Not far into our road trip, we came up with the idea to go to the Adirondack Mountains in the north of New York State to check out some hiking trails. Neither John nor I have ever been there, and now is the time to go eventually! 

To my surprise, the Adirondacks are not part of the Appalachians; it is a mountain range that forms a circular dome with a diameter of roughly 160 miles west of the Appalachians. The Adirondacks are uplifted by a hot spot in the Canadian Shield and formed by glaciers and erosion forces. Therefore, many valleys and lakes can be found between over a hundred summits. 

The most famous town in the Adirondacks is Lake Placid, which became famous as a winter sports resort because of having been the location of the Olympic Winter Games in 1932 and 1980. For whatever reason I always thought that is a city in the Rocky Mountains. 

It’s a popular sport to tick off all the so-called High Peaks of the Adirondacks. These peaks are often referred to as just 46ers. One of the criteria to meet is at least 4,000 ft in height; however, exceptions are made. 

John and I ticked two of these peaks off the list (not that one existed). We hiked up Cascade Mountain and neighboring Porter Mountain. 

Hiking in the Adirondacks is muddy, rugged, steep, and exhausting. If you’d expect to find excellent and easy mountain trails … yeah, no. 

We were very happy that we brought our poles, a lot of water, and the excitement to climb up mountains with the prospect of being rewarded with some fantastic views from the top. After having started the hike up Cascade Mountain among a dense deciduous forest, the climb began: the trail was beaten by many hikers, and the paths widened left and right into the woods to avoid the mud in the trail’s center. After crossing some streams, the trail wound its way uphill. Over roots and rocks, we made our way up. At some point, the trees turned to pine, and the path became brighter as the forest roof opened to the sky. We were already soaked in sweat as it was scalding and very humid. The closer we got to the top, the more steep slabs we had to scramble up. Fortunately, the granite of these mountains is quite rugged, so our shoes found enough grip to make it relatively easy to go up. In the last 15 minutes, we climbed up above the tree line. The slabs almost felt like steps leading toward the summit.

As we started relatively late in the day, only a handful of other people were on top of Cascade Mountain. While enjoying an incredible 360-degree view over the whole Adirondack Mountains, we had a conversation with a guy who turned out to be a summit steward. These people spend the day at the summit of popular mountains, educate hikers about the pristine yet fragile alpine flora, and answer questions about the area. After we could ask all our questions and learn more about the area, we snapped a couple of pictures and made our way down from the summit to the junction with the trail leading towards Porter Mountain. So, after also ticking Porter Mountain off the list, we eventually made our way down and arrived back at the car, totally soaked in sweat, tired, but happy about an exciting hiking day. 

The next day we continued our way east towards Vermont, but before we left the Adirondacks, we stopped at the foot of Black Mountain and hiked to its summit. Up on top, we met only one other person: A man from Baltimore whose grandparents immigrated to the US from Germany. It was a delightful conversation. After a break and marveling at excellent views over Lake George, we slowly descended the mountain on the different trails that led us through a nice variety of forest areas and along a couple of ponds. As exciting of a hiking area as the Adirondacks are, we want to continue into Vermont and New Hampshire. But we will be back to explore the Adirondacks further and probably also to tick more of the 46ers off our list. 


Exploring the world and myself by two feet.

Kommentar verfassen

%d Bloggern gefällt das: