With warmer weather coming, the Apollos staff has compiled a list of our top ten Adirondack day hikes! Each pick has a rating of beginner, intermediate, or advanced, so there is definitely something here for everyone! Here it goes, in no particular order:
10. Triple Crown – Marcy, Algonquin & Colden (Advanced)
Not for the faint of heart. Comparable to hiking the Great Range in a day, if not harder, this three-mountain jaunt involves massive amounts of elevation gain and loss, as well as summiting the state’s two highest peaks. Fun? Debatable. Bragging rights? Definitely.
9. Avalanche Lake and Algonquin Loop (Advanced)
Head in from the Adirondak Loj, passed Marcy Dam to Avalanche Lake, and be awed at its sheer two-thousand foot cliffs erupting from each side of this glacially carved wonder. Walk over the lake along the wooden hitch-ups bolted into the vertical rock, and head up the steep backside of Algonquin for one of the best views of all the 46.
8. Giant Mountain (Intermediate/Advanced)
If you want to experience a 46er and give yourself a little bit of a challenge, then Giant Mountain is the place to go. There’s many bonus sights in addition to the summit view, such as Roaring Brook Falls and Giant’s Washbowl. Be prepared to scale up steep rock faces and climb wooden ladders, as this mountain makes you work for the view.
7. Indian Head (Beginner/Intermediate)
A wonderful and fairly easy day hike, with a stunning and rewarding view of mountains rising dramatically from a narrow and winding Ausable Lake.
6. Cascade (Beginner/Intermediate)
The easiest of all the 46 High Peaks. Great bang for your buck. A fairly quick 2.5 mile jaunt to the top, for a very rewarding view of many of the high peaks. Avoid on the weekend unless you want to see everyone you’ve ever known.
6. Mt. Arab (Beginner)
Located just outside of Tupper Lake, this small mountain offers a uniquely enjoyable summit. Not only is there a fire tower open to the public, but also a small cabin/museum telling the stories of those who used to call the fire tower their place of work.
5. Owl’s Head (Beginner)
This simple mountain climb — it’s only .6 miles to the summit — is located just west of Keene on Rt. 73. Not only does it offer beautiful views, but a handful of rock climbing and scrambling opportunities around it’s half-open summit.
3. Saranac 6er’s (Beginner)
Each mountain has a magic of its own, and if you are really ambitious, you can attempt all of them within 24 hours to become a Super-6er. Baker is the shortest of the 6, with a steep or gradual trail option. St. Regis comes with a fire tower to extend your views even further. Scarface has the most stunning trails of all of the 6ers, and despite the enclosed summit, you can bushwack your way to the top of the “Scar” for a view. McKenzie and Haystack are an adventure better done together. Ampersand always takes the cake as the best of the six with awesome 360° views from its bald summit.
2. Roaring Brook Falls (Beginner)
Just a short distance up the Giant Mountain Trail, you can either journey to the top, or the bottom of this two-tier massive waterfall.
1. White Pine Elder Grove (Beginner)
Just a short hike and a bushwack off of easy street, you can come face to face with the tallest tree in New York, and admire a bunch of old growth giants.