not 180 degrees it does have some spectacular views, and the scenery along the route will keep you in such awe that you might not even realize how far you’ve gone on the hike.  Just make sure you don’t walk off the mountain!

Lower Wolfjaw Mountain – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: July 12th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Lower_Wolfjaw_from_NoonmarkFor many, Lower Wolfjaw is either of the first or the last 46er completed along the Great Range, depending on which direction you decide to travel.  It is also the thirtieth highest peak in the Adirondacks!

The summit is wooded, but there are several clearings allowing for beautiful views.  The mountain was named by landscape artist Alexander Helwig Wyant, along with Upper Wolfjaw.

There are five distinct trails to the summit for this peak.   This hike is shorter than some of the other high peaks, and if you’re up for a long and challenging day, can be done in conjunction with Upper Wolfjaw.

If you’re coming from the Keene Valley Trailhead, it’s best to park at the Rooster Comb lot on Route 73.  Street parking is not permitted and your car will be towed.

From the St Huberts trailhead  it is a 4.8 mile hike one way, with a moderate to steep climb.  You will cross the Ausable River, and on the opposite side you’ll come to the Wedge Brook Trail.  The trail here becomes a little more challenging, with some steeper areas.  The base of the summit is very steep in areas and can be quite slippery, especially while making your descent.

For a slightly longer hike, you can begin at the same trailhead.  Once you cross the river follow the W.A White Trail instead of Wedge Brook.  This trail offers more moderate terrain over beautiful rolling hills, and then begins a steep ascent to the summit.  It also gives you the chance to take a slightly more scenic route.  The path will join up with the Range Trail which will take you to the summit. This hike is 5.1 miles one way and can be combined with the first hike to make a loop.

From Rooster Comb it is a 5.0 mile hike one way.  Cross the bridge over the beaver dam, and make your way past a small pond.  The climb begins here, remaining at a moderate incline until the junction to the summit of Roostercomb.  Past this point the climb becomes steeper at the summit of Hedgehog Mountain.  When you descend Hedgehog you’ll come to the W.A. White Trail, which will allow you to make it to the summit of Wolf’s Chin and Little Wolfjaw.

Each trail offers its own unique views and experiences, from peaceful ponds, to beautiful waterfalls and wooded areas.  The mountain is inside the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, which means there may be a great opportunity to encounter some local wildlife as well! Little Wolfjaw is one of the shorter hikes of the 46 peaks.  While it certainly isn’t one of the easiest, if you aren’t planning to join the 46ers but want to get a high peak under your belt, this one could be the one!

Seymour Mountain – Tupper Lake, NY

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

Seymour_Mt_seen_from_Mt_Donaldson_NYNumber 34 on the list of the 46 High Peaks, Seymour Mountain is the fourth peak of the Seward Range.  It is typically climbed separately from the other three peaks in this range, Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons.  An open rock ledge at the summit provides breathtaking views of Ouluska Pass, Long Lake, and the ridge.

There are multiple trailheads, but many of the trails are quite difficult.  Whichever path you choose, be sure you’re up for the challenge!

Climbing Seymour Mountain is an all day excursion.  You should plan 8-10 hours round trip.

The first six miles of the trail from the Corey’s Rd trailhead is the same as the secondary path to Seward, until Ward Brook Truck Trail.   Here the trails split and the terrain becomes more difficult.  The scenery changes quickly from wooded trails to rocky slabs and back again.  It makes for an entertaining climb and provides very interesting things to see along the way.

As you ascend you’ll find plenty of  breaks in the trees allowing you to see some very beautiful views.  At the summit you’ll find a few viewing platforms allowing some stellar views Ampersand Lake, the Sewards and much more.

Overall this is a 14+ mile hike, with moderate terrain but a steep climb to the summit.

Allen Mountain – Newcomb, NY

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

Mt_Allen_summit_ridge_NYSome say Allen Mountain is the most difficult of the 46 peaks.  Whether that is true or not, it certainly offers a challenging climb to the top that is well worth the effort.

Number 26 on the list of the 46 High Peaks, this trail is recommended only for experienced hikers.  Nearly 20 miles round trip, this strenuous trip is a full day’s hike.

It is considered the most difficult peak of them all because it is a 9 mile hike each way over forest and logging roads, just to the base of the peak.  Heading to the top is heavily wooded and can be quite confusing.  The summit is heavily wooded and views are less spectacular than other peaks because of this.  Some may consider the hike unrewarding because of this.

Much the this hike is on unmarked trails, making it difficult and confusing. Though the summit is heavily wooded the views can be quite good and the final climb is quite enjoyable.

You’ll find free parking near the primary trailhead.  From there you’ll descend to a crossing over the Hudson River.  The bridge has not been rebuilt and you will have to wade through the river.  In spring this may not be safe.   After a short walk you’ll come to a vantage point over Jimmy Lake, offering great views.

Several miles ahead, there is another water crossing at Opalescent River.   There is no bridge and you will need to wade through the river.  From this point you can follow the herd path, which is quite pleasant and beautiful.  When you get to the base of the summit you can climb the exposed rock or continue along the herd path for easier ascent.

Though the summit is heavily wooded there are several clearings which provide beautiful views.

Allen Mountain is a long, strenuous hike and is recommended only for the experienced.  However, if you’re looking to experience many of the 46 High Peaks, or are an experienced hiker and up for the challenge, it is an excellent way to spend your day and to experience the Adirondacks!


Mount Marcy – Keene, NY

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Mount_Marcy_360If you’re looking for a challenge, try hiking Mount Marcy! Not only is it the tallest mountain in the state of New York, but it offers plenty of varied terrain.

Climbing Mount Marcy is no simple afternoon hike.  While the hike is not especially challenging, it is quite long and will likely take most of the day.

There are multiple trails to the summit.  The most frequently used route is the Van Hoevenberg Trail, which starts at the Adirondack Loj.  From that point it is 7.4 miles to the summit (15 miles round trip), which, though a long trek, can be completed in one day.  The Johns Brook Trail is an 18 mile round trip, and is frequently broken at Johns Brook Lodge.

The Adirondack Loj has a parking fee at the Van Hoevenberg Trailhead.  The trail from this point is not especially challenging.  The first 2-3 miles are relatively flat.  The incline from there on is moderate, with the climb to the summit being somewhat strenuous.  This trail is not technically challenging but definitely requires stamina!

As you make your way to the summit you’ll find plenty things to see along the way.  The Marcy Dam will be your first scenic stop, followed by Indian Falls.  You will also be surrounded by pines and spruces.  The summit is above the tree line and the view is one of the most amazing you can find in eastern North America.  Only one of the other 45 high peaks is completely obstructed, while the other 43 summits are completely visible.  You’ll also see an array of smaller peaks, including Whiteface and Ester.   On a clear day you can even see Mount Royal in Montreal!

If you’re up for the challenge, Mount Marcy is an excellent way to spend your day and get in touch with the Adirondacks.  Not only will you spend the day surrounded by nature, but at the summit you’ll be able to see the entirety of the Adirondacks Park and beyond!




Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails – Lake Placid, NY

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

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Lake Placid and the surrounding area offer tons of great hiking! One fun trail to hike is the Brewster Peninsula Nature Trail.

The trailhead is behind the Howard Johnson’s, but don’t let that fool you! This system of trails has plenty to offer.  It winds through the forest all the way to the shores of Lake Placid, offering miles of gorgeous views and pleasant scenery.

The hike is not especially rigorous and can be enjoyed by casual hikers.  During winter the trails are sometimes used for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.   In summer it’s a great place for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running. It is also  perfect for a leisurely walk through the woods, especially if you’re looking for a trail that will allow you to walk right up to the edge of Lake Placid.

There are tons of different trails to check out! The initial trail, called the Corridor Trail, leads to all the other three trails.  It ends at the start of Ridge Trail, after about .75 miles.

The Boundary Trail connects to both Ridge Trail and Corridor Trail. It is very flat and about 0.9 miles one way.


The Lake Shore Trail leads to Lake Placid and wonders along its shore, ending at the dam.  The trail is more rocky than other trails, but certainly offers the best views!  It is 0.4 miles one way.

The Ridge Trail starts at the end of Corridor Trail and ascends to the top of a long ridge.  It drops quickly about 20 ft before descending into the forest and connecting to Boundary Trail.  It is 0.7 miles one way.

The Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails are a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.  They can be enjoyed by casual walkers and experienced hikers alike.  Whether you’re hoping to get fabulous views of Lake Placid or just stretch your legs a little, you can find something to enjoy at these trails.  And with each trail being so short you can easily complete them in an afternoon.  It’s a great way to get in touch with the Adirondacks!

Cobble Hill – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: June 27th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Lake Placid is known for some of its fantastic outdoor recreation, including hiking.  One great place to go hiking in Lake Placid is Cobble Hill. While it isn’t one of the High Peaks, the summit offers astounding views of the high peaks region and the village of Lake Placid.

There are two trails of ascent at Cobble Hill, making it possible to turn your hike into a loop.  The primary trail is roughly a 0.8 mile hike one way, via the more challenging, steeper route, or 1.6 miles on a less challenging grade.  The trailhead can be tricky to find, but once you do you shouldn’t have much trouble following it.  There is a small parking lot near Northwood School with space enough for 4-6 cars.  The trail begins about 20 ft away. From the trailhead follow along the path, paying close attention to the signs as there are several intersections with private land.  About 0.4 miles into the hike the trail will split.

The trail on the left leads to the shorter, but steeper climb to the summit.  It covers rough footing and bare rock slab, both of which are quite steep.  The trail to the right is the longer trail, which avoids the rocks and intersects with the path above them.  At this first outlook the view is breathtakingly dramatic.   The ski jumps and High Peaks are visible to the south, and in the opposite direction you can see the village sitting on Mirror Lake.

From where the paths intersect once again, there is a 1.2 mile hike (one way) to the summit.  This hike covers easy to moderate terrain.  At the top you’ll find panoramic views of the Olympic Village, Mirror Lake, the ski jumps, and great outlooks for Cascade and Pitchoff.  On the way down you can follow the path to walk along the shores of Echo Pond, where the trail will meet up with the trail you ascended.

Cobble Hill is a fun hike that can be enjoyed by accomplished and casual hikers.  While some of the terrain is challenging, it can be completed by young children.  It’s a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.


Whiteface Lodge – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: June 21st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

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Lake Placid is full of gorgeous, romantic hotels.  One of its finest is the Whiteface Lodge, which sits on a hillside just a few blocks from the village of Lake Placid, sheltered by a forest pines and spruce trees.  Staying at Whiteface Lodge is like staying at one of the Great Adirondack lodges of the late 19th and early 20th century.  It is a rustic mountain lodge that sacrifices none of the luxuries you would expect from an exclusive resort.

Imagine driving down a wooded lane and coming upon a rustic log cabin.  As you drive up a valet is ready to take your car and you are whisked into the lobby, decorated with birch tables, mixed floral arrangements, and the rustic trappings of a grand Adirondack lodge.  From there on out everything you could hope for will be taken care of for you until the end of your stay.

The magic begins before you even make it to your room.  Find fresh lemonade and delicious chocolate chip cookies in the lobby, perfect after the journey to Lake Placid.    In your room you’ll find a bed with crisp, white linens and a plush down comforter and pillows.  You’ll also find comfy couches set up in front of a fireplace and a patio perfect for lounging with a glass of wine.   The bathroom is equipped with a Jacuzzi tub/shower and a heated floor for cold mornings.

Winner of the 2012 World’s Best Places to Stay on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List, Whiteface Lodge is the ideal location for your relaxing getaway or as the base for your Adirondack adventure. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and pamper yourself at a spa, or a place with lots of outdoor activities and exploration, Whiteface Lodge can accommodate you.

The lodge has a spa ranked in the top 100 spas in North America by Cande Nast Traveler, which offers an array of treatments to help you unwind and relax.  The hotel also has many other great amenities, including an on site movie theater, heated indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, hiking trails, game rooms, fishing pond/skating rink (depending on the season), ice cream bar,nightly campfire with s’mores, and a private beach!

Whiteface Lodge is without a doubt one of the best places to stay in Lake Placid.  It has just the right mixture of a rustic mountain lodge and Adirondack elegance while staying a luxury hotel.  It’s the perfect place for your relaxing Adirondack vacation or for your great Adirondack adventure!

Mirror Lake Inn – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: June 20th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

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Voted 2012’s #1 hotel in the Northeast, Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa is one of the best places you can stay while in Lake Placid.  Located on the shores of Mirror Lake, each room offers breathtaking views of the lake, or the surrounding peaks, mountains and forests.   Decorated in classic Adirondack style you’ll find yourself surrounded by an understated elegance and luxury that lend themselves to relaxation and comfort.

Mirror Lake Inn is the perfect choice whether you’re looking for a romantic inn to celebrate a special date, a fun family vacation, or even a corporate retreat!  The friendliness and helpfulness of the staff will astound you, and you will be pressed to find a staff member who doesn’t at least say a quick hello as they pass by.

Rooms are spacious yet cozy.  Enjoy large four poster beds, with sumptuous bedding that invites you to sink in and relax.  There is plenty of comfortable seating in your room and around the hotel for you to grab a book and lose yourself.  And a balcony will provide you with spectacular views of the Adirondacks, providing you with a front row seat to every romantic sunset over the lake.

While the hotel is extremely close to all the shops and restaurants available in the village, you may find you have no reason to wander far.  The beach is just a few steps away, and an indoor pool is always available for cold or dreary weather.   The spa offers many amazing treatments to help you fully relax and feel utterly pampered.  If you haven’t already planned out your trip, there are plenty of organized activities offered by the hotel, including guided hikes, kayak trips, and sunset cruises.

The hotel also boasts three restaurants.  The Cottage is an excellent place for an apres ski cocktail or snack, while Taste Bistro is a fun spot for some casual dinner and live music.   The View  is a AAA Four Diamond “Exceptional” rated restaurant where you can enjoy afternoon tea, and exquisite, seasonal dinners prepared with local ingredients, while taking in fabulous views of the lake.  Each restaurant offers beautiful lakeside views and its own unique atmosphere.

Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa is a hotel that has it all.  Spectacular views, service, and a refined luxury that allows you to completely relax as everything about your vacation is taken care of for you.  Its the perfect spot for any getaway.