Adirondack Hiking & Backpacking

Boots on the ground, hearts in the mountains

There are endless hiking options available for finding adventure and solitude in the Adirondacks this winter, where a lot of the land is publicly owned and available for exploring on snowshoes. It's a place where hiking trails crisscross the landscape and outdoor opportunities for any age and skill level abound. That means there's also variety — trips ranging in length from under an hour to several days can all be found here. We have short walks in the woods (many to waterfalls) as well as more challenging terrain (like some of the fire tower hikes) for those who are ready to tackle the bigger mountains and trips. Unsure where to go? Let a licensed New York state guide show you the way! Looking for a little more adventure? Try checking out either the Fulton Chain Trifecta or ADK 6 Pack hiking challenges. Earn a unique souvenir or add to your hiking patch collection!

For trip ideas, see which hikes the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation recommends: Hikes outside of the High Peaks (ou en Francais).

Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Before heading out, be sure to review the Leave No Trace principles and make sure you are prepared with hiking essentials!

Preparation is important in any season, but especially so in colder months. In winter, it is important to come prepared and practice ways to Love Your ADK; the best way to avoid emergencies is to properly plan and prepare for your trip.

If you're interested in keeping our trails in great condition, consider donating to the Hamilton County Trail Improvement Fund! This partnership with the DEC is an opportunity to improve access to some of our favorite local trails. 

Experience More

Route 30
Long Lake, NY 12847
This old road used to be Highway 10 between Long Lake and Tupper Lake; it has now been turned into a wonderful trail that leads to Goodman Mountain. During the summer of 2014 DEC created a trail to the summit of Goodman Mountain.
There's a bald summit with great views.
Endion Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Owls Head Mountain is part of the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest, which covers an impressive approximate 45,000 acres. This rather prominent peak in the Long Lake area is made up of four separate summits, two of which are referred to as the horns.
The fire tower adds more scenic possibilities.
Route 30
Long Lake, NY 12847
As far as views go, this is one of the best in the area and should not be missed. The waters of Tupper Lake can be seen to the north as well and the wooded hills of the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest to the west.
Great views and a sense of accomplishment when the summit is reached.
Route 56
Cranberry Lake, NY 12927
These falls are unique and not often visited. Here, you’ll only find the peaceful sound of water rushing the falls. The views downstream of the falls are just as lovely as the falls themselves.
Spring is the most lively time at Moody Falls.
Twitchell Road
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
Oswego Pond is gorgeous in late fall.
Oswego Pond is gorgeous in late fall.
Route 10
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
A challenging but fun hike in the southern Adirondacks, Good Luck Mountain will surely satisfy any adventurer. 
The top of the cliffs has the best view.
Uncas Road
Raquette Lake, NY 13436
Beaver Brook Bog is a birding area located off Uncas Road, near the village of Raquette Lake. The trail is on the right when leaving the village. 
Otter Brook Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This is a great place for the whole family with easy, rolling terrain. The trail is an old road that ends at Beaver Lake in 2.1 miles. This is the site of the old Wilcox Hotel and sawmill.
The whole family can enjoy this lake hike.
Cedar River Road
Indian Lake, NY 12842
A fine wilderness adventure. Getting there The Northville-Placid Wakely Dam Trailhead is located at the end of the Cedar River Road. GPS coordinates are 43.7277°N, 74.4741°W.
Otter Brook Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This short hike is perfect, especially during the splendor of fall. The Falls Pond and West Canada Wilderness Area trailhead has a large parking area leading to some 4,000 acres of pristine forest.
Look for this distinct sign in the trail.
Limekiln Lake Road
Inlet, NY 13360
The Old Dam Nature Trail loop, located near Limekiln Lake campsite #87 on the back side of the leach field, is an easy 1.6 mile hike.
There's interesting scenery on all the hiking trails at Limekiln Lake.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Inlet, NY 13360
The easily accessible Lost Ponds are some of the most scenic bodies of water in the region. Great for hiking, mountain biking, and paddling, any activity you choose is going to memorable.
Narrows and cliffs add to the paddling interest of Lost Ponds.
278 Bisby Rd
Old Forge, NY 13420
Camping
Nicks Lake Campground
Cedar River Road
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Wakely Mountain’s 70-foot tower is one of the highest in New York state, and the tower stairs afford an excellent view of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness to the south and great views of the High Peaks to the north on clear days. 
The Wakely Mountain Firetower offers the best views from the wooded summit.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest 44.3097817,-75.3235516
Inlet, NY 13360
Wolf Lake was named by French Louie himself, after he saw many wolves in the area. He and Charles Henderson have been photographed here.
Moose River Plains
Inlet, NY 13360
Don't let an intimidating name fool you. This little pond is well worth the effort. Great views and frequent wildlife sightings should put this short trip on your to-do list.
Helldiver Pond is scenic and easy to access with an easy carry.
Wells, NY 12190
Take a walk beneath towering old growth pines and mature spruce trees on this leisurely trail. A mix of fields, wetlands, marshes, and hardwoods keeps the scenery changing every step of the way.
Route 30
Long Lake, NY 12847
A fully accessible wilderness area located near Long Lake, it has picnic areas for day trips, space for overnights, and room to enjoy the wilderness.

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.

1
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.
2
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
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.
6
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.
7
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.