The first weekend in October is one of the biggest hiking weekends in the Adirondacks each year, and often sees peak leaf color at many locations. Many trailhead parking areas will fill up early and the trails in the High Peaks Wilderness will likely see continued unprecedented crowds through the fall. In an effort to lessen the flow of thousands to the High Peaks Wilderness, Protect the Adirondacks has published online trail guides for 50 terrific hikes and destinations throughout the Adirondack Park in areas outside of the busy and over-used High Peaks Wilderness Area. These online trail guides are available now.
The online trail guides includes description of hikes, pictures, and maps. They also include information about the trail length and difficulty as well as education about Leave No Trace hiking etiquette to protect the natural resources of an area as well as the experiences for other hikers. The pictures showcase the stunning beauty of these areas. Guides have been published for trails across 10 counties in the Adirondacks.
Click here for the 50 online trail guides, posted under “Hiking Trails” on Protect the Adirondacks’ website.
These 50 destinations showcase dozens of terrific hikes for people of all ages and abilities to mountains, firetowers, bogs, remote lakes, and waterfalls. These are wonderful places, many off the beaten path, that are far outside the busy High Peaks Wilderness. Getting a parking spot to the hike of your choice is often a crapshoot in the High Peaks. These other places offer high quality Adirondack Park outdoor experiences.
Protect the Adirondacks left off the list a number of hikes in places that have been overwhelmed this summer and are seeing numbers and parking problems that rival the High Peaks. Places like Kane Mountain in Caroga, or a number of the Lake George mountains, like Shelving Rock, Cat Mountain, and Thomas Mountain, or Bald Mountain in Old Forge, were all left off the list because they’re seeing overuse challenges and we did not want to create more problems.
The 50 online trail guides that Protect the Adirondacks has published this fall will be expanded to 100 online guides by the end of the year. These trail guides provide visitors with all the information they need to have a great hike. Trails are organized by county in the northern Adirondacks, central Adirondacks, western Adirondacks, and southern Adirondacks.
Hiking is the easiest outdoor activity for a person to undertake. That’s why it’s so popular. As long as somebody can get to the trailhead, it’s a highly accessible activity. Unlike canoeing or skiing or mountain climbing or mountain biking there is little special equipment or skills that someone needs to have a safe and rewarding hiking experience.
We’re hoping that these online trail guides, which we’ll keep working to update and expand to spotlight more places across the Adirondacks, will help individuals and families to plan out great and safe trips to stunningly beautiful destinations beyond the High Peaks in other places all across the Adirondacks.
Featured hikes include mountains in the northern Adirondacks, such as Lyon Mountain, Catamount Mountain, Silver Lake Mountain, Debar Mountain, Loon Lake Mountain, St. Regis Mountain, Azure Mountain, Mt. Arab, Floodwood Mountain, Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain, Jay Mountain, Cobble Lookout, McKenzie Mountain, Haystack Mountain (Ray Brook), and Split Rock Mountain (north trails, south trails). In the southern Adirondacks guides were published for Sleeping Beauty Mountain, Five Mile Mountain, Spruce Mountain, and Hadley Mountain.
In the central Adirondacks online guides were created for hikes to Goodman Mountain, Coney Mountain, Goodnow Mountain, Moxham Mountain, Vanderwhacker Mountain, Owls Head Mountain (Long Lake), Mud Pond Mountain on the Cedarlands conservation easement, Severance Mountain, Treadway Mountain, Blue Mountain, Chimney Mountain, Echo Cliffs, Pillsbury Mountain, Sawyer Mountain, Snowy Mountain, Wakely Mountain, Balm of Gilead Mountain, Crane Mountain, Peaked Mountain, Bartonville Mountain (at The Hub bike shop/cafe/tap room), and Pharaoh Mountain.
In the western Adirondacks, Stillwater Mountain is featured.
Protect the Adirondacks has completed its initial field work and is working to publish another 50 trail guides by the end of 2020 that showcase an even wider range of hiking opportunities across the Adirondack Park outside of the High Peaks Wilderness. This work was greatly aided by the hard work of summer interns who hiked, assessed, inventoried and photographed more than two dozen trails each, including Jaylim Aboneeaj of Brown University, Jake Collins, a recent graduate of SUNY Potsdam, Isabel Greene from the University of Minnesota, and Kuno Haimbodi of Brown University.