The Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York are a rugged, scenic playground for all ages. There are hiking trails for every level of hiker - starting from absolute beginner to experienced expert. If you're traveling towards the Adirondacks with your whole crew, certain parameters are needed to keep everyone involved and allow each and every family member to enjoy themselves without too much exertion, as well as prevent yourselves from encountering any particularly dangerous hikes. Read on for five family friendly hikes, including both mountains and flat walking paths, that the whole crew can enjoy.
1. Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain is a relatively easy hike with big-bang view. The walking distance is about a mile with an elevation gain of approximately 400 feet. It is a fire tower mountain, meaning there is a fire tower at the summit. Hikers can climb to the top of the fire tower for even better views. While its official name is Rondaxe Mountain, given to avoid confusion with another Bald Mountain with a fire tower in nearby Lewis County, most people still refer to this mountain as Bald Mountain.
To get there, turn right off Route 28 onto Rondaxe Road. Travel just over 0.1 mile to the trailhead parking on the left.
2. Amy's Park
Amy's Park in Bolton landing is full of mostly flat, easy-to-traverse trails, with lots of opportunity to view wildlife in the marshes and ponds along the way. It is managed by the Lake George Land Conservancy. View more information and the map here.
3. Panther Mountain
Not to be confused with Piseco's Panther Mountain, this Panther Mountain is located near Tupper Lake and is great for kids. The summit is reached in under a mile with a roundtrip hike is roughly 1.2 miles with an elevation gain of approximately 780 feet. That should be more than achievable, even with short legs! Learn more about Panther Mountain here.
4. Henry's Woods
Our #ADKPicOfTheWeek is Susan Naylon-Stacy's wintry shot of Henry's Woods! More amazing photos here: http://bit.ly/ADKpics
Henry's Woods, which is owned and maintained by the Uihlein Foundation, is a community preserve located just outside the village of Lake Placid. The public is encouraged to use these trails responsibly and follow Leave No Trace principles at all time. To find the preserve from the intersection of Routes 73 and 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue 0.2 miles to Station Street on the right -- it's the first right after you cross the Chubb River. Follow this road for 0.75 miles to Old Military Road. Take a left on Old Military Road and follow that for 0.9 miles to Bear Cub Lane on the right. The trailhead is a couple hundred feet up on the right. A map of the trails can be found here.
5. Sawyer Mountain
Sawyer Mountain and Fletcher Pond - Cedar River Road - Adirondacks
Sawyer Mountain is one of the park's easier summits with a spectacular view. The round trip hike is a distance of around 2.2 miles with an elevation gain of about 600 feet to the top of the trail. To reach the Sawyer Mountain trailhead from the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in Indian Lake follow Route 28/30 toward Blue Mountain Lake. Continue for just under five miles to the trailhead on the left. Access the map here.
6. Adirondack Interpretive Center
The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC), located in Newcomb is a 236 acre complex of environmental education, that boasts almost four miles of scenic, surfaced trails complemented by indoor exhibits, lectures, films and naturalist-led guided walks. There is a picnic area located on the grounds but the benches provided at numerous overlooks along their trail system are also ideal lunch spots.
To find AIC from Interstate 87, take Exit 29 and turn west on to Blue Ridge Road heading toward Newcomb. After 18 miles, turn right on Route 28N and drive through the Town of Newcomb. The AIC driveway will be on the right on the western edge of town.
7. Cobble Lookout
Chesky dutifully posing at Cobble Lookout in the Adirondack Park near Whiteface Mountain
Cobble Lookout is a short (2.6 mile round-trip), easy (250 feet elevation gain) hike that leads to an open rocky cliff area with big views of the surrounding High Peaks and mountains. Cobble Lookout is located in Wilmington near Santa's Workshop, a holiday-themed attraction. This hike serves up fun for the whole family, and because of that, is very popular. The map can be found here.
8. John Brown State Farm Historic Site
The John Brown State Farm Historic Site in Lake Placid is a historic site that also happens to have well-groomed trails, including a storybook walk for children. The site provides ample opportunity to study wildlife and plant life in different settings. Check out the map here.
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