Hidden Gems of the Adirondacks

by Shaun Kittle

Hidden Gems of the Adirondacks

Our most popular trails draw the masses for a reason — they’re accessible, not too difficult, and they offer a major payoff. But this is the Adirondacks. There are hundreds of miles of trails to explore and many offer solitude, even on the nicest days. 

When visiting our mountains and forests, please remember to be respectful of the plants, animals, and other hikers you encounter by following Leave No Trace ethics. The idea is simple! Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints, and if you carry it in, carry it out.

The following are some local favorites; trails that are easy to follow yet still off the beaten path. Give them a try, then hit up our websites for more ideas.

Hidden High Peak views

It’s hard not to fall in love with the rugged beauty of the High Peaks. The summits surround and kiss the clouds; the views are epic and worth every step it takes to reach them. As fun as it is to stand on a bald peak, locals know it can be more rewarding to gaze at our most well-traveled mountains from a place of solitude. Read on to find yours.

Lake Champlain Region: CATS Coot Hill/Big Hollow Trail

Part of the ever-expanding Champlain Area Trails system, this easy half-mile hike ends at an overlook with views of the Lake Champlain Bridge, Crown Point peninsula, and Green Mountains of Vermont. 

Lake Placid: Round Mountain

Ignore the lines of parked cars — those are for other mountains — and do the 2.3-mile hike up Round Mountain. It’s steep in places, but the view of the Great Range and Giant Mountain make it worth every step.

Whiteface Region: Cobble Lookout

A local favorite, the path to Cobble Lookout meanders gently uphill for 1.1 miles to a broad ledge that affords tremendous views of Whiteface Mountain and a wall of High Peaks in the distance.

Schroon Lake: Treadway Mountain

Treadway Mountain is a 3.9-mile trail in the beautiful Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area that passes the lovely Putnam Pond before making a moderate-to-steep climb to a rocky, 2,208-foot summit.

 

Hidden scenic vistas

This is a place where the lake country meets the mountains, where every high perch reveals a horizon of rocky summits and lowland expanses of glistening lakes dotted with pine-covered islands. Follow any of these paths and you might be alone in nature, but you won’t be disappointed. Visit our websites to learn more!

Saranac Lake: Jenkins Mountain

This 4.5-mile hike in the Paul Smith’s VIC passes delightful wetlands, boulder-strewn brooks, and open hardwood forests on its way to Jenkins’ summit. Enjoy the lakes and mountains that stretch in every direction.

Malone: Azure Mountain

An easy-to-follow, mile-long trail that quickly gains elevation to bring hikers to a summit fire tower. Climb the tower to catch an amazing view, then explore the mountaintop to find a neat balanced boulder.

Tupper Lake: Floodwood Mountain

Beginning on an old forest road, this moderate hike rarely gets steep as it approaches Floodwood’s awesome peak. Be sure to continue past the highest point for another quarter mile to the southern summit.

 

Hidden backcountry gems

So much to explore, so little time! The forested mountains here offer outstanding views — surrounding each perch is an expanse of forests, rivers, and ponds, all begging to be seen up close. Observe these forests from on high, or get up close and personal by doing one of the hikes below, then visit www.AdirondackExperience.com to learn more.

Indian Lake: Watch Hill 

After beginning on a flat, old logging road, this trail narrows and offer two options: left is longer and easier, right is short and steep. Either way, two overlooks await. One provides a view of Griffin Brook Slide on Snowy Mountain, the other overlooks Indian Lake.

Long Lake: Sargent Ponds Loop 

This is a long, 6.8-mile loop over rolling terrain that passes Middle and Grass ponds before arriving at a lean-to on the scenic Lower Sargent Pond. Along the way, take time to explore some of the short side paths, which lead to Upper Sargent Pond and the shore of Lower Sargent Pond.

For more information on Leave No Trace principles and hiking preparedness, see below: