The open summit ledges provide one of the best views of the High Peaks to be attained for such little effort. This is an interesting loop trip sure to please young hikers. The only caution is that the parking lots at Adirondac Loj often fill up on weekends - especially holiday weekends and any weekend in the fall. When the lots are full, one must walk an extra mile along the road to the start. However, the trail to Mt. Van Hoevenberg is nearby on Meadow Lane, and that is a good alternative.
Mt Jo Trailhead: From Lake Placid, go east on Rt. 73 to Adirondac Loj Rd., which is the first right after the ski jumps. The parking lots are 5 miles from Rt. 73. There is a $10/day parking fee. From the parking lot at the High Peaks Information Center at the end of Adirondak Loj Rd. return to the entrance station and find the trail at the far corner of the snowplow turnaround.
Description: The trail descends gently 300 yds. to a road next to Heart Lake. Turn right for 60 yds. and the true start of the trail to Mt. Jo. After 1/4 mile of climb, there is a junction. The Short Trail goes right while the Long trail goes straight. The Short Trail is only 0.2 mi. shorter, but is considerably steeper and rougher, so the Long Trail is better for most family groups. The two trails rejoin just before the summit. Total distance 1.1 mi. or 1.3 mi. depending on which trail is taken.
2.6 miles RT, Moderate Climb, Elevation 2876', Parking fee. ($10 as of 2013)
Time in hours:
Family with Young Kids: To Summit: 1.25 Round Trip: 2.5
Experienced Hiker: To Summit: .75 Round Trip: 2.0
Out of Shape Hiker: To Summit: 1.0 Round Trip: 2.25
Photos courtesy of summitpost.org. Read their blog post about this hike!