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Adirondacks, New York, Resource Guides



Photo by Carl Heilman

Northville Lake Placid Trail .com is the premier online guide to hiking and climbing the Northville Placid Trail and the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks showcasing hundreds of exciting attractions throughout the Olympic region and upstate New York. Keene and Keene Valley are known as the "Home to the High Peaks". The greatest number of high peaks in the Adirondacks (in a single location) rise majestically in the Keene/Keene Valley Region making this area a meca for hikers, climbers and other visitors who wish to experience the remarkable beauty of the Adirondack mountains.
There are literally hundreds of trail heads located in the tiny hamlet of Keene including the trail to the summit of Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in New York State.

The Adirondacks offer some of the best hiking, camping and recreation opportunities in the northeastern United States. The hills are big; it is known as the High Peaks region, Mt. Marcy reaches 5,344 ft, Algonquin is 5,114 ft, and there are more than 40 peaks over 4000 ft tall so the hiking can be challenging but the views that you get while ascending, and while standing on the summits are well worth the effort.


Northville-Placid Trail


Section A - Northville to Piseco 34.80 miles
Refer To: Northville, Harrisburg, Lake Pleasant and Piseco Quadrangles
The beginning of the Northville-Placid Trail follows the highway from Northville to Benson Center and impatient hikers may want to drive to Benson Center. However, the scenery along the Stony Creek Valley is well worth the walk. No high mountains are encountered in this section, but the forests are as wild as any found on the trail.

Miles Trail Description
00.00 Northville (795' elev.) The trail begins at the western end of the bridge over the Sacandaga River and follows Rt. 30 north.
03.30 The trail leaves Rt. 30 and follows County Rt. 6, entering from the west, marked Benson Center
06.20 North road on the right leads to the trail to Cathead Mt. fire tower 2.7 miles, 1,300 ft. ascent (2,423' elev.)
08.50 The trail bears left on the main road.
09.20 Benson Center (1,289' elev.) This hamlet is but a handful of homes in the valley of the North Branch West Stony Creek. Make a right turn on to a dirt road (Washburn Rd.) at this location.
09.75 At the fork in the road bear to the left on Godfrey Rd.
10.25 Parking lot, the route is passable by automobile to this point. A trail register is located a short distance beyond the parking area.
11.55 Parking lot, passable by four wheel drive vehicle to this point.
11.85 The trail crosses the North Branch of the West Stony Creek.
12.70 The trail crosses Goldmine Creek.
14.75 Rock Lake, (1,917' elev) a small pond, lays off a spur trail (.1 mile) on the left.
15.80 The trail crosses the West Branch of the Sacandaga River at the western end of an old clearing and bears sharply right up the west bank of the stream.
16.65 Meco Lake (2,106' elev) is on the right.
17.50 Silver Lake (2,072' elev) is on the left. The trail leads around the eastern shore of the lake to a lean-to.
19.80 Canary Pond (2007' elev) is on the left.
23.15 Mud Lake (1,730' elev) is on the right. The trail skirts the western end of the lake to a lean-to.
25.95 The trail crosses the West Branch of the Sacandaga River (West River) on a large suspension type foot bridge. The old road on the north side of the river leads right .1 mile to a parking area at Whitehouse. From this location it is 8.6 miles along the dirt road (West River Rd.) to the village of Wells. This is the only turn back point between Northville and Piseco. Turn left and follow markers. A DEC register is located at the junction.
28.30 Cross Hamilton Lake stream on a suspension bridge.
28.60 Hamilton Lake stream lean-to on right 100 ft. off trail.
30.95 Buckhorn Lake, (1,810' elev) a pond with good trout fishing lays just off to the right.
32.25 A register booth is located just before the trail crosses State Rt. 8 and follows the Old Rt. 8 (County Rd. 24) into Piseco Village. Supplies, meals and lodging available at State Rt. 8.
33.55 Piseco Post Office.
34.00 Piseco (1,680' elev) and Piseco Lake (1,661' elev) a lake of 4.32 sq. mile. Over night accommodations can be made in the village or at nearby State campgrounds on the western shore of the lake.
34.80 Road junction. Turn right on Haskell Rd.


Section B - Piseco to Wakely Dam 32.85 miles
This section of trail leads through one of the most remote and wild areas (West Canada Lakes Wilderness) in the Adirondacks. The trail follows an old logging road to Spruce Lake, but from Spruce to West Canada Lake the country was not opened until the trail was put through. Magnificent stands of spruce and hardwood exist throughout the region. The area from West Canada Lakes to the Cedar River although lumbered in the past is rapidly returning to a wilderness condition. This section of rolling upland offers pleasantviews of numerous waterbodies including Cedar Lakes and the Cedar River Flow. There are no hotels, stores or permanaent camps north of Piseco in this section.

Miles Trail Description
00.00 Trail bears right on Haskell Rd. and follows blue markers up the road (paved for 1.75 miles) A trail register and information booth is located .1 mile from the Cold Stream bridge.
05.20 The trail crosses Fall stream and follows its north bank.
07.65 The trail crosses the Jessup River.
08.00 An unmarked trail to the right leads to international Paper Company access roads and NYS Rt. 30.
08.60 The trail crosses Bloodgood Brook.
10.25 Spruce Lake (2,378' elev.) is on the left with three lean-to's along the east shore. The trail continues northeast crossing the rocky outlet of Balsam Lake.
13.80 The trail crosses the outlet of Sampson's Bog.
15.35 A side trail (red markers) on the right leads to Perkins Clearing 15.2 miles and Speculator 22.15 miles.
15.55 The trail crosses West Canada Creek on a large bridge. Mud Lake (2,345' elev.) is on the right.
15.70 West Canada Creek lean-to's
16.10 South Lake (2,345' elev.) a pond of .15 sq. mile is on the left. At the north shore on the left is a lean-to.
16.75 West Canada Lake (2,367' elev.) a major source of West Canada Creek, is .41 sq. mile in area, high and wild. The trail strikes its eastern end at the two lean-to's and a cleared area (former Interior Caretaker's Headquarters) A register is located here. A red marked trail to the left (2.55 miles) leads to Brook Trout Lake. A lean-to is located on the east end of the lake. These lakes and West Canada Creek are trout waters. A yellow marked trail continues north approximately 4 miles and enters the Moose River Recreation Area. The Northville-Placid Trail follows the blue trail markers eastward across the clearing at the eastern end of West Canada Lake.
17.35 The trail skirts the north shore of Mud Lake.
18.85 The trail crosses the survey line of the Totten and Crossfield Patent, first land grant in this region.
20.00 Kings Pond Outlet is crossed with the trail paralleling this trout water for a short distance.
20.50 The trail crosses the inlet to Cedar Lakes, a chain of three connected ponds .56 sq. mile in area. A lean-to is located .50 miles to the right (yellow markers) on the north shore of Third Lake.
22.50 The trail crosses the channel between Beaver Pond and Cedar Lakes and follows along the lakes' north shore. A side trail to the right (just prior to the bridge crossing of the channel) climbs a small bank and leads to a lean-to in about 150 feet.
22.80 A yellow marked side trail leads north 2.2 miles to Lost Pond and continues on approximately 8 miles to Otter Brook Rd. and the Moose Rive Recreation Area.
23.40 A short (.2 mile) distance upstream from the Cedar Lakes Dam was the site of the former Cedar Lake HQ., where a lean-to is now located. Cedar trees were planted here and can still be seen by the lakeshore. The dam itself is a relic of past lumbering activity and was reconstructed by the DEC in 1967. A register booth is located in this area. The main trail follows the Cedar River. A trail across the dam (yellow markers), leads southeast around Noisey Ridge. This trail continues to Perkins Clearing, 9.2 miles, and Speculator, 16.15 miles.
23.75 The trail swings left away from the Cedar River and rejoins it at 25.25 miles.
27.00 Trail junction on the right with the Sucker Brook (red markers) trail. This trail leads eastward 7.9 miles to Lewey Lake Public Campground and NYS Rt. 30. Colvin Brook lean-to is located across the Cedar River 1.0 mile down this trail.
28.20 Carry lean-to ( the head of canoe navigation on the Cedar River Flow) is on the right. The trail follows old roads along the north and west sides of the Flow.
32.85 Wakely Dam (1.3 miles east of gravel road junction). A trail register is located in the immediate area.

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Section C - Wakely Dam to NYS Route 28/30 12.0 miles
Lands adjacent to the dam represent the eastern main entrance to the Moose Rive Plains. Facilities provided are primitive in keeping with the general atmosphere of the area, and are described in the brochure: Moose River Recreation Area. An assistant forest ranger and emergency phone may be found near the entrance gate and register booth from Memorial Day Weekend to early fall. No accomodations or stores are available until the Village of Blue Mt. Lake.

Refer To: Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Quadrangles.

Miles Trail Description
00.00 Wakely Dam (2,120' elev.) backs up on the waters of the Cedar River Flow to make a sizable lake 1.06 sq. mile in area. A gravel road (Cedar River Rd.) from this point connects with State Rt. 28 and Indian Lake Village, 15 miles distant. The trail follows this road.
00.30 A side trail on the left leads to Wakely Mt. Fire Tower. Ascent 1,635 ft. to an elevation of 3,744 ft.
06.75 At McCanes, signs indicate the trail leaves the road at this point, bearing to the left.
09.15 Stephens Pond (1,952' elev.) is on the right. A side trail to the right leds 250 feet to a lean-to on the south end of the pond.
09.70 A side trail (red markers) on the left leads to a lean-to at Cascade Pond, .75 mile and Blue Mt. Lake Village, 4.0 miles. A register booth is located at this junction. The trail continues to the northeast.
12.00 Lake Durant Campground. This is the junction with State Rt. 28/30, and also the dam and outlet of Lake Durant formerly 34th Flow. The trail crosses the road in a northerly direction at the trail signs. This point is three miles from Blue Mt. Lake Village.


Section C - NYS Rt. 28/30 to NYS Rt. 28N 14.65 miles
This section of trail follows stream courses, lake basins and steep ridges. Portions of the trail traverse Finch, Pruyn Company, Inc. lands in the vicinity of O'Neil Flow and Buck Mt.

Refer To: The Blue Mountain Quadrangles.

Miles Trail Description
00.00 >From the trailhead on NYS Rt. 28/30 a register booth is located immediately to the north.
03.50 At the southern end of Tirrell Pond (1,918' elev.) is O'Neil lean-to.
04.65 At the northern end of Tirrell is a second lean-to. A side trail (red markers) on the left leads to Blue Mt. Lake Village, 4 miles.
07.20 The trail crosses the Salmon River on a bridge and follows it upstream a few hundred feet.
07.95 This ridge offers a view of a scenic gorge and brook.
09.10 Tracy Shanty Clearing
10.35 The height of land between Tirrell Pond and Long Lake (2,980' elev.). The trail proceeds along the ridge and then down a steep grade to St. Rt. 28N.
14.65 State Rt. 28N. Long Lake Village is 2.7 miles left on this highway.


Section D - Long Lake to Shattuck Clearing 12.60 miles
The trail follows the eastern shore of Long Lake along an old tote road an then continues through open woodlands to Shattuck Clearing. No supplies are available beyond Long Lake Village.
Refer To: The Blue Mountain and Long Lake Quadrangles.

Miles Trail Description
00.00 The trail crosses NYS Rt. 28 N and follows a paved road (Tarbell Hill Rd.) northeast over the crest of a hill. Turning right into the woods just past a small Parking area. A trail register is located here.
01.90 A side trail to the left leads to the two lean-tos on Catlin Bay.
04.80 Two lean-tos at Kelley's Point.
06.25 A side trail leads to the two lean-tos at Rodney Point.
08.45 At a fork in the trail, bear right. The left fork leads to Pluymleys Landing. Two lean-tos are located at Plumley's Point on the lake shore.
12.60 Shattuck Clearing.


Section E - Shattuck Clearing to Lake Placid 27.87 miles
This section of trail follows streams and log or tote roads in the heart of the Adirondacks and the grade is not difficult, although the wild rugged High Peaks lie ahead. There are no permanent camps other than lean-tos with no opportunities for obtaining supplies throughout this section.
Refer To: Long Lake and Santanoni Quadrangles.

Miles Trail Description
00.00 Shattuck Clearing. The trail follows the gravel road southeasterly for .15 miles then turns left into the woods.
00.25 Cross Moose Creek on a suspension bridge. The trail continues northeasterly to the south bank of Cold River.
00.75 Cross Cold River on a suspension bridge. A lean-to is located immediately on the left and another .1 mile downstream. The trail turns right after crossing the bridge and follows the Cold River upstream.
04.02 In a balsam fir setting is Seward lean-to. Just beyond the lean-to is the Natural Dam formed by rock ledges across the Cold River.
06.55 Ouluska Pass Lean-to
06.80 Big Dam was once a lumber camp area and is often made a camping place. The "hermit of Cold River", Noah John Rondeau, lived here for many years on land of the Santa Clara Lumber Co., now part of the Forest Preserve. He welcomed real lovers of the woods but shunned curiosity seekers. He made a frugal living by hunting, trapping and serving as a guide. Two Wigwams from his "Cold River City" the "Beauty Parlor" and the "Hall of Records" can be seen at the Adirondck Museum at Blue Mt. Lake. He died in 1967, at the age of 84.
10.50 Mountain Pond (2,142' elev.)is in a wild setting. The trail follows the old lumber road through second growth forests to the junction with a fire truck trail. Right on this truck trail .40 miles to two Cold River lean-tos
12.10 At the Duck Hole are two lean-tos and a side trail to the right (blue markers) leading to Bradley Pond, Lake Sandford and Tahawus.
12.50 A side trail (red markers) on the right leads to Indian Pass, Mt. Marcy and Tahawus. The main trail, with blue markers, continues on upstream.
16.00 Moose Pond lean-to
17.20 This is the divide between the Moose and Chubb Rivers. Wanika Falls lean-to is on a side trail to the right at 17.50 miles.
18.20 Trail turns to the right of the former trail to Averyville and crosses the Chubb River on a log bridge.
24.25 Averyville County Rd., turn right to Lake Placid. To the left is the Chubb River bridge. Across the bridge 800 feet to the right is the entrance to trailhead parking.
25.50 Old Military Rd. and Lake Placid Village. The end of the trail.


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Select Adirondack Hikes and Trail Descriptions

The Algonquin tour
An introduction the many landscapes of mountains, brooks and lakes of the Adirondack. The best way to discover the second highest summit of the Adirondack with a trip to some remote areas. The whole hike is a loop of 19 km. This may look very long but its all downhill after the summit of Algonquin. All the beautiful nature scenes make this one a must to do for a hiker with an average experience.

Mount Marcy:
This is the highest mountain in the Adirondack with 5344 feet. Marcy is located in the middle of the High Peaks Region. This mountain must be seen from a very close location to be able to admire its beauty. Three of the major accesses to the Adirondack region make possible a day hike to it. The shortest approach start at Heart Lake and follows in and out the Van Hoevenberg Trail. This is a 23,75 km hike that takes an average of 7˝ hours. The easiest way to shorten this distance is to camp at Marcy Dam. This will cut 7,3 km to the distance. Marcy Dam is a rustic camping area. It takes an hour of walk to get there from Heart Lake.

Gothics
Gothics, the 10th highest peak, has an impressive 360° view. This proposed hike is less popular than the one starting from The Garden, but it has a lot of things to see as: many viewpoints of the Gothics Arch, an impressive ascent to the Pyramid summit on your way down and a passage near two of the highest waterfalls in the Adirondack. The whole hike is a loop of 21 km. The only drawback is the long and doll Lake Road you will walk on your way in and out.

Colden
Colden is located between Marcy and Algonquin. It offers a 360° summit view and a long open ridge. This trip is an other way to visit the great area of Avalanche Pass. The whole hike is a loop of 21 km.

Phelps
A small summit from the list of those over 4,000 feet but its half open summit has one of the best views in the Adirondack. Over 10 km of the trail is on flat or low grade ground. The whole hike is 14 km long.

Noonmark
An open summit that is just under the 4,000 feet level, very similar to Cascade. It has a better viewpoint toward many of the highest peaks than Cascade. If you're looking for a longer trail, it's possible to make a loop and even add Round Mountain on your way. The shortest hike has a total of 6.6 km.

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The Brothers
This is not a true summit, but a group of three great viewpoints toward the Great Range. The shortest hike to the second Brother (the best one) has a total of 5,7 km.

Bald Peak
A bare rock summit part of a long ridge with many interesting viewpoints. The whole hike is 12.4 km long.

Dix

Dix is one of the most Southward 4,000 feet summit of the Adirondack High Peaks Region. Starting from the parking lot on Rte 73, this hike follows a brook for almost 3 km but has a last section toward the summit of Dix that is one of the steepest of the Adirondack. The whole hike is 22 km long.

Colvin/Indian Head
This summit is less visited than the other highest peaks, but has many interesting things to offer. Part of the trail is along Gill Brook with its many water cascades. The trail section after the junction to the Dix summit is very steep by place and passes over many small summits along a tree covered ridge. On your way down, don't miss Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs. They are two great viewpoints on the lakes and mountains.

Saddleback Mountain
Saddleback Mt. is named for its two peaks with a small valley. It is located between Gothics and Basin Mt. in the Great Range. The East side trail of Saddleback offers great views of the Gothics. The West side trail traverses a very steep rock cliff unique in its style in the Adirondacks. This rock cliff is very steep and ropes may be needed for safe passage.


Giant Mountain:
This is one of the most popular summit of the Adirondacks. The two main trails are at 1 km (Roaring Brook Trail) and at 3 km (Ridge Trail) South from St-Hubert. The Ridge Trail is the most spectacular one with from the middle of its height a long bare rock section with many viewpoints toward the West over the Dix Range, The Great Range, Mt. Marcy, Algonquin Peak and up to Cascade Mt.. This trail difficulty is similar to the one of Algonquin Peak from Heart Lake. They have similar length and high. The beginning of the Ridge Trail is very steep whereas the one of Algonquin Peak is very progressive. The second most popular approach is the Roaring Brook Trail that passes a side trail leading to a waterfall (Roaring Brook Falls) then follows a ridge with some viewpoints to the summit. It is possible to make a long loop using those two trails.

Mount Skylight:
This mountain peak is one of the most remote of the high peaks and is located just South of Mt. Marcy. It has a very distinctive round shape and it's summit is almost flat and as big as a football field. The South approach from Upper Works is the easiest one to get there in one day.

Cascade Mountain:
One of the most popular summits of the Adirondacks with Algonquin Peak and Giant Mt.. It's the easiest hike among the 4,000 feet summit. Cascade Mt. has a 360 degree view from its large rocky top. There is a magnificent view to the North of the entire Lake Placid Valley. The entire hike is in a wooden trail except for the last ˝ km, which is on bare rock. This summit stands apart from the other High Peaks, so there is no view over those highest summits that are Mt. Marcy, Mt. Colden or Algonquin Peak.

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Blake Peak
This summit is part of the Pinnacle Ridge just after Mt. Colvin in the Upper Ausable Lake region. This is a tree-covered summit with a viewpoint between the trees to the South at Elk Lake. Even if the trail that leads there from Mt. Colvin is a marked trail, it looks more like a herd path than like a regular maintained trail. They are many very steep sections that might be easier to pass with help of a ladder or a rope.

Algonquin Peak
This is the second highest mountain in the Adirondack at 5114 feet. It's also one of the three most popular ones with Cascade Mt. and Giant Mt.. It takes less than three hours to hike up and less than 2,5 hours to hike down for a 13 km over all distance from Heart Lake.

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The 46 High Peaks

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High Peaks Region



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46 peaks including Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New york State, with an elevation of 5344' .The 46 peaks include the following mountains (listed in order of height):
Mt. Marcy, Algonquin Peak, Mt. Haystack, Mt. Skylight, Whiteface Mtn,Dix Mtn. , Gray Peak, Iroquois Peak , Basin Mtn., Gothics, Mt. Colden, Giant Mtn., Nippletop, Santanoni Peak, Mt. Redfield, Wright Peak, Saddleback Mtn., Panther Peak, Tabletop Mtn., Rocky Peak Ridge, Macomb Mtn., Armstrong Mtn. ,Hough Peak, Seward Mtn., Mt. Marshall, Allen Mtn., Big Slide Mtn., Esther Mtn. , Upper Wolfjaw, Lower Wolfjaw , Street Mtn., Phelps Mtn., Mt. Donaldson, Seymour Mtn., Sawteeth, Cascade Mtn., South Dix, Porter Mtn., Mt. Colvin, Mt. Emmons, Dial Mtn., East Dix, Blake, Cliff Mtn., Nye Mtn., and Couchsachraga Peak.

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Hiking in Other Regions





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Adirondack Trail Guide
and Hiking Resource Center


Hiking through the Adirondacks

Plattsburgh, Chazy

Old Forge, Big Moose

Lake Placid, Keene

Cranberry Lake, Potsdam

Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake

Lake George, North Creek

Raquette Lake, Indian Lake, Speculator

Saratoga Springs

Glens Falls

The Olympic Village of Lake Placid
Nestled in the High Peaks

The High Peaks Region is home to the Olympic Village of Lake Placid hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Lake Placid has also been host for a variety of world class events including the ESPN Outdoor Games, World Cup bobsled and luge, the Ironman Triathalon, international figure skating, Empire State Games and the "I Love NY" Horse Shows. The Lake Placid / High Peaks Region offers visitors a rich variety of historic, artistic and cultural attractions.

“West Branch Ausable River” by photographer Frank Houck

Lake Placid's Olympic attractions include famous Whiteface Mountain, boasting the greatest vertical drop in the East and the Mackenzie Intervale Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, where you can ride to the top of the 26 story, 120 meter ski jump in a glass enclosed elevator! Other venues include the Mt. Van Hoevenberg bobsled and luge track where you can take an exhilarating ride down the only dedicated bobsled run in the US.
  

  
AdirondackHiking.com gives you everything you need to know to plan your mountain adventure online when visiting Upstate New York and the Adirondacks. It's all right here at your fingertips . . . with just a click of your mouse!

   

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