LAKE PLACID – If you ever wondered how popular hiking is in the Lake Placid Adirondack region, just take a drive down Route 73 any weekend from this point forward in the season. Drive slowly because the word is out – these mountains have become a mecca for hiking.
The hiking menu that’s offered just a few minutes from the Mirror Lake Inn is quite varied. It ranges from a quick drive to the Cobble Mountain trail head and an equally quick, steep hike that many local people take on at lunch time.
Or you can go for the full Monty of Adirondack hiking experiences – the marathon of ascending Mount Marcy, New York State’s highest peak. The trail head, accessible from the Adirondack Loj Road, is no more than 20 minutes from Lake Placid, southeast on Route 73. Before attempting this, check the weather, have your mental and physical faculties about you, as well as ample provisions and the appropriate clothing.
Continue further on Route 73 and park near the Cascade Lakes. Pitchoff is a more pedestrian hike (compared to Marcy), although preparation is also required.
Head in a westerly direction from the Olympic village on Route 86, and in less than five miles, you will come upon the MacKenzie and Wilderness access points. You can pull into a massive parking area and begin your excursion within a few steps of your vehicle. These hikes can be as long and as strenuous as you want to make them.
Our locale is full of experts in the field, many of them Main Street shop employees. Have them tell you what it means to be a 46er – a privileged and well-conditioned group that has achieved the summit of all 46 Adirondack peaks.
Less daunting, yet equally significant is the hiker who has become a 6er. Several years ago, the village of Saranac Lake created this cluster of half a dozen peaks with a familiar sounding moniker.
There’s so much to choose from that a good place to start your research is not Google in this exercise, but instead some local businesses whose business is hiking.
Stores such as Eastern Mountain Sports and High Peaks Cyclery, separated by a 10 minute walk, are replete with employees who speak the hiking gospel, and are must-stops for those who seek up-to-date information.
These people will gladly tell you to take a hike, and you’ll enjoy every step of the trip.