This is going to be a very short trip report because it was a very short hike. You see, now that we have a puppy to care for – a puppy too young to join us on any adventures longer than a couple of miles or hours – we’ve taken to hiking quite fast. No dilly-dallying. No sight-seeing. Just one foot in front of the other as fast as we can so that she doesn’t do her business all over the house.
Anyway, Table Top. It’s a little over 10 miles round-trip beginning and ending at the Adirondack Loj. The first 2.3 miles into Marcy Dam are easy-peasy and we pretty much ran them. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking 5 seconds to snap yet another picture of the dam. This view never gets old for me.
At Marcy Dam, follow the red-marked trail to Phelps Mountain – the junction for Table Top is less than a mile past the junction for Phelps. Again, it’s pretty easy hiking on a very well-worn trail. A little ways after you pass the Phelps junction, the trail will turn right and pass a ski trail junction. Don’t be alarmed, you’re still on the right track.
Now, Table Top is technically one of those trail-less High Peaks. But because of its accessibility, it’s considered the easiest of the trail-less peaks. The beginning of the trail is marked with a large cairn and, wouldn’t you know it, a sign!
The trail itself is a little junky – narrow, blow-down, mud, roots – but very easy to follow. And I will not complain because it is maintained by some very dedicated 46’ers who do a wonderful job. Trail work ain’t easy. It’s also pretty steep, which compounds the erosion factor.
So up, up we went for another 3/4 of a mile or so. And finally the trail started to flatten out a bit before reaching the true summit (so that’s why it’s named Table Top).
The summit is wooded, but there are some views through the trees of the surrounding High Peaks.
We allowed ourselves to rest and eat lunch. And took the requisite summit photos. Proof is rarely a bad thing.
And then we started our sprint back down the mountain, taking in the views that we had missed on the way up.
We stopped briefly at Phelps Brook to douse ourselves with fresh, cold water. And then it was all systems go as we made our way back through Marcy Dam and all-out ran the last 2+ miles of the day. We passed several groups who very kindly inquired if everything was okay. I’d yell out, “Yep, we just have a puppy to get home to!” And then we were gone before we could respond to their confused looks.
We made it back to the car just over 4 hours after we started out. And we made it back to the puppy before she could poop all over herself. Success!
Where: The Adirondack Park, Adirondack Loj in Lake Placid
Directions from Lake Placid: Take Rt. 73 south. Turn right onto Adirondack Loj Road. Go about 5 miles to the parking area. There is a fee to park – $10/day or $5 after 1:00.
Difficulty: A moderate day hike. 10+ miles over moderate to easy terrain, with a fairly short but steep summit push. It took us about 4 hours and 15 minutes from start to finish, with a few very short breaks and one slightly longer break at the summit.
Summary: If you’re after the 46 High Peaks, this is a pretty easy one to bust out in an afternoon. The views aren’t great, but it’s a nice way to get out there.
- Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra Trail Runners – Dave’s favorite trail running shoe (they work fine in light snow/ice)
- La Sportiva Women’s Sandstone GTX Shoe – Jess’ favorite hiking boots
- Osprey React Daypack – A near perfect casual daypack
- REI Peak UL Women’s Trekking Poles – Jess’ hiking poles
- Leki Hiking Poles – Dave uses a pair of Leki’s similar to these
- Adirondack High Peaks Trail Guide – Amazon.com
- Trails Illustrated, High Peaks Trail Map – Amazon.com