BIG Outdoors

Big Outdoors

The Adirondacks are notorious for going big no matter the season. From hiking and paddling in summer, to catching some powder by snowshoe or downhill-skiing in winter, the region is equipped for any adventure all year round. Especially in our few warmer months, when the mountains are ripe with green trees, trails, and brilliant blue lakes, that's when this region shines brightest. Here, you’ll find some pretty BIG experiences. Here’s a list of all the big things to cross off your list when you visit Hamilton County this season!

A man paddles off the shore in Long Lake.

Biggest lake

To find the biggest lake in Hamilton County, you won’t have to look too hard. In the town aptly named for the lake it sits on, Long Lake easily takes the prize for biggest lake in the region. Spanning 14 miles, Long Lake is a hub for all things water sports. Enjoy boating, paddling, fishing, and swimming in this gigantic body of water. While Long Lake may get choppy on the odd windy day, its temperament is perfect for SUPs to grace the surface throughout the season. When winter hits, the party doesn’t stop! Locals and visitors alike partake in ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling when the lake freezes over.

A family on top of Coney Mountain.

Biggest view

For 360-degree views and a chance to feast your eyes on all the mountains around you, Coney Mountain offers it all. Perfect for the whole family, the trail up to the top gradually increases around the peak, instead of a steep incline. Steadily climb up and snap some pictures of the breathtaking views. Nearest to Coney Mountain are the waters of Tupper Lake, and the thick wooded hills of Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. For the daring, take your views even further by visiting at night to catch some magnificent stargazing.

Castle rock panoramic view.

Biggest hike

Chimney Mountain is probably one of the most breathtaking views in the Adirondacks, and for good reason! Standing proudly above the town of Indian Lake, Chimney Mountain peaks above the rest in Hamilton county. Standing at a staggering 2600 ft. elevation, this mountain is a challenge, but an exhilarating climb with an awesome view at the top. Named for the naturally formed "chimney" made of a rock formation at the top, visitors can explore the rocky top of the mountain, and embrace the 360-degree views all around!

A team of people paddle through rapids.

Biggest paddle

In Indian Lake you’ll find some incredible paddling on the famous Hudson river. While we might be a few hours from the same Hudson River of New York City, the northern stretch of the river packs just as much of a punch. Take paddling to a whole new level with Hudson River Gorge! The gorge run is a 17 mile, 5-6 hour adventure trip, perfect for white-water rafting and paddling. This is the longest stretch of white water in the whole state! The difficulty class of the river is 3-5 depending on conditions and time of year. In April, riders are limited to 18+, but come summer, adventurers as young as 7+ can come and experience the rapids.

Blue Mountain Lake Beach on a sunny clear day.

Biggest beach

One of the highest elevated beaches in the Adirondacks, Blue Mountain Lake Public Beach offers an incredible beach day for all! While it may not be the biggest  beach around, Blue Mountain Lake's beach offers perfect swimming conditions, a pristine lake, and a beautiful mountain backdrop to gaze upon as you read or sip on your Strong Rope Taproom craft beer. The beach comes prepared for your visit! Including Red-Cross certified lifeguards, a swimming dock, and public restrooms. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days a week. 

A view of OK slip fall's steep drop.

Biggest waterfall

One of the highest falls in the Adirondacks, OK Slip Falls is a towering sight to see. Located in Indian Lake, this hidden gem is relatively new in comparison to some of the region's more notable trails. A new trail was forged in 2014, and since then, travelers have been able to take advantage of the incredible scenery, and the peaceful sounds of the rushing falls. The falls aren't only attractive to human visitors either! The wetlands around the falls attract moose and other critters, so be on the lookout for tracks!

Two people hug a giant pine tree

Biggest trees

Just off the north side of Route 28, lies a thickly settled oasis of old growth virgin pine trees known as Cathedral Pines. These aren't just any pine trees either, some take as many as three adults to wrap all the away around the trunk! The trail is shaped in a .1 mile loop, and while the trees are grandiose, (like a cathedral) the main feature is the plaque of honor for Malcolm L. Blue, a local who was killed in action during WWII. The plaque reads, "This tree created by God and old when our Country was born. Fine and clean and straight - grained like the boy himself, is dedicated in memory of 2nd Lt. Malcolm L. Blue, Navigator of the Liberator Bomber with the Eight Air Force. Killed in action over France, June 2, 1944. Few men have earned so fine a memorial." These trees act as a grand memorial for a fallen soldier, and a spectacle for those who want to surround themselves with some of the biggest trees in the Adirondacks.

Discover more

To find other BIG experiences around the ADK, visit today! Before you go, remember to review the Love Your ADK pledge and Leave No Trace ethics.

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