Introduction: The exploring locally series continues this week, focusing on some of the easiest Adirondack Hikes. The Adirondack Mountains encompass a large section of New York State, spanning over six million acres. In total the Adirondacks contain over 2,000 miles of hiking trails. Because of the diversity of trails and varying difficulties, the Adirondack Mountains are the perfect destination for those looking for a beginning level hike that is perfect for the whole family.
So whether you are an avid hiker or just starting out, the Adirondacks should be on your bucket list. Below are five beginning level hikes for those who are just starting out.
Five Beginning Level Hikes in the Adirondacks
1- Rocky Mountain
Rocky Mountain is located just outside of Inlet, New York. Inlet, NY is a small town in the Adirondacks that sits along the Fulton Chain of Lakes along the East end of Forth lake. Rocky Mountain is a very heavily trafficked trail that is well known as a family friendly hike and one of the best beginning level hikes in the Adirondacks.
To reach Rocky Mountain from Inlet, drive West along route 28 until you find the parking area for Rocky Mountain on the right. If coming from the Old Forge area drive East along Route 28 until you reach the parking area on the left.
The Rocky Mountain Trail, while relatively short, is a steep one. The shortness of the trail makes it doable even for the most beginning level hiker though. Just when you think you can’t go any further you will be at the top and will be very well rewarded. The views at the top include Fourth Lake and Inlet.
Location: Route 28, Eagle Bay, NY 13331
Trail Length: 1 Mile Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 448 Feet
Summit Height: 2,225 Feet
Recommended Time: 1-2 Hours
2- Roaring Brook Falls
Roaring Brook Falls is found outside of Lake Placid along route 73. The Roaring Brook Falls area is home to two trails, one that is fairly easy and perfect for beginning level hikers and one that is more advanced.
After reaching the parking area follow the river to the right for about 0.3 miles. You will quickly come upon the base of the falls. From here the trail will branch to the left. Follow this trail up about 0.5 miles and you will come to the top of the falls. From here you will get some great views looking down on the falls, but also looking south you will have some clear views of the high peaks. For beginning level hikers this is a great place to stop, but if you are looking for more adventure the trail does continue on to the top of Giant Mountain.
A peak of Roaring Brook Falls, the base of the falls is littered with rocks that children and adults alike will enjoying climbing on. These rocks are relatively safe, but children should be supervised as there is always a risk of slipping.
Location: 16 Roaring Brook Trail, Keene Valley, NY 12943
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip from base to summit
Elevation Gain: 100 Ft.
Summit Height: 300 ft.
Recommended Time: 1 hour
3- Sawyer Mountain
Sawyer Mountain is a frequently trafficked trail and is one of the best beginning level hikes. It is located just outside of Blue Mountain, New York. The summit of Sawyer Mountain is highly wooded, but along the climb you will find two great look out areas on the way up the trail and another just below the summit. The terrain for this hike is not difficult, making it an ideal beginning level hike.
The trail head to Swayer Mountain can be found on Rte 28/30 between Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Lake. From the trail head, the trail begins with a mild inclination before leveling off for a little bit. The trail will then begin to incline moderately until reaching the summit, and then a gentle decline to the rock shelves and viewing platform.
Location: Route 30 Blue Mountain Lake NY 12812
Trail Length: 2.2 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 630 Feet
Summit Height: 2,600 Feet
Recommended Time: 2 hours-2.5 hours
Panther Mountain is located 13 miles outside of Saranac Lake, NY on route 3. It is in close proximity to both Piesco Lake, NY and Speculator, NY. To reach the trail head turn onto West Shore Road from Route 8. You will come upon a sign for Panther Mountain and find the parking area across the street from trail head.
The climb up Panther Mountain is short, but steep. Even with the steepness, if you take you time and take rest breaks reaching the summit is doable. The views from the top will make the climb worth it. The terrain for most of the trail is easy (but uphill), with a rocky, steep incline at the end that may be a little tricky.
After climbing the mountain, be sure to take the small trail down towards Panther Pond. It will take you through a public campground, but you will soon come out on the rocky shore of the pond. You will get some good views of the surrounding mountains and be able to dip your feet in the water.
Location: 939-949 Old Piseco Rd, Piseco, NY 12139
Trail Length: 0.9 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 424 Feet
Summit Height: 2,213 Feet
Recommended Time: 2 Hours
5- Stewart’s Ledge
Stewart’s Ledge is located in the New York village of Lake George and one of the best beginning hikes in the Adirondacks. While the hike is a short one, making it a perfect beginning level hike, climbers will be greatly rewarded with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
The Stewart’s Ledge Trail is unmarked, but it is found off of the Buck Mountain Trail head. The Buck Mountain trail head can be found along Pilot Knob Road in Fort Ann, NY. Walk the Buck Mountain trail for a couple hundred feet and you will come upon a subtle trail to the right that is marked by a large stone. Continue on this path and it will take you to the ledge.
The Stewart’s Ledge Trail is generally moderate in inclination with only one steep section. Because of this mild incline it has been described as the perfect beginning level hike or family hike. Of course, if you wish to continue on with the hike you can continue on the Buck Mountain trail, but this hike may be above the beginning level hiker ability.
Location: 1750 Pilot Knob Road, Fort Ann, NY
Trail Length: 1.4 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 272 Feet
Summit Height: 562 Feet
Recommended Time: 1 Hr. to 1.5 Hr.
Tips for Hiking With Children
- Pack plenty of snacks
- Stay hydrated. Water, water water!
- Take plenty of breaks
- Get an early start so there is time to rest and relax
- Pack some band aids
- Dress for the weather!
- Don’t forget the bug spray!
- Be sure to follow the Leave No Trace principles and teach your children to do the same!