Ten Fine Hikes in the Adirondacks
We’ve been hiking in the Adirondacks since 2009, with our dedication really picking up starting in 2012. We hiked 45 out of the 46 High Peaks between July 2012 and August 2014, a span of just over 2 years, commuting from West Chester (PA) to do so.
This was the first year after completing the 46, so we were free to explore new and interesting peaks and trails, both 46er High Peaks and smaller summits or outlooks.
Our trip up started with a stop at the amazing, underrated Mount Adams. The Mt. Adams firetower has been painstakingly restored, by hand, and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks. We timed our visit perfectly, catching the exiting clouds from the morning rain.
The following day was a new trail to a previously-visited summit, taking the Scenic Trail to Sawteeth. Scenic it was, with numerous lookouts along the way starting with Indian Head & Fish Hawk Cliffs and ending with sweeping vistas over the Ausable Lakes. The summit offered excellent views back towards the Great Range, with Basin Mountain and Gothics dominating.
We decided for a shorter trip the next day, a 2.5-mile hike to Rooster Comb. I had summited Rooster Comb on my way to my partial Great Range Traverse in 2014, so this was Kathy’s first visit. Some rain moved over and cleared out in time for us to enjoy a lovely summit all to ourselves.
August 2 saw us re-tackle our hardest summit from the original 46, Mount Skylight. We chose the route which we had to bail on the first time, going over-and-back Mount Marcy. The climbing was exhilarating and worth every bit, with absolutely perfect weather and views all day long.
After a rest day, we tackled what we assumed would be an easy hike up Round Mountain. Perhaps it was tired legs (or our respective nagging injuries) but the hike up Round Mountain was exhausting, luckily it sported some excellent and sweeping views of the Great Range and Dix Mountain.
The following day would be the true rest day, with two easy walks to the similarly-named Owl Head Lookout in Elizabethtown and Owls Head in Keene. The latter offers terrific little views with only a 15-minute hike.
Our company joined us for the next three hikes, with their first Adirondack High Peak being a repeat of our 46th – Mount Colden via Lake Arnold. We would have an excellent day for hiking, if a bit chilly on the summit. As with last year, we loved the hike and the mountain, and were happy to share with loved ones.
Feeling strong after a 12-mile hike up Mount Colden, we headed to the Ausable Club the following day to hike Dial Mountain. While more of a challenge than the previous day, we all toughed out another High Peak and were rewarded with excellent weather and views. We were treated to the fastest milkshakes ever after the ups-and-downs to Dial.
Despite the difficult day, our intrepid new hikers wanted to hike one more High Peak before they had to leave, so we opted for the beautiful (and easier) Big Slide Mountain. Again with simply ideal weather and beautiful vistas over the Great Range, we were able to finish in time for a late lunch back in Keene.
On our last day, I opted for a solo hike on new trails, summiting Porter Mountain over Little Porter Mountain and descending via Blueberry Mountain. While only requiring 2,800 vertical feet of ascent over the little-used and lovely Little Porter, there was over 4,000 feet of sometimes-rough descent over also-lovely Blueberry Mt.