High Peaks Wilderness/Backcountry Trails

  • Heart Lake, Lake Placid

The Adirondack Loj and Heart Lake Recreation Center offer a good year-round access point for many trails in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.  From the large parking area (be sure to pay the parking fee) you can reach:

  • Mount Marcy
  • Algonquin Mt.
  • Mount Colden
  • Mount Jo

Backcountry trails are not packed or groomed. Hiking trails, which are marked, can be explored using either skis or snowshoes, but please note that it is dangerous to go on trails designated as ski routes without skis. Also note that backcountry ski trails, such as the ones on Whale's Tail, Wright Peak, and Mount Marcy, are very steep and not for novice skiers. 

During the winter it is especially important to be prepared, with the gear and clothing you carry, for the possibility of spending an unexpected night out and for minor equipment repairs. Plan ahead, carry a map and compass, and be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you will return.

Snowshoes or skis are required on all trails in the High Peaks Wilderness Area when there is more than eight inches of snow on the ground.

Some photos courtesy of summitpost.org. Read their article about this activity.