Thanks to Irene related damages in the backcountry, the DEC has closed hiking trails in the Eastern Hike Peaks Wilderness, the Giant Mountain Wilderness, and the Dix Mountain Wilderness. While there is no word on when these closures will be lifted, the ADK is hoping that at least some trails will be re-opened next week. Until then the DEC has been roping off trailheads and posting rangers to turn back hikers. Please be safe and abide by these closures.
None of that, however, means that the Adirondacks are closed to hiking.
I repeat. The Adirondacks are not closed!
There are plenty of hikes right here in the High Peaks region that one can still enjoy despite the closures. And we are not talking about consolation prize type hikes here… some of these are true gems, worthy of your boots whether other areas are closed or not.
Here is just a sampling of what is still available:
High Peaks Area – Mountains
The irony of the name is a bit much right now, but this remains one of our favorite hikes in the area. It is a moderate to hard hike, but ends in a summit with a fire tower and views of both Lake Champlain and the High Peaks. If you have yet to see an Adirondack Fire Tower up close, there is no excuse now.
Here is a trip report of a winter hike that Jess and I did back in 2010: Hurricane Mountain, an Adirondack Hike.
From Whiteface Landing/Connery Pond or Marble Hill/Wilmington
If you are after a 46er, this would be a great choice. It is the 5th highest mountain in NY and offers 360 degree views of the Adirondacks. I have to assume that Esther Mt, also a 46er and close to Whiteface, is also open for hiking.
Pitchoff Mountain – Balanced Rocks
From Route 73
A fantastic hike and one that is popular all on its own in part due to its accessibility and its proximity to Cascade Mt.
This can be hiked as a traverse between the two trailheads, but would require planting a car to do so (both trailheads are right on Rt 73). The more popular way of hiking this is a fairly moderate up and back hike from the trailhead closest to the Cascade Mt and Porter Mt trailhead. It has a wonderful destination known as balanced rocks – a bare area with great views and two large boulders that appear to be balancing on a ledge.
This has been a go-to hike for Jess and I when friends come to visit us.
From US-9N or Beede Road (off Route 73)
A quick and easy half day hike with some wonderful views back toward the valley and the high peaks. This has been a favorite of Jess and I (and the dogs) since moving here. It is perfect if you are looking to hike with small children, or if you just want to fit a hike in between other commitments or plans.
Off of Rt 3, between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake
At the advice of friends, Jess and I hiked this with her father this past Wednesday.
It is a wonderful hike across a very well maintained trail with views of the Saranac Lakes off of one side of the summit and the high peaks from the other side.
Not the 46er. This Haystack can be found off of rt 86 between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.
From Rt 86
From the Old Ray Brook Road off Route 86
From Moody Pond Road in the Village of Saranac Lake
From Route 3
From VIC at Paul Smiths off Route 30
From the Floodwood Road off Route 30
St. Regis Mountain
From Keese Mills Road off Route 30.
Or, if you are feeling adventurous, paddle out across the St Regis Canoe Area and bushwhack up this Mountain (which has a fire tower!)
From Route 28N
High Peaks Area – Non-Mountain Hikes
- Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails in the Village of Lake Placid
- Owen Pond/Copperas Pond from Route 86
- Bloomingdale Bog from Route 86
- Raquette Falls from Corey’s Road off Route 3
- Deer Pond Loop from Route 30 or Route 3/30
- Fernow Forest-Wawbeek Plantation from Route 30
- VIC at Paul Smiths Trails on Route 30
- Hoffman Notch from the Boreas Road
- Great Camp Sanatanoni from Route 28N
- Adirondack Interpretive Center Trail System on Route 28N
- Henry’s Woods From Old Military Road in Lake Placid, turn onto Bear Cub Lane.