Mt. Van Hoevenberg
Mount Van Hoevenberg is also home of the Olympic bobsled and luge run, which is on the opposite side of the mountain from the hiking trail.
The path leaves the trailhead and remains mostly level until it gradually descends to a large, scenic beaver pond. Take a minute to enjoy the view — birds love this area and your destination is straight ahead, rising above the opposite shore. Bear left and follow the edge of the pond as it curves around the pond's outlet, where a series of beaver dams can be seen to the right. It can be pretty wet here, so take your time.
As the path leaves the pond it begins to ascend through a beautiful hardwood forest as it climbs toward Van Hoevenberg's ridge. There are some steep sections before reaching a rugged, level stretch at 1.6 miles. After passing between two cliffs, the trail swings right and steeply ascends the mountain's western ridge, which it follows as it dips up and down before reaching a series of ledges that afford stunning 180-degree views of High Peaks like Marcy and Algonquin, with the expanse of South Meadow far in the valley below. The first couple of ledges offer the best views, but the ridge can be followed further for different perspectives of the surrounding mountains.
Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 86 and Route 73 in Lake Placid, follow Route 73 east toward Keene. Continue for 3.3 miles and turn right on Adirondack Loj Road. Follow that for almost 4 miles to South Meadow Road on the left. Parking is scarce on South Meadow Road, so we advise parking along Adirondack Loj Road and walking the quarter mile to the trailhead, which is on the left.
Distance: 2.2 miles one way
Elevation: 2,860 feet
Ascent: 740 feet