The Adirondacks are a hiker’s paradise. There are miles and miles of trails just waiting to be explored. There is a hike in the area perfect for any type of traveler and fitness level.
Here we have put together a collection of notes, videos and maps in order to give you a feel for Hiking In The Adirondacks, the landscape and a few starting points if you are heading out on the trail.
This Northern region of the New York state, close to the Canadian border, a true hiking paradise awaits for those who wish to escape that other touristic ‘never sleeping ‘ top destination, New York City. The Adirondack region is home to several hiking possibilities that will lead you through the mountainous landscapes and bring you back to basics while having a close encounter with nature. Here are some of the very best hikes in the Adirondack region.
Snowy Mountain Trail
The Snowy Mountain trail is considered as one of the most demanding hikes in the Adirondack region and is a great alternative for anyone willing to do more than just a ‘nature experience’. The elevation of trail needs to be conquered by steep and rugged terrain. The starting point is located close the Indian Lake, which is the perfect base for those willing to hike the Snowy Mountain trail. Even though the full hike is only about 3.9 miles, an experienced hiker will need at least two hours because of the terrain.
OK Slip Falls trail
Located near Indian Lake, the OK Slip Falls is a hidden gem in the Adirondack region. The waterfall is considered one of the highest falls in the region and flows straight into the Hudson river that crosses through New York City. Anyone seeking an overlook to see the falls can hike the OK Slip Falls trail. This 6.7 mile round trip from the parking lot provides a stunning view on the falls and has become a very popular hiking destination. It is a perfect nature walk for bird lovers and dog owners.
Blue Mountain is one of the taller mountains in the Adirondack Park and one of the most popular in the Hamilton County Region. Affording outstanding views and a modest challenge to summit, it attracts large numbers of people all year long. This is a challenging winter climb but highly recommended for those wanting that challenge. The upper portion of the trail can be very icy, but with care the hike can be accomplished.
Sawyer is one of the more popular hikes in the Indian Lake Region, mainly due to its excellent payoff for little effort. Fun for the entire family, Sawyer should not be missed. This is a perfect snowshoe for the entire family no matter the current condition of the snow pack. Choose Sawyer as the best introduction to snowshoeing for adults or children. The summit is well shielded from heavy winds.
Chimney Mountain Trail
The Chimney Mountain trail is a great hike offering wildlife spotting possibilities and has a destination well worth doing the 2.6 mile hike for. At the end of the hike you can admire an unusual geological chimney formation. Around the formation you’ll see a maze of crevices and caves close to the summit. The rocky summit itself is a great observation point offering you an amazing 360 degree panorama of the surrounding area.
Siamese Ponds wilderness area
The Siamese Ponds are an area including popular places such as Puffer Pond, Puffer Mountain, Chimney Mountain, Auger Falls and Thirteenth Lake. This wide wilderness area contains 33 lakes and has over 50 miles of hiking trails. Hikers willing to follow one of the paths can stay overnight in nearby towns such as Lake Pleasant, Wells or Indian Lake. The Siamese Pond hike is the ideal nature experience suitable for all skill levels.
This is a very short trail that is often used by fisherman and those willing to make the short jaunt to paddle a secluded lake. The shoreline is quite attractive and the birding opportunities are quite positive. This would be a nice short snowshoe for the entire family, and a great way to introduce kids to the sport. It would also make for a decent short cross-country ski destination. Even with limited use in winter it can be an enjoyable trek.
This is the BIG one! Mount Marcy is the tallest mountain in New York; while not technically challenging, it will offer plenty of varied terrain and that means a very long day. Mount Marcy is a 14 mile out and back hike. Marcy has four trails to the summit but the most popular route and leaves from the Adirondack Loj. Keep an eye out for changing weather as you start to head above the tree line. Once you reach the summit, enjoy the views!
Vanderwhacker Mountain is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Minerva, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. The fire tower provides a spectacular view of the Adirondack High Peaks.
Clear Pond Trail is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Indian Lake, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. The pond is located in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness of the Adirondacks.
Useful maps for hiking in the Adirondacks
For free, no reception necessary, map apps for trail planning and use on the trail itself visit the link below. Get all the info you need for hiking, biking, paddling, camping and fishing in NY’s breathtaking Adirondack Park, without reception! (requires wi-fi to download)
The app comes loaded with hundreds of suggested hikes, road and mountain bike rides, paddling waterways and suggested fishing spots, with plenty of places to camp, grab a bite to eat, rent some equipment, experience some culture or luxuriate at more comfortable accommodations. Try our new tracking feature – we’ll capture your hike, ride or paddling route, along with times, distance and peak elevation. Export your saved route to your PC and view on Google Earth or share with your friends.
Or try our new High Peaks search. Just tap the peaks icon, then display peaks by name or elevation. Tap the desired peak and view on the map.
In addition to the majority of 46er high peaks, we’ve also included over 1,800 miles of NY DEC trails and several herd paths in the high peaks region. Hiking trails range from easy to challenging, biking ranges from scenic road biking loops to more challenging mountain bike trails. A variety of still and whitewater experiences await you. Looking for an outdoor concert, farmers market or fun family activity? Check out our new Events display feature.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you don’t need reception to access and use it. Tap a trail pin to view the included PDF docs with trailhead info, length, difficulty level, elevation profile and description of the experience or where to access each waterway and if carries are required. You can even view the accompanying maps in Street, Satellite and Topographical View. Enable GPS on your phone and check your location relative to the trail or where you want to be for lunch.
Here’s a summary of the features you get in the Adirondack Trails app:
- Attractive, easy-to-use interface
- Display map data based on your personal recreation interests (hiking, herd paths, road biking, mountain biking including the Black Fly Challenge, Paddling, Fishing, Parking/Trailheads, Waterfalls)
- Includes detailed PDF documents with everything you need to know
- High Peaks search by name or elevation
- Includes information about local businesses, attractions and events
- Does not require a connection once downloaded
- With reception, can sync with website to get latest data or display the weather
- Optional current GPS location display
- Breadcrumb track your adventure or mark waypoints to remember a favorite spot
- Includes comprehensive information for 96 hiking trails, 65 biking trails and 30 paddling waterways (still and white)
- Shows locations and names for 1,396 DEC campgrounds, primitive campsites and lean-tos in the Adk Park
- Over 1,800 miles of additional NY DEC trails
- App is a no-reception-needed mobile version of ADKTrailmap.com