The Adirondack Mountains, New York
Includes all lodging, breakfasts and dinners, support van, leaders, tour maps & narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Albany and Lake Placid prior to and following tour.
Not Included: Airfare to Albany International Airport, Guide Gratuity.
Note that for our night at the historic Adirondak Loj, single rooms are not available.
Hotel 7:30 am
The Adirondack region in northern New York is part of the largest State Park in the nation, and the High Peaks region, the site of two Winter Olympics, is where we will concentrate our trip. Rounded mountains, babbling brooks, narrow chasms and inviting lakes all beckon as we explore the only mountains in the eastern U.S. that aren’t geologically Appalachian. These mountains are continuing to be uplifted, perhaps by a hotspot in the earth’s crust, and although they were partially glacially carved, the mountains are rugged, steep and nearly impenetrable. It should be noted that although the mileage on this tour is not as high as other challenging tours, the terrain is very rugged with rocky, technical paths, slopes requiring hand holds, ladders and slippery rocks, so travel is slow. This makes the rewarding views and sense of accomplishment that much sweeter.
The area is steeped in history, from the hunting escapades of the native american tribes of Iroquois and Algonquin, to the names of the first explorers like Henry Van Hoevenberg, Old Man Phelps and Verplanck Colvin, to the architecture and furnishings of the Great Camps and the rustic lodges that still take visitors today, to the centers for summer and winter recreation that have been luring visitors for many decades. Be sure to ask your guides for more information about the Great Camps, backcountry lodges, backpacking in the area, the 1932 and 1980 Olympics, the Adirondack chair and much, much more!
We start our Adirondack Mountains Hiking tour with an assembly on Day 1 in Albany and from there we shuttle to Indian Lake and our first walk to Snowy Mountain. This should not be considered a warm up hike, and this short trail will give you a taste of the rugged, steep trails to come, and of the reward of spectacular scenery from the mountain tops. (6.4 miles) We will continue on to Long Lake, named after the 14 mile lake it sits upon, for our two night stay at the historic Adirondack Hotel.
On Day 2 we will walk the Newcomb Lake Road Trail to Great Camp Santanoni. During the late 19th century and the early 20th century, many of America’s most successful businessmen built summer homes in the Adirondack Region of New York State. Intended as rustic but elegant retreats from city life, the largest of these Adirondack camps became known as Great Camps. Camp Santanoni, one of the oldest and largest of the early great camps, is considered one of the most sophisticated and distinguished of all of the surviving great camps in the Adirondacks. At its height, Camp Santanoni comprised over 12,900 acres, containing three distinct groups of buildings: the Gate Lodge Complex, the Farm Complex and the Great Camp Complex. Newcomb Lake provides the perfect spot for a picnic lunch before returning on the same trail. (10 miles)
Day 3 is a dramatic point to point hike through Indian Pass, climbing among boulders and up ladders. Along the way you reach Summit Rock with a spectacular view of the 1000-foot cliff of Wallface Mountain directly opposite you. Wallface is one of the highest wilderness cliffs in the Northeast. Continuing north the trail descends to the valley of Indian Pass Brook and a pleasant woods walk to a series of scenic cascades and a swimming hole. We emerge at Heart Lake, beyond a doubt the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks region, and to our place for the night – Adirondak Loj. This is a rustic lodge built in 1927 and open only to those with a reservation. We will enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal, with homemade breads and soups, in the period dining room. The comfortable living room with its stone fireplace is perfect for recounting the day’s adventures or just relaxing with a book from the Adirondack library. Private lodging is not available for this night, as we will be in a dormitory style room with half height dividers. (9.3 miles)
Our hike for Day 4 is an epic route that will take us to the second highest summit in the state, Algonquin Peak. The summit is above treeline and will afford us sweeping vistas of the entire High Peaks region. The views of the thickly forested hills easily hide what we know to be steep, rocky and challenging terrain. After our return, the Timberline van will whisk us out to the infamous town of Lake Placid for a well deserved and a hearty dinner. (9 miles)
We are due for an gentler hike on Day 5, so we will walk up the mellow Ausable River valley to Lower Ausable Lake, passing several waterfalls on the way. If you want to go the distance, it’s a short burst up to Indian Head from here for more sweeping views of the High Peaks region. (7 – 10.4 miles) On the return to Lake Placid we’ll stop in at Mt. Hovenberg, where we are sure to see winter athletes in their summer training on bobsled and luge.
On Day 6 there will be some time in the morning to explore more of the Lake Placid area with its Olympic skating oval, the museum, the Olympic Center, the home of the “Miracle on Ice” and the ski jumping complex. Leaving Lake Placid behind we will drive to the Giant Mountain Wilderness area for one more falls-lake-mountain top hike to Giant Washbowl and Nubble peak (4 miles) before our late afternoon shuttle back to Albany and the conclusion of our New York Adirondack Mountains Hiking Trip.
|Day 1||Van shuttle from Albany to Indian Lake, hike Snowy Mountain, overnight at Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake||6.4|
|Day 2||Hike to Great Camp Santanoni||10|
|Day 3||Point to Point hike from Newcomb to Heart Lake through Indian Pass, overnight in a dormitory style room at the rustic Adirondack Loj||9.3|
|Day 4||Climb Algonquin Peak, overnight in Lake Placid||9|
|Day 5||Hike Great Falls Loop including Lower Ausable Lake, Indian Head and numerous cascades||10.4|
|Day 6||Roaring Brook Trailhead, past Giant Washbowl and Nubble, van transfer to Albany||4|
Total Distance: 50.1 miles
- Adirondack Loj at Heart Lake
- Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake
- Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid