Your Guide to Leaf Peeping in the ADK

Your Guide to Leaf Peeping in the ADK

Peak foliage is here and our bloggers are celebrating!


Horsing around

All the best places in the Adirondacks have a unique story. Each town has something special to offer, whether it’s a downtown coffee shop or proximity to the 46 High Peaks. Circle B Ranch, one of these unique Adirondack places, has been around since the 1800s, as a farm in its first iteration. Since then, the land has never been developed, aside from additions made by the ranch, and it is surrounded by over 3,000 acres of wilderness. Today you can go on a horseback ride, sleigh ride, hayride, and even take lessons at Circle B Ranch.


Gorges colors

A favorite fall activity of mine is to leaf peep and there are so many different ways you can do it in the Adirondacks. You can take one of many scenic drives, hike to a summit, paddle a lake, and even check out the view from the top of a waterfall. I am speaking about High Falls Gorge, a 22-acre nature park with hiking trails and four cascading waterfalls on the West Branch of the Ausable River. 


Fall is for dreamers

There is so much we can learn when we take a moment to step back and contemplate mother nature. There is such beauty when the trees begin their annual transition to dormancy, it is amazing what hidden beauty can emerge when we let go. Sometimes it seems in this life we think we have it all planned out, then suddenly there is the change that we never see coming. It’s almost ironic because stability is not guaranteed in this life but I can promise you change is! With change comes transition, and with that often a path so wonderful but, never would have been attainable had we not let our leaves change color and begin a new cycle!


Joyful and small

What better way to prepare myself for the day than spending the early morning taking in Lake Placid and the surrounding mountains. Eli, my pup, couldn’t agree more! These trails are located just a mile up on Peninsula Road. They range from fairly flat to a gentle uphill grade with some roots and rocks jutting out. Right from the very start I’m up on my toes as I jog down to the lake. Here I watch the sunrise and the clouds move over the mountains as I listen to the bustling water flow over the dam. Often Eli is able to catch up with a few other fur friends for a quick play date.


Tour de color

As the calendar changes from August to September, we're reminded that it's time to pull the sweaters out of the closet, grab a pumpkin spice dessert of some sort, and get ready to delve into our favorite fall activities. Wondering where to begin? Read on for some great travel ideas, then start planning now to visit the Adirondacks and truly experience an awesome autumn getaway.


Spruce it up

The Adirondacks is a unique place and not just because of its stunning High Peaks and crystal clear waterways. We have all four seasons and a variety of elevations. You can tower above on the summit of a mountain, gazing out with a bird's eye view, or you can paddle one of our many rivers or lakes, gazing above at the stars. Because of this variety, we take pride in our mountain towns and hamlets, each with their own unique identity and flavor. Tupper Lake, a distinctly Adirondack town, has some of the best local craft breweries and shopping in New York state. Spruce and Hemlock, a family owned and operated country store, filled with handcrafted gifts, contributes to this local charm and offers great opportunities to shop and feel at home all at once. I had the chance to visit the store and speak with owner, Faith McClelland, and Sales Associate, Janelle.


Paddle this for peak foliage

Fall in the Adirondacks is meant to be experienced. It is a time of cool nights and warm days. It is a time of frosty mornings, the icy coating soon to be burned off by the bright sun. And it is a time of bright leaves which paint the landscape in a kaleidoscope of color.

And so fall must be savored. After all, the warm days offer us a throwback to summer, and we find ourselves drawn outdoors to enjoy it before winter’s white dominates the landscape. That also means that fall arrives with a certain amount of pressure. Savoring the days does not mean we can dawdle to enjoy them. After all, the days are numbered before the temperature drops, and the days themselves are growing considerably shorter than the summer days which never seemed to end. And so all of us outdoor enthusiasts must take advantage of the time of year to explore – it is our last chance to partake in a variety of activities until next spring or summer.


Zen at the top

If you are looking for a stellar view without having to do much work, the Elephant Head trail is perfect for you. It's a short hike with many rewards, including a bird's eye view of Lake Titus, which combined with the surrounding hills forms the shape of an elephant's head. Depending on where you park, this hike can either be one mile round trip, to summit and back, or roughly four miles if you walk from the general parking area right off Route 30 to the summit and back. Either way, the hike is still rewarding and pleasant because once you enter from Route 30,  you are immersed in a canopy of trees.