I always thought we don’t have any mountains here in the East coast. That’s why whenever I would get a few days off from work I would make a trip to the West coast for some mountain therapy. Well, this year however, one of my goals has been to explore more destinations near me…or, better yet, in the county I live in (more to come on my Canadian adventures soon!). Hence, this Canada day long weekend I decided to plan a getaway to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. (You see the irony here…. it’s Canada day long weekend..decided to spend it in New York…) In case you’re lost on what I’m talking about…the Adirondack park is comprised of 46 peaks over 4,000 feet that make up ‘The High Peaks’ area. This is why some people refer to the Adirondacks as the 46ers.
Here are some key points you should know if you are interested in visiting the Adirondacks:
1. It’s a 6-7 hours drive from Toronto.
Once you cross the Canada and the U.S. border, and after you drive for about an hour, you enter the High Peaks Wilderness. It’s a nice scenic drive that passes through mountains and forest on a twisting single lane road. This part of the drive is actually quite scenic and enjoyable!
Below is a map of the Adirondacks park
2. Lake Placid the is the main village where you’ll find the most shops and restaurants.
Lake placid has hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics so you will find plenty of attractions and activities here for sport enthusiasts! One of the main attraction is to visit the Olympic training museum over there, apparently! We saw many bikers training on biking the road all the way to the summit of Whiteface Mountain. You can find a bunch of cute ‘lil shops and restaurants again. And yes… there is also a Starbucks.
3. Whiteface Mountain
You must visit this mountain while you’re in the area. It’s is the 5th highest peak in New York State, standing at 4,867 feet high. And if you’re thinking “I’m too lazy to hike a mountain”…Do not worry! One of the cool things about this place is that there is actually a road that takes you all the way to the top, where you’ll find a castle & cafe that serves lunch and snacks. Then, you can ascend 27 stories by elevator to the very summit of the mountain where you will be welcomed with 360 degrees views of the area!!
Ya it’s not hiking anymore but how many mountains are there that you can take an elevator to the summit?! It’s an experience by itself! Alternatively if you don’t take the elevator up, when you park your car you can hike up the Alpine Nature Trail path with railings on the sides to the top. Alpine Nature Trail would take roughly about half and hour to complete. There is a fee of $11/person to enter the road to the summit. Once you’re at the summit you can see as far as Montreal on a clear day!
4. Pick a trail you like to hike and find out the exact trail entrance and time it takes to finish it.
There is tons of hiking trails in the Adirondacks to choose from. I hiked Cascade mountain and Noonmark Mountain Trail..you can see some pictures of it below.
Another hike that I would recommend for great views is the Indian Head and Fish Hawk trail, which unfortunately I didn’t have time to complete. I would recommend to set aside 5-6hrs for both Cascade mountain and Indian head trail. Noonmark Mountain can be done round-trip in about 3 hours. If you want to see some of the best hikes in Adirondack you can visit their official page by clicking clicking here. Researching the trail you like to hike and knowing exactly where the trail entrance is and how much time it requires will save you a lot of hassle on the day.
5. Where to Stay
To stay in Lake Placid you can either search for hotels on Kayak.com orrr.. if you’re like me and would like to have a more authentic experience when visiting a new city, you can search for house/room rentals on airbnb.ca . Don’t forget you can get $50 towards your first booking when you use my referral code to sign up ;).. for that you can simply click here. We stayed in an airbnb during our trip and not only did we have a great comfortable stay, but we also saved a ton by not having to pay long weekend prices at hotels in the area! You know what that means? More adventure opportunity!
I hope this inspired you to get out and explore more places..especially the ones right near you. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find. Did you find this helpful? Inspiring? Boring?! Leave me a comment below and let me know!