Dispatches from The Inn

Hiking the Lake Placid Adirondacks region

Gray Peak in the Lake Placid Adirondacks region

By day Chelsea Walker styles hair in our award-winning spa/salon. But on her days off she prepares a backpack, and takes her four-legged pal Ryder into the woods of the Lake Placid Adirondacks region. Here is Chelsea’s latest blog.

In the midst of the busy summer season here at the Mirror Lake Inn, I’m working hard to find time for the great Adirondack outdoors. But it’s important to make time to enjoy the environment around Lake Placid. So let’s get you up to date.

The month of June was very busy for me between work, a visit from the parents, moving, and some outdoor activities I could do around Lake Placid. But what I did do was every bit of amazing that it could be.

Redfield in the Lake Placid Adirondacks region

Chelsea recently hiked Redfield, one of the 46 peaks in the Lake Placid Adirondacks region

While the parents were in town we went to Blue Mountain Lake to check out the Adirondack Museum. I highly recommend this to anyone. It’s just 63 miles from Lake Placid. A truly great museum with exceptional exhibits! It was well worth the admission prices! Also if you are a resident of the Adirondacks you receive half price membership!

On June 11 the trail crew (my pup Ryder and my companion Dan) and I left Lake Placid and set out for Gray. We decided to go up Marcy then to Gray. This was my second ascent up Marcy in exactly two weeks.

The highlight of our day occurred 15-20 minutes into our hike, about 1.5 miles from the Loj trailhead heeding to Marcy Dam. There it was. A big bull moose 20-30 feet on the trail ahead of us. My trail partner and I are fairly quiet mission hikers, which is why I feel we were lucky enough to see the moose. He never heard us coming. And there it was….proof beyond tracks in the mud, for my own eyes to see.

That just set the mood for the rest of our hike. We scaled Marcy in under three hours. Made great time and had fairly decent weather. Cool and windy, but no rain. Gray is a fairly easy hike for most. There is one cairn that marks the trail at the base, and it is pretty straightforward on where to go next. It was not my favorite Adirondacks hike, but I enjoyed it very much as I do all of them for their own little unique traits.

June 26 I scaled McKenzie in the morning with Ryder, and then Pitchoff in the afternoon with the full team (Ryder, Dan and I). Pitchoff was a fun scramble of a hike and the reward at the top is breathtaking! Of course we followed up our hike with a nice dip in the Cascade Lakes.

The rest of June was spent moving but I found relief running the pup on the Peninsula and Jack Rabbit trails right in Lake Placid….another bonus to living in such an amazing place. There is so much to do locally. If you are short on time there is still a way to find your outlet.

Pitchoff Mountain in the Lake Placid Adirondacls region

One of the popular hikes around Lake Placid is Pitchoff Mountain

Most recently, July 9, Redfield was the latest grab. I have heard so many negative things about Redfield, as I have others. And really this might be a favorite of mine. It’s out there, depending on which way you go in. We seem to favor Avalanche Pass, mostly because the Lake Arnold trails are such a mess. We didn’t want to waste the gas driving to the Upper Works trailhead and we didn’t feel like climbing Marcy yet again. So we chose Avalanche Pass making this easily a 20 mile day hike. But it was worth every step.

Redfield has a herd path marked by a cairn on the south side of the trail from the uphill lean-to. Follow it in just a bit and it Ys to the right for Cliff, left for Redfield. Most do them together, but I did Cliff last November intending to do Redfield as well, but had to bail due to below zero temps and other ailments.

The herd path winds up the brook with stunning views behind you. Following the cairns up the brook, reaching the top, we met a group of five, one of which had just finished his 46 peaks on Redfield. It was nice to be part of his moment, also knowing mine is coming soon.

We all have our reasons for choosing to climb the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondacks and Lake Placid, and they may different than the guy next to you. But its moments out there on the trail, that for a short moment in time, you are a big part of a stranger’s life, but you’re not really strangers at all.

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