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, where a lot of the land is publicly owned and available for recreation. 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 specially so in colder months. In winter, it is especially 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.

Route 28N
Newcomb, NY 12852
Goodnow is a very prominent peak when seen from Route 28N. This ragged-looking mountain is home to one of the remaining fire towers in the Adirondacks.
The view from the Goodnow Mountain firetower is one of the best in the Adirondacks.
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 421
Piercefield, NY 12973
Lows Overlook is such a beautiful destination; it's hard to put a description into words! Overlooking the breathtaking Bog River, the views here will surely leave you inspired to explore this area further!
The hike to Lows Overlook ends with a gorgeous vista.
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.
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.
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
Nicks Lake Campground is a state DEC Campground. Over 100 campsites are available for reservation. In winter, it is open for snowmobiling.
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.
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
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
Sawyer is one of the more popular routes in the Indian Lake Region, mainly due to its excellent payoff for little effort. Fun for the entire family, Sawyer should not be missed.
Gorgeous views from the summit of Sawyer Mountain.
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Combine paddling and hiking for this fun adventure!
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
Pillsbury Mountain is one of those peaks that has a spectacular, remote, backcountry feel. A maze of scenic backroads will get you there, but you need to take it slow as they can be very rough at times.
Route 30
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
For the better part of the last century, Blue Mountain has been one of the most frequently climbed Adirondack mountains. And for good reason! The striking view, with Blue Mountain Lake below, is very popular among locals and visitors alike.
Blue Mountain is near the center of many lakes.
Route 30
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Snowy is one of the more demanding hikes in Hamilton County and is also one of the 100 highest highest peaks in the Adirondacks. Its steep trail and rugged terrain will make you earn every bit of this mountain's elevation.
A wonderfully framed sunrise is the reward for a winter campout.