The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking hikers to check out other parts of the Adirondack Park than the wildly popular eastern High Peaks and nearby ranges.
“Autumn is a great time to enjoy the Adirondacks,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “As more people continue to enjoy the incredible outdoor excursions offered throughout the Adirondack Park, we encourage visitors to explore the hundreds of lesser known trails that offer the same high quality natural experiences as the more popular trails, and to be prepared to safely enjoy the park’s changing conditions.”
DEC Forest Rangers will be turning motorists around at South Meadow Lane as soon as the Adirondack Loj parking lot is full through the Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving Day weekend. The Loj is a starting point to a number of the more popular High Peaks in the Adirondacks.
The DEC is suggesting hikers check out some other trails that offer a similar experience – challenging hikes to great views – to the High Peaks with much fewer people.
Rocky Peak: The East Trail in the Giant Mountain Wilderness ascends 6.7 miles and 3,600 feet from the trailhead on Route 9N to the 4,420-foot summit of Rocky Peak Ridge and its 360-degree view. Trailhead coordinates: 44.1499°N, 73.6268°W
Baxter Mountain: This trail in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest ascends 1 mile and 725 feet from the trailhead on the Route 9N to the 2,400-foot summit with 360-degree views. Trailhead coordinates: 44.2205°N, 73.7492°W
Owl’s Head Lookout: The North Trail in the Giant Mountain Wilderness ascends 2.5 miles and 1,110 feet from the trailhead on Route 9N to a .1-mile spur trail that ascends 150 feet to the 2,530 feet lookout point. Trailhead coordinates: 2119°N, 73.6788°W
The Crows: This trail in the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness ascends .9 mile and 845 feet and .9 mile from the Hurricane Road Trailhead to the 2,535-foot summit of Little Crow Mountain. The summit of 2,815-foot summit of Big Crow Mountain is located .6 mile and 280 feet further up the trail. Trailhead coordinates: Hurricane Road, 44.2583°N, 73.7529°W; Crow’s Clearing, 44.2609°N, 73.7330°W
Whiteface Mountain: The Whiteface Landing Trail in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness ascends 6 miles and 3,320 feet from the trailhead on Route 86 to the 4,867-foot summit and its 360-degree views. The first 2.5 miles from the trailhead to the Whiteface Landing on the shores of Lake Placid ascends only 310 feet. The summit provides views of Lake Champlain, Lake Placid, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the High Peaks region, and a large portion of the northeastern Adirondacks. Trailhead coordinates: 44.3002°N, 73.9302°W
Scarface Mountain: This trail in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest ascends 3.3 miles and 1,400 feet from a trailhead on the Old Ray Brook Road to an open area .35 mile and 80 feet below the summit. Trailhead coordinates: 44.2981°N, 74.0835°W
Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain: The Observer’s Trail in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest ascends 1.9 miles and 1,280 feet from the trailhead off State Route 9 to the 2,162-foot summit with 360 degree views and a fire tower. The trailhead is just 5 miles south of Exit 33 of the Northway. Trailhead coordinates: 44.4019°N, 73.5029°W
Bear Den Mountain: This trail in the Whiteface Mountain Intensive Use Area ascends 1.6 miles and 1,160 feet from a trailhead near the parking area for Kid Campus of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area to the 2,400-foot summit of Bear Den Mountain. The trail is part of the Flume Trail Network and is open to the public for day use free of charge. Bikes are allowed on the first 0.4 mile of the trail. Parking at Kids Campus is free. Overnight parking is prohibited. Trailhead coordinates: 44.3595°N, 73.8576°W
Clements Pond: This trail in the Wilmington Wild Forest ascends 1.5 miles and 650 feet from a trailhead on Styles Brook Road to the shores of Clement Pond where hikers can enjoy views of the scenic pond, shoreline and nearby 2,550-foot Clement Mountain. Trailhead parking area: 44.3001N°, 73.7672°W