The 46 High Peaks
High Peaks Region is famous for its magnificant
46 peaks including Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New york State,
with an elevation of 5344' .The 46 peaks include the following mountains
(listed in order of height):
Adirondack Trail Guide
and Hiking Resource Center
BE AWARE: Back country hiking trails can be rugged and rough - they are not maintained as park walkways - wear proper footwear!
REMEMBER: Weather and trail conditions can change rapidly, especially during fall, winter and spring. Plan and prepare accordingly.
ALWAYS: Inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return.
Use map to determine area of interest and check below for the Forest Preserve units found in each area.
Please be careful while hiking in the back country in the springtime.
The trails are muddy but if you are hiking or camping please do not swing
wide on the trails. This hurts the traffic on the trail for the rest of
the year. Please just walk through the mud! Thank you!!
Hiking - Baxter Mountain
When I think of the best time of the year to hike in the Adirondacks, I recall the words of a forest ranger I'd met at Adirondack Loj headquarters at Heart Lake, "You just can't beat being in these peaks in the fall. The bugs are gone, the air is cool, and the color of the leaves, well, they'll make you stop what you're doing and make you think you'd gone to heaven."
I was in the mood for a little bit of heaven last Friday. As it was just the first week of September, the weather was still warm. In fact, today's high called for a record 90° with the potential for afternoon thunderstorms. But a glance out of my cabin window to the top of a century-old maple revealed the first scarlet hues of fall.
Fall foliage here is kind of like watching a puppy grow up. It happens quickly, and if you don't pause now and then to enjoy it you'll miss it.
Another tip on hiking in the area is that you don't have to climb one of the legendary 46 Peaks to get a great view. In fact, there are a dozen or so smaller mountains that offer a rewarding wilderness experience, and that are ideal for families looking for a short hike.
One of my favorites is Baxter Mountain overlooking the village of Keene Valley. The most popular trail, which is just over a mile in length for this the 2,440' peak, begins off of Route 9 and on Spruce Hill. The sign's a little faded, but keep your eyes peeled on the right hand side of the road. If you come to the Baxter Mountain Tavern on the left you've just missed the start of the trail.
The land here is privately owned, but remains open to all except hunters, fishermen and campers. Just off the highway the trail begins through a field of purple Aster, Golden Rod and daisies, sure signs that fall is on the way, and continues into a forest of pines that provide welcome shade.
The path to the summit can be accomplished casually in under an hour and offers a generally moderate grade. Along the way you'll see a nice variety of maples, paper birch balsams and hemlocks. Occasionally, you'll also see enormous glacial erratic boulders that offer a convenient spot to sit and rest. These boulders, left in place after the last ice age some 10,000 years ago, are layered in places with a luxurious carpet of emerald mosses that remain cool and moist throughout the day.
Following a series of gentle switchbacks, the approach to the peak becomes steeper, but soon levels off to a series of overlooks with stunning views of the valleys below and peaks of the Great Range including the tallest in New York State, 5,344' Mount Marcy. Continuing on to the final summit you'll be able to look down to the village of Keene Valley nestled in the base of the surrounding mountains.
As with much in life, timing is everything. If you begin your climb at around 10 o'clock, you'll be back at the trailhead at about noon and just in time for lunch at the Baxter Mountain Tavern, about an eighth of a mile north on Route 9N. The restaurant's been a landmark for decades, and for the past 10 years has been run by Dave Deyo.
Dave describes the menu as typical "Adirondack Continental", which includes casual fare such as the Baxter Mt. Burger, a hardy 8-ouncer, with sautéed mushrooms and onions topped with melted American cheese, lettuce and tomato at $7.95. Or try a house specialty, the sesame encrusted tuna served over fresh baby spinach and topped with a wasabi sauce for $15.95. For a beautiful view of the surrounding peaks try the Tavern's, spacious deck.
Have children? Please visit Adirondack Kids and check out their Hiking Trails. Hikes the whole family can take! To find places to set up camp, check out camping the summer Sports section.
Regional Book Favorites
Adirondack Hiking Resources
End Hikers/Skiers Lodge HC01 Box 103, Keene Valley, New York 12943 - (518)
576-9860 or 800-281-9860
Saranac Lake, New York 12983
Phone: 518-891-3745 Fax: 518-891-3768
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