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Brewster Peninsula Trails, Lake Placid

We’ve had a lot of fun this summer discovering the nearby hidden gems that provide a quick little escape for a hike or a swim, or both. But I guess if you think about it the Brewster Peninsula trails aren’t so hidden. They’re right in the middle of town, after all. And we’ve known about them for a couple of years now, but never bothered to check them out until last week. And every time we’ve driven by the trailhead there has been at least one car there (I first typed “cat” instead of “car.” We totally would have gone sooner if we’d seen cats there all the time). So let’s scratch the “hidden” part and just stick with the “gem” part of that description.


I’d been bugging Dave for months to come with me to explore the Peninsula Trails. Actually, I’d been bugging him for two years. The past two summers we spent a week with our families at a camp on Brewster Peninsula, so we drove by the trailhead all the time. “I really want to check out those trails,” I’d say, as we bumped by on the dirt road. “Hmmm, I wonder where those trails go…” “Hey, honey! I hear those trails lead to Tatooine. We should go sometime.” But he wouldn’t take the bait. And we’d go climb a mountain instead.

But last week, on an easy, breezy Sunday afternoon, I managed to convince him.

As you’d expect of most “nature” trails, the paths are wide, well-groomed and flat, flat, flat. It’s a walk in the park, er, woods. Here’s a full-on description of the trail network over at ADK Trail Run that describes the trails way better than I ever could.

We started out via the parking area on Peninsula Way. The trail follows a truck road for a little while before reaching a 4-way junction with the Boundary Trail (going right will take you to the Jackrabbit Trail). If you continue straight on the truck trail like we did, you’ll soon come to another junction with the Lakeshore Trail and Boundary Trail. I love finding misspellings in signs. We’re all human, right?

We opted to meander down the Lakeshore Trail since we were in the mood for a swim. Heading left, the trail takes you to a dock right next to the overspill dam. If you go right, the trail winds along the shore past several nice areas to jump in for a swim. Since we could hear lots of loud voices coming from the dock area, we opted to go right and see if we could snag a piece of the lake for ourselves.

Success! We found a nice little bench to drop our stuff and then waded right in.

More like one of us waded in while the other stayed with the puppy because she’s a big baby and has decided she doesn’t like the water. Great, just great. We got a keeper, for sure.

Awww, just kidding, Willa Jean. We love you just the way you are, neuroses and all.

The Lakeshore Trail is also lined with interpretive signs that describe the flora and fauna of the area in all seasons. Self-guided brochures are available at the trail register and also at local hotels and inns.

We were really impressed with this little trail network. It’s a great place for kids, dogs, young people, old people, athletes, non-athletes, tourists, and locals. Better yet, it’s accessible year-round. Fingers crossed Willa Jean takes to the snow better than the water.

Directions to the Brewster Peninsula Trails:

From Main Street in Lake Placid, turn onto Saranac Ave. Turn right onto Peninsula Way, right after the Comfort Inn parking lot. It’s easy to miss. Go about .5 miles and the trailhead will be on your left.

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