Known for its High Peaks and tough trails, hiking in the Adirondacks can seem a little daunting for beginners or those with families. But, I’m here to tell you, while we do have plenty of difficult summits such as Snowy Mountain and long hikes such as the Northville - Lake Placid Trail, there are trails of varying difficulty all around the Adirondacks. Here are just a few to get you started:
Sacandaga Pathway, Speculator
The Sacandaga Pathway is a beautiful boardwalk and dirt trail leading from the Speculator pavilion back through the woods and along the Sacandaga River. Along the way you can stop at the river overlook, and check out the local flora and fauna in the surrounding wetlands. This is a great area for birdwatching, or for taking a nice, relaxing, relatively flat walk. If you do the entire trail, it is three miles round trip, but there are plenty of other small loops on the trail, and you can always turn around when you are ready to head out!
Sawyer Mountain, Blue Mountain Lake
Sawyer Mountain can be found in the Blue Mountain Lake area just five minutes from the intersection of Route 28 and 30. This is a great summit hike for beginners and is easy for the whole family. While there are a few moderate sections, the payoff is certainly worth it. The rock shelves at the summit provide beautiful views of Snowy and Wakely Mountain, as well as many others. This hike is just 1.1 miles to the summit.
Echo Cliff/ Panther Mountain, Piseco
Echo Cliff and Panther Mountain in Piseco are very popular hikes. The trailhead can be found between the Point Comfort and Little Sand Campgrounds on Old Piseco Road. The first part of the trip is very easy and heads uphill at a slow rate. Once you get to the end, however, get ready to climb. There is a fairly steep slope to the summit but the reward is worth the work! Once at the top, the views of Piseco Lake are breathtaking. A 1.5 miles round trip hike with a reward like this is hard to come by!
Buttermilk Falls, Long Lake
If you are looking for a short hike (and I mean really short!) head to Buttermilk Falls in Long Lake. These falls are also a part of the Hamilton County Waterfall Challenge and will earn you one out of twelve points needed to earn your patch! From car to falls, the trip is only 0.1 miles. The path leads to a beautiful picnic area overlooking the roaring water. While not extraordinary in height, the amount of water gushing over these wide falls is truly impressive.
Cathedral Pines, Inlet
On Route 28 in Inlet, you can find another super short hike that is great for the whole family. The Cathedral Pines trail is a loop that takes you 0.1 miles through the woods, and along the way you can spot a monument placed in honor of Malcolm L. Blue, a local man who died in action in World War II.
Lost Ponds, Indian Lake
While not a guaranteed bang for your buck, a trip into Lost Ponds in Indian Lake may offer you the rare chance to spot the ever elusive moose! This is an easy one mile hike in and one mile hike out in the Moose River Plains area. It is also a great area for a little shoreline fishing. You can expect to catch brook trout, bullhead, and perch!
Hiking doesn't have to be hard work, or take all day! If you're looking for other hikes, whether easy or challenging be sure to check out our recreation page! Why not make a vacation of it? Book your lodging and dining reservations now!