Last month when my sister came up from NJ for her birthday weekend in Lake Placid, she wanted to do an easy hike with great views. I suggested Mount VanHoevenberg! It was only about 4 miles RT and boasted great views of the high peaks. The trailhead is located on South Meadows Rd, which is a dirt road off of Loj Road in Lake Placid. There were cars lined up along Loj Road (busy day in the high peaks, I guess), but there weren’t many on South Meadows. We parked, met up with my parents who were joining us for the hike, and set off!
The trail starts out easy. It curves around a pond and then starts to climb. It wasn’t ever too steep.
It took us about 2 hours to get to the summit. It was a cloudy day, but there were still some great views! It must be incredible on a clear day. If I were hiking my usual hiking speed, I probably could have summited in an hour.
Overall, it was a fantastic hike! I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting out, or if you are looking for an easy, quick hike in the High Peaks/Lake Placid area with some fantastic views.
Mount Van Hoevenberg
Distance: 4.5 mi RT
Total time: 3 hrs, 43 minutes (including stops)
Last weekend I was in Lake Placid for my sister’s birthday. We rented a cabin at the ADK Loj, did some hiking and then had dinner at Big Slide Brewery. I’ll get to the hike later, but now I want to recap the trails Jordan and I rode while we were up there. My sister and her husband Brian left early on Sunday to drive back down to NJ, so Sunday was the perfect time to hit the trails. Our friends Jason and Aubrey met us at the trailhead just outside of Lake Placid on Riverside Drive. The trail system (called Lussi and Loggers) is right off the famous Jackrabbit Trail.
Trailforks is my favorite mtb app, it has trail maps that are categorized by difficulty; very handy to have while on the trail!
There are lots of features to ride here. The trails are technical but not to horrible, as I could ride everything, minus a few of the skinny bridges. Lots of roots and rocks, though!
And plus the views were just amazing.
Riders have the option of riding down the boulder below. Not me, yet…
We covered about 13 miles in ~4 hours. It was my longest mtb ride yet!
Memorial day weekend was jam-packed with Adirondack fun. Last Sunday was the Adirondack 46rs Annual Spring Banquet, so I made plans with Jordan and my parents to stay in Lake Placid so we could attend. Jordan and I planned on mountain biking Sunday, but the trails were a sloppy mess due to recent rains, so we hiked instead. There is still a mud warning for the high peaks areas (DEC advises to stay off of trails above 2500′–but a lot of people disregard these advisories unfortunately) so we hiked Little Crow and Big Crow mountains in the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness. The bonus of hiking these little peaks is that there are hardly any people on the trails because everyone is busy bagging high peaks. Plus, it’s on the list of recommended alternative hikes during mud season.
The trail to the Crows is located off of Hurricane Mountain Road, off of Route 73 in Keene. There are a couple options when staring this hike. It can be done as a loop, with a road walk at the end back to your car, or an out and back. There is also the option to hike part of the Nun-da-ga-o Ridge. Jordan and I just had time for a short hike since we had to be at the banquet in Lake Placid at around 5pm. We signed in and started hiking the trail to Big Crow. It was such a nice trail!
In about 20 minutes we were at the summit of Big Crow and had magnificent views of the high peaks.
Even though it only took 2o minutes, the trail is steep, complete with rock scrambling.
We followed the cairns down the other side of Big Crow, which was a little tricky since it was very steep. It might be sketchy if it was wet or icy! Thankfully it was dry!
Shortly after we were at the col between Little Crow and Big Crow, it was so pretty.
We hiked along the ridge to Little Crow, where we stopped and admired the view and had a snack.
The whole hike took 2 hours and 12 minutes, including stops. It was great!
Little Crow and Big Crow Mountain Distance 2.17 miles RT Ascent 917′ Time 2 hrs, 12 minutes
After the hike, we headed into Lake Placid to check into our hotel. My parents were already there and had been paddling on Lake Placid, since our hotel was right on the lake. Lake Placid is not to be confused with Mirror Lake, the lake right on the main street of Lake Placid, the village. Lake Placid is much bigger!
Jordan and I took their canoe out for a little bit–we had some great views of Whiteface!
After our paddle, we got ready and headed back into the Village for the 46rs banquet. There were over 700 new 46r finishers in 2016–myself included! 211 of us were at the banquet to receive our certificates. It was great to be awarded with an actual certificate after finishing the 46–I’m proud to be member of the club!
The next morning, we had breakfast at Generations Lake Placid, a restaurant right on Mirror Lake that my dad had recommended. I never would have thought to try it for breakfast–it was fantastic! The menu had an Adirondack theme to each of their meals.
And we had a great view!
Because it was raining pretty hard, we decided to head home–but not without a stop at the Mountaineer. The Mountaineer is one of my favorite stores, for good reason. They have so much awesome hiking gear! It was so crowded on this rainy day–what else can hikers do except drool over hiking gear if we can’t hike? We spent about an hour looking at packs for Jordan. He doesn’t have a hiking or backpacking pack, so he bought an awesome Osprey pack. We’ll have to put it good use this summer!
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend! Mine was fantastic!
The past few weeks have been pretty great. I started my Dietetic Internship, did a few other hikes, and this past weekend got together with my closest hiking friends for a weekend in the Adirondacks.
Brendan, Jenna, her friend Colleen and I booked a camp site at Rollins Pond in Saranac Lake for two nights. We had the best camp site! It was big, secluded, and right on the pond, complete with its own beach. How had I never camped here before?? We arrived Saturday afternoon, set up camp, and cooked dinner. We went to bed pretty early because we had a big hike on the agenda for the next day, Basin and Saddleback Mountains!
One of the things I’d suggest about doing this hike is waiting until you have perfect weather. We got up at 4:30am, cooked breakfast and drove the 1 hr 15 minutes to Keene Valley to park at the Garden Trailhead. The Garden parking lot is small and famous for being full at early hours, but we were lucky and snagged the last spot! If it had been full, we would have had to take a shuttle from another lot a few miles away, which would have sucked if we missed the last shuttle after hiking all day.
We started hiking at 7am. The trail is nice and easy for the first 6.8 miles. It was a lovely walk in the woods. We passed the John’s Brook Lodge, where I stayed a few years ago when hiking Haystack. I hadn’t been on this trail since.
We arrived at Slant Rock and took a connector trail to the Great Range Trail on to head up to Basin first. We chose to do a counter-clockwise loop so we could climb the famous cliffs of Saddleback rather than descend them. But I’ll get to that later. First, we had to hike up to Basin! After 9 miles of hiking, we got to the summit. There were a few sketchy spots but nothing too bad.
Basin makes 41/46. Getting so close!
Next up: Saddleback. I had been fearing this part of the 46ers journey for the past few years. Saddleback is known for its tricky ascent up some steep cliffs. It was about a mile in between the two so I had time to prepare and convince myself that I had this!
The photo below sums it up…Jenna pulling herself up the side of the rock.
There were only two big sections that I had trouble with. Thankfully, a nice guy was there to help push my foot up behind me. If it wasn’t for him I probably would have had a little freak out.
The whole climb of the cliffs lasted about 15 minutes, but felt longer. We were so happy to be at the top. We shared the summit with a group who was finishing their 46. How awesome! That’s going to be me soon. 🙂
42 peaks done! This was such an epic hike (and probably one of my favorites so far!) It was just what I needed after some previously soul-crushing hikes.
Some day I’d like to hike the Great Range in its entirety. We stopped for a breather and a few snacks on the summit before heading down the other side of the Saddleback, down the Ore Bed Trail.
This trail was phenomenal. There was an enormous slide to the left of the trail, which was actually wooden stairs following the slide all the way down to the base. It was insane!
On the way back out to the car we stopped at the Johns Brook Lodge briefly to refill our water bottles. I had brought my MSR pump, but didn’t need it. The last 5 miles of the hike were pretty, but uneventful.
Basin and Saddleback Mountains Counter-clockwise loop from the Garden trail head
Distance: ~17 mi RT
Time: 11 hours, including stops
Gear used: Osprey Sirrus day pack, Salomon hiking shoes, EMS hiking pants, tasc long sleeve merino/bamboo blend shirt (unpictured), Smartwool hiking socks, 2 L Camelbak bladder, 1 L Nalgene
We got back to the car and promptly drove to Tail o the Pup BBQ joint in Raybrook, in between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, for some BBQ and beverages to celebrate hiking Saddleback and Basin.
We got back to our camp site at about 9pm. I was exhausted. I crawled into my sleeping bag and passed out. It was probably the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a tent in a long time. The next morning, I enjoyed some coffee by the pond. It was so relaxing.
It was a great way to end the summer. I have to say, I’ve had a pretty epic one.
Last weekend Jordan and I attended a wedding up in Lake Placid. Of course I had to stop and pull over on the side of the road to enjoy the views of my favorite peaks. Sometimes I just stare at them and think–wow, I can’t believe I’ve climbed most of those! They look so big, even from far away.
On the way home I stopped at one of my favorite hikes, Owls Head, in Keene. I hiked it with my parents last summer and knew it was easy (it was a spur of the moment decision). I happened to have a pair of hiking boots in my car. Jordan and I had separate vehicles so I was on my own, but it was totally worth it.
The trip up to Owls Head took me 30 minutes, since it was only .6 miles one way. A great way to end a really awesome weekend in my favorite spot.