Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Hikes Outside the Adirondack High Peaks

View from Cobble Lookout
View from Cobble Lookout

The Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Giant Mountain and the Dix Mountains are the most heavily used backcountry area in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. There is significant congestion and few opportunities for solitude. Trailhead parking lots and interior campsites reach capacity on many weekends throughout the hiking season.

The large number of visitors has resulted in trail erosion and damage to vegetation in heavily used areas. Many nearby areas continue to see relatively light use, less trail damage and improved opportunities for solitude.

The following hikes offer excellent opportunities for hikers preferring to seek alternatives to many of the high use trails. They provide a hiking experience similar to a High Peaks hike, including great scenic views, but with fewer people.

View, download, and print this list of hikes (PDF)

Voir, télécharger et imprimer cette liste de randonnées en français liste de randonnées en français (PDF)

Rocky Peak Ridge

The East Trail in the Giant Mountain Wilderness ascends 6.7 miles and 3,600 feet from the trailhead on Route 9 to the 4,420-foot summit of Rocky Peak Ridge and its 360 degree view. Much of the trail is along an open rocky ridge with constant views of the mountains, forests and waters to the north, east and southeast. There are several renowned points along the way to stop and enjoy the magnificent surrounding scenery including Blueberry Cobbles, at the 1.9 mile mark; Bald Mountain at the 3.9 mile mark; and the remote and picturesque Marie Louis Pond at the 6.1 mile mark. The summit provides views of the Sentinel Range, Hurricane Mountain, Lake Champlain and the surrounding valley, the Green Mountains of Vermont, Dix Mountains, the Great Range, eastern High Peaks, and nearby Giant Mountain.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.1499°N, 73.6268°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website) NOTE: Do not hike when the Muddy Trail Advisory is in effect.

Rocky Peak Ridge Trail Map (PDF)

Whiteface Mountain

The Whiteface Landing Trail in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness ascends 6.0 miles and 3,320 feet from the trailhead on State Route 86 to the 4,867-foot summit and its 360 degree views. The first 2.5 miles from the trailhead to the Whiteface Landing on the shores of Lake Placid ascends only 310 feet. The summit provides views of Lake Champlain, Lake Placid, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the High Peaks region, and a large portion of the northeastern Adirondacks. Those seeking a much shorter hike to the summit can drive the recently renovated Whiteface Mountain Veteran's Memorial Highway (fee required) to a parking area near the summit and hike the 0.15-mile trail ascending 200 feet to the summit.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.3002°N, 73.9302°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website) NOTE: Do not hike when the Muddy Trail Advisory is in effect.

Whiteface Mountain Trail Map (PDF)

Owl Head Lookout

View from Owl Head Lookout

The North Trail in the Giant Mountain Wilderness ascends 2.5 miles and 1,110 feet from the trailhead on State Route 9N to a 0.1-mile spur trail that ascends 150 feet to the 2,530-foot lookout point. The lookout provides scenic views of Hurricane Mountain, the Boquet River Valley, Lake Champlain and the surrounding valley, the Green Mountains of Vermont and nearby Giant Mountain.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.2119°N, 73.6788°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Owl Head Lookout Trail Map (PDF)

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain

The Observer's Trail in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest ascends 1.9 miles and 1,280 feet from the trailhead off State Route 9 to the 2,162-foot summit with 360 degree views and a fire tower. Views from the summit include Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and much of the northeastern Adirondacks. The trailhead is just 5 miles south of Exit 33 of the Northway (I-87).

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.4019°N, 73.5029°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain Trail Map (PDF)

Catamount Mountain

This trail in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest ascends 1.8 miles and 1,540 feet from the trailhead on Forestdale Road to the 3,168-foot bedrock summit. The hike includes one steep and exposed scramble. The view from the summit includes Taylor Pond, Silver Lake, Union Falls Pond, the Wilmington Range, the Stephenson Range and Whiteface Mountain.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.4431°N, 73.8799°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Catamount Mountain Trail Map (PDF)

The Crows

This trail in the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness ascends 0.9 mile and 845 feet from the Hurricane Road Trailhead to the 2,535-foot summit of Little Crow Mountain. The summit of 2,815-foot Big Crow Mountain is located 0.6 mile and ascends 280 feet further up the trail. There are numerous scenic views from ledges along the way. Both summits provide views of the East Branch Ausable River Valley and the High Peaks. Hikers can descend 0.5 mile from Big Crow Mountain to their vehicle parked at Crow's Clearing Trailhead or hike O'Toole Road and Hurricane Mountain Road for a 3.5-mile loop hike back to the Hurricane Road Trailhead.

Trailhead Coordinates: Hurricane Road: 44.2583°N, 73.7529°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website); Crow's Clearing: 44.2609°N, 73.7330°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

The Crows Trail Map (PDF)

Bear Den Mountain

View from Bear Den

This trail in the Whiteface Mountain Intensive Use Area ascends 1.6 miles and 1,160 feet from a trailhead near the parking area for Kid Campus of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area to the 2,400-foot summit of Bear Den Mountain. Enjoy spectacular views of Whiteface Mountain including the ski trails and summit. The trail is part of the Flume Trail Network and is open to the public for day use free of charge. Bikes are allowed on the first 0.4 mile of the trail. The summit provides views of the West Branch Ausable River Valley, Sentinel Range, Stephenson Range and the ski trails and summit of Whiteface Mountain. Parking at Kids Campus is free. Overnight parking is prohibited.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.3595,°N, 73.8576°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Bear Den Mountain Trail Map (PDF)

Silver Lake Mountain

This trail in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest ascends 0.9 mile and 900 feet from the trailhead on the Silver Lake Road. The summit offers views of Silver Lake, McKenzie Mountain, Moose Mountain, Taylor Pond, Catamount Mountain, Whiteface Mountain and the Wilmington Range.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.5110°N, 73.8483°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Silver Lake Trail Map (PDF)

Whiteface Landing

This 2.5-mile trail is the first portion of the Whiteface Mountain Trail. It only ascends 310 feet from the trailhead to the shore of Lake Placid, where you can view McKenzie Mountain, Moose Mountain, Moose Island, and the surrounding wilderness lands across the lake.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.3002°N, 73.9302°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Whiteface Landing Trail Map (PDF)

Copperas & Owen Ponds

This trail in the Sentinel Range Wilderness extends 1.7 miles between two trailheads located on State Route 86. The trail ascends 450 feet for 0.5 mile to the clear waters of Copperas Pond and then continues 0.7 miles to the shores of Owen Pond. The trail provides views of the scenic wilderness ponds, their picturesque shorelines and 3,616-foot Stewart Mountain and 3,892-foot Kilburn Mountain.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.3349°N, 73.9003°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Copperas & Owen Ponds Trail Map (PDF)

Copperas Pond

Cobble Lookout

This trail in the Wilmington Wild Forest extends 1.3 miles with little change in elevation from a trailhead on Gillespie Drive (aka Franklin Falls Road) to a large rocky ledge with views of nearby Whiteface Mountain, and across the Ausable River drainage to Jay Mountain, Hurricane Mountain, and many other peaks.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.4040°N, 73.8789°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Cobble Lookout Trail Map (PDF)

Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails

This trail system located on the southwestern shore of Lake Placid consists of three trails loops - Boundary Trail, Ridge Trail, and Lakeshore Trail - bisected by an old dirt roadway. The trails wind over gently rolling terrain and

are self-guided nature trails that may be explored using the brochures provided at the trailhead by the Lake Placid Garden Club.

Trailhead Coordinates: 44.2996°N, 73.9948°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails Map (PDF)