Contrary to what many people may expect from a small town like Lake Placid, the region has a surprisingly large number of attractions and things to do for the whole family. The rural setting and strategic location in the core of the Adirondack Mountains make it one of the best places for outdoor recreation in the state of New York. The area features amazing hiking trails that transverses a variety of forests, beautiful meadows, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and towering peaks that offer incredible views of the surrounding areas. We have compiled a list of the top hiking and trekking spots in Lake Placid, New York to help you decide on your next outdoor adventure. Read through this article to discover where and what to do when the time is right.
1. Northville-Lake Placid Trail
The 217-km (135-mi) Northville-Lake Placid Trail (NPT) is one of the longest and most adventurous hiking trails in North America. Hiking such a distance is not easy, and it can up to 10 days to complete the adventure hence proper planning and preparation are required. In this regard, ensure you pack the right attire, food, and water, among other essential supplies. NPT traverses through two major sightseeing spots in New York, namely Adirondack Park and the Adirondack Mountains. Along the way, you can marvel at stunning views of the towering birch, maple, and fir trees. The trail also boasts beautiful streams, lakes, and a variety of wildlife.
Northville-Lake Placid Trail
Address: Adirondack Park, 115 Tall Pine Rd, Northville, New York, United States
Website: Northville-Lake Placid Trail
2. Jackrabbit Trail
Jackrabbit is approximately 50 km (31 mi) long and it runs from Keene to Paul Smiths through the scenic Saranac Lake and Placid Lake. The route has many attractions, but bird watching is one of the things that keeps visitors coming back. The best site for this activity is at River Road where you can enjoy picturesque views of various birds commonly found in wetlands, old fields, and meadows, including mergansers, wood ducks, black-crowned night herons, and American bitterns, to name a few. Besides hiking and trekking, the trail is connected to several ski centers that give visitors a unique opportunity to indulge in surfing and skiing during winter.
Address: Lake Placid, North Elba, NY 12946, USA
Website: Jackrabbit Trail
3. Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails
On the shores of Lake Placid lies another great hiking and trekking trail called Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails. Although the trail has mixed terrain, it is generally easy to conquer, even for inexperienced hikers. This spot offers unobstructed views of Lake Placid and the lush vegetation surrounding it. On top of that, you can walk around the lake for better views before ending your hike at the swimming spot for a relaxing dip after a long day of adventure. In addition to hiking, this trail is also ideal for other recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, mountain biking, dog walking, and family picnics.
Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails
Address: Peninsula Way, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States
4. Cascade Mountain Trailhead
The trailhead to Cascade Mountain is a 15 minute drive from our Hampton Inn & Suites. The 2.4 mile hike to the top offers some of the best views in the Adirondacks!!!Posted by Hampton Inn & Suites Lake Placid on Thursday, 19 June 2014
Cascade Mountain is an amazing trail with relatively easy terrain, excellent forest setting, and easy access to one of the high peaks of Adirondack called Porter Mountain. Even though the trail is easy, it is worth noting that its complexity depends on the weather, and it can get a bit challenging during the rainy season, so watch out for such changes when planning your trip. Furthermore, this spot is pet-friendly so feel free to bring your pet for company and motivation when the climb gets tough. The summit offers panoramic views of the beautiful Lake Placid.
Cascade Mountain Trailhead
Address: Cascade Mountain Foot Trail, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
5. Rocky Falls
Rocky Falls This scene just north of Lake Placid NY was too good to pass up so while I held the umbrella over Noel &...Posted by Debbie J Rice on Thursday, 10 October 2013
Rocky Falls is a miniature waterfall in Lake Placid that boasts a variety of attractions despite its size. For instance, it is nestled in an area with beautiful woodlands that provide the perfect cover to anyone who wants to cool off with a relaxing dip in one of the natural pools. Also, the trail is set along a meandering stream that offers great views and natural sceneries, making the hike both fun and relaxing. Lastly, this spot offers easy access to other places that are worth exploring such as the Summit Rock and Indian Pass.
Address: Lake Placid, North Elba, NY 12946, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Heaven Hill Trails
Adirondack Nature Trails: View of the High Peaks from the Old Orchard Loop at Heaven Hill (1 September 2019). http://wildadirondacks.org/heaven-hill-trails.html #Adirondacks #NYNature #HighPeaksPosted by Adirondack Nature on Monday, 2 September 2019
Heaven Hill Trails is a community preserve in Lake Placid that features a well-maintained and easy track that can be conquered by all hikers, even beginners. The trail transverses an area filled with countless attractions, including beautiful meadows, forests, and a few swamps. These areas are home to a variety of animal and bird species, such as the chipping sparrow, hermit thrush, cedar waxwing, and blue jays. This hiking spot has many uses, so you should expect to meet mountain bikers, runners, and people walking their pets. In addition to that, the spot is frequented by snowshoers and cross-country skiers during winter.
Heaven Hill Trails
Address: 64-166 Bear Cub Rd, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States
7. Whiteface Mountain Trailhead
Whiteface Mountain’s altitude of 1483 m (4867 ft) makes it one of the toughest peaks to hike in the Adirondack Mountains. This is a course that guarantees fun for the average hiker, but starters who like challenges are always welcome to assess their hiking prowess. The trail leading to the peak runs for approximately 15 km (9.3 mi), which is quite long but also rewarding, given the beautiful views bestowed upon the resilient few who manage to scale up to the summit. Those who cannot manage the challenge can use the access road just below the summit. On the other side, if you are fit and daring enough, the slides at whiteface present the right challenge for ambitious climbers, so feel free to give them a try.
Whiteface Mountain Trailhead
Address: Connery Pond Rd, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United State
Website: Whiteface Mountain
8. Mt. Cascade and Mt. Porter Trailhead
Mt. Cascade and Mt. Porter is also among the famous Adirondack 46ers but is less complex than the previous case of Whiteface Mountain. Mt. Cascade and Mt. Porter Trailhead is easily accessible from NY 73, and it is quite unique in that the summit is visible from the beginning of the trail, unlike other high peaks in the Lake Placid region where you have to scale a considerable height to see the summit. Indeed, both are great, but the primary focus for many hikers is usually the Mt. Cascade summit because of the extraordinary views of Lake Placid, Lake Champlain, and a majority of the high peaks in the region.
Mt. Cascade and Mt. Porter Trailhead
Address: NY-73, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States
9. Haystack Mountain Trailhead
Haystack woods and trail. Photo by Amanda Kowalski, 2009.Posted by Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Friday, 11 February 2011
Haystack Mountain Trailhead is a tremendous spot for people who love outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and mountain climbing. The trail is properly marked from the trailhead to the summit, with blue blazes that allow hikers to explore the area comfortably even without a comprehensive map. Although the summit is partially wooded, you can still enjoy stunning views of surrounding attractions, including the Harriman Reservoir, area windmills, Haystack Pond, and the picturesque Mt. Pisgah. You can also maneuver the summit for a better view of the neighboring mountains and forests. Other than hiking, the trail is also known for bird watching, and its pet-friendly policies allow dogs as long as they’re leashed.
Haystack Mountain Trailhead
Address: NY-86, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
The perfect hiking and trekking destinations in Lake Placid
Finding a hiking and trekking trail that is suitable for the entire family could be a daunting task, considering many trails in mountainous areas tend to be steep, poorly demarcated, and seasonal. Luckily, the trails in the Lake Placid region are some of the best in terms of adventure and outdoor recreation. So if you are looking to bond with nature on your next getaway, consider our list of the top hiking and trekking spots in Lake Placid, New York.
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