Making the most of five days in the Adirondacks

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of January 30-February 5, 1997
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Making the most of five days in the Adirondacks
Utah skiing and biking--in the same week

Making the most of five days in the Adirondacks
Question: A friend and I are planning a five-day trip to northeast New York. We would like to do some hiking and canoeing. We want to make the most of the five days and would invite any suggestions you might have to do this. Thanks for the help.

Rob Cobb
Bowling Green, OH
[email protected]

Explore New York's Saranac Lake system by boat and by foot
Adventure Adviser: My best advice for making the most of five days in the Adirondacks: Base yourself in the Lake Placid area, spend two or three days paddling the Saranac Lake system, and then make the short hop to the Adirondack Loj, an ideal jumping-off point for a two-day backcountry trek. If you don't feel like car-topping your boats, Jones Outfitters in Lake Placid (518-523-3468) rents canoes by the day and will assist you in route-planning.

A great three-day trip starts on Flower Lake in the town of Saranac Lake and heads north through the locks into Lower Saranac Lake and Upper Saranac Lake. There's plenty of camping on state-owned stretches of lakeshore, keeping in mind, though, that it's best to steer clear of private property. As for backpacking, park at the Adirondack Loj, about 10 miles southeast of Lake Placid, off New York 73. You'll need to fork over a small parking fee and be prepared to battle the crowds if you go on a weekend.

I recommend an overnight loop hike to the summit of Algonquin Peak (great views), then down a steep trail to Lake Colden and to the sheer rock cliffs at Avalanche Lake. Set up camp at Marcy Dam, 10 miles from your start, and the next day scramble up the Mount Van Hoevenburg trail to the summit of Mount Marcy, New York's highest peak. As usual, be prepared for a wide range of weather and pick up topo maps at the Loj before you leave. For other route suggestions and information, call the Loj at 518-523-3480 and check out Outside's Adirondack write-up in the forthcoming April issue.

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