The Northville-Placid Trail

New York state’s oldest long distance trail

Completed in 1924, the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) extends 138 miles through the Adirondack Park. The footpath connects hikers to the wild character of the Adirondack Park, as well as the communities that the trail crosses. 

Hiking the Northville-Placid Trail

Described here is the southern portion of the NPT, from Long Lake to Northville, which is a long distance backpacking route of over 100+ miles. The northern section of the NPT, from Long Lake to Lake Placid, can be read about here. The southern terminus of the NPT begins at a beautiful wooden arch in Northville. Hikers walk from Northville to Piseco, experiencing the wild Silver Lake Wilderness Area, two metal suspension bridges, and easier terrain than most of the trail. From Piseco, where thru-hikers commonly refuel on supplies, the trail weaves its way through the West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. Here, you'll be in some of the most remote reaches of the Adirondack Park, with vast wetlands, water-crossings on old bridges, and lean-tos on quiet backcountry ponds. 

Once through West Canada Lakes, hikers reach some semblance of civilization at Wakely Dam, where you'll do a short road walk, and eventually reach Lake Durant Campground near Blue Mountain Lake. Here, many folks spend the night and have a hot shower, and also have the option to hike a connector trail back into town for a resupply. From Lake Durant, the trail passes by a perfect swimming spot at Tirrell Pond, reaches the high point of the entire NPT after a scenic stretch on a meadow, and then descends down to Long Lake. 

In the summer months, lean-tos and campgrounds on the NPT can make for a great trip with friends and family, with visiting attractions in towns also being easy, instead of a multi-day backpacking trip.

Day hikes on the NPT

While the NPT can be done as a long backpacking trip, or as multiple section hikes, there are plenty of opportunities for hikers to enjoy a day hike on the trail. 


  • Catlin Bay - 2.8 miles and 380 feet of elevation gain round-trip. Leads to a couple lean-tos and a scenic bay.


  • Tirrell Pond - 6.6 miles round-trip and 690 feet of elevation gain. One of the best backcountry swimming destinations in the park. 
  • Cascade + Stephens Pond - 8.1 miles round-trip and 1,000 feet of elevation gain. A lean-to in a scenic setting at each pond. 
  • Spruce Lake from Jessup River Road - 5.7 miles round-trip and 800 feet of elevation gain to a scenic lean-to. 


  • French Louie Loop - A long distance backpacking route of 22.6 miles that utilizes a portion of the NPT.

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing

Many sections of the trail from Northville to Long Lake are remote, and in the winter the trail tends to remain untracked with deep snow. A snowshoe or cross-country ski trip is possible, but not something to take lightly. However, there are many day trips that you can still do on skis or snowshoes. Above, Cascade and Stephens Pond is a great option for folks with some experience cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A winter snowshoeing or cross-country ski also doesn't need to have a specific destination, just hop on the NPT anywhere you'd like and get a couple miles in.

A banner of the Northville Placid Trail

The NPT turns 100!

The NPT turns 100 this year! That’s 100 years of trailblazing, sight-seeing, species-finding, and a thru-hike that has connected our communities in the heart of the Adirondack region year after year. To celebrate such a beloved trail, this summer is packed with events all over. From the shores of Great Sacandaga Lake all the way to Lake Placid, you’ll be able to join in the festivities. Keep an eye out for upcoming events!

Leave No Trace and resources for the NPT

Responsibly recreating on the Northville-Placid Trail means recognizing our impact on the environment, and doing the best we can to leave the trail, and surrounding ecosystem, the way we found it. Planning ahead and preparing for the trip, no matter the length, is a key to success. Part of this is picking up resources like the guidebook and map for the NPT.

If you plan on being shuttled to your start point, many guide services offer rides to and from trailheads, and on NPT Facebook pages, there are a number of local folks who also run shuttle services. From Northville to Long Lake, thru-hikers utilize a variety of local business and services in the towns that the trails connect. Piseco is the first spot to resupply on trail, and businesses like the Oxbow Inn and Irondequoit Inn are good stops for lunch, while the Post Office is often used to send resupply packages to. The Irondequoit Inn offers water refills, outlets for charging electronics, free showers, and 20% off any NPT stays. In Blue Mountain Lake, Stewart's Shop is your best option, and in Long Lake (with a road walk) you can resupply at Hoss's Country Corner

Experience More

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there places to camp overnight on the NPT?

Yes, there are over 20 lean-tos on the southern stretch of the NPT that runs from Northvile to Long Lake. Additionally, there are numerous designated tent sites.

Can I get a ride to or from the trailhead for a thru or section hike?

There are a few local guides that offer shuttle service to and from trailheads.

Upon completion of thru or section hiking the NPT, can you register your hike and get a patch?

Yes, the Schenectedy Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club offers patches to all completers. 

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

The Adirondack Park provides a haven of pristine wilderness in New York state’s northernmost reaches. It also offers an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities for explorers of all ages and experience levels! While you enjoy your visit, please keep the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace in mind. Set forth by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and championed by many partners within the Adirondack Park, these principles will not only improve your own nature experience, but they help preserve this unparalleled natural wonder for generations to come.

Know before you go
Be prepared! Remember food, water, and clothes to protect you from cold, heat, and rain.     
Use maps to plan where you’re going. Check them along the way so you’ll stay on course and avoid getting lost. Learn about the areas you plan to visit.
Stick to trails and camp overnight right
Walk and ride on designated trails to protect trailside plants. Camp only on existing or designated campsites to avoid damaging vegetation.
Trash your trash and pick up poop
Pack it in, pack it out. Put litter—even crumbs, peels and cores—in garbage bags and carry it home. Use bathrooms or outhouses when available. If they're not available, bury human waste in a small hole 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet or 70 big steps from water and the trail.
Leave it as you find it
Leave plants, rocks, and historical items as you find them so others can enjoy them. Treat living plants with respect. Carving, hacking, or peeling plants may kill them.
Be careful with fire
Use a camp stove for cooking. Stoves are easier to cook on and create less impact than a fire. If you want to have a campfire, be sure it’s permitted and safe to build a fire in the area you’re visiting. Use only existing fire rings to protect the ground from heat. Keep your fire small.
Keep wildlife wild
Observe wildlife from a distance and never approach, feed or follow them. Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them starts bad habits. Protect wildlife and your food by securely storing your meals and trash.
Share our trails and manage your pet
Be considerate when passing others on the trail. Keep your pet under control to protect it, other visitors, and wildlife. Be sure the fun you have outdoors does not bother anyone else. Remember, other visitors are there to enjoy the outdoors too.