Moderate Hikes

It's the perfect day — lunch on a mountain followed by a satisfying dinner in town. The best thing about half-day hikes is finding yourself someplace scenic with plenty of time to enjoy the view before the sun sets. 

Be prepared

We love our mountains, and you should too! Please help us protect them by enjoying them responsibly. Before heading out, review Leave No Trace principles, make sure you're prepared for the journey ahead, and familiarize yourself with regulations and weather in the mountains.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is a great resource for more outdoor recreation related information.

A little bit of effort goes a long way

We can't say these hikes are easy, but they will take you to some pretty amazing places. Get you up close and personal with one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Adirondacks at Beaver Meadow Falls, or hike to Whiteface Landing and go swimming in Lake Placid, then contemplate whether you're up for the steep ascent of Whiteface Mountain, New York's fifth highest peak. If Whiteface seems like a bit much, try Hurricane Mountain

If 2 to 4 hours is stretching it, try some easier 1 to 2 hour hikes, or check out our 4 to 8 hour hikes if you want something more challenging.

The Adirondack Hiking Essentials

1. Navigation

  • Sign in at the trail head
  • Map of your route
  • Area trail guide book or maps
  • Compass
  • GPS 

2. Don't get burned- bring sun protection

  •  Sunscreen
  •  Lip balm
  •  Sunglasses

3. Proper clothing and insulation

  • Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat
  • See Clothing below based on season/weather

4. Don't get left in the dark

  • Flash light or head lamp with an optional spare
  • Extra batteries for any equipment

5. First-aid supplies

  • A complete First-aid kit 

6. Be prepared with fire essentials

  • Matches or lighter
  • Waterproof container
  • Fire starter for an emergency survival fire
  • Remember to never leave a fire unattended and to be sure it is completely out before abandoning the site

7. Tools and supplies

  • Knife, Swiss army or a multi-use pocket tool 
  • Kits for stove, mattress; duct tape strips

8. Keep energy up with proper nutrition

  • Energy food (bars, gels, chews, trail mix)
  • Energy beverages or drink mixes
  • Lunch
  • Extra day's supply of food

9. Stay hydrated- always bring enough water

  • Water bottles, camel back or another portable hydration system
  • Electrolyte tablets or powder
  • Water filter or other treatment system

10. Emergency shelter

  • Tent, tarp, bivy and a reflective blanket
  • More than the 10 hiking essentials
  • Multifunction watch with altimeter
  • Binoculars
  • Trekking poles
  • Insect repellent and a head net
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer or hand wipes
  • Two-way radios
  • Camera
  • Cell or satellite phone
  • Interpretive field guides for fauna and wildlife
  • Post-hike snacks, water, towel, clothing change
  • Trash bag for clean up
  • Swim suits

Warm weather clothing options

  • Moisture Wicking T-shirt and underwear
  • Quick-drying pants or shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirt both for bugs and sun protection
  • Hat with a brim or neck cover for sun-shielding 
  • Fleece jacket or cover up with insulation
  • Bandanna, head scarf or buff

Cool weather clothing options

  • Thermal moisture wicking long-sleeve T-shirt
  • Long underwear
  • Hats, face mask or cover up
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Jacket providing insulation, temperature based
  • Rain jacket and waterproof pants
  • Insulated winter pants weather dependent

For winter hiking check out our cold weather preparedness blog and winter essential gear guide.

Proper footwear

  • Hiking boots or shoes suited to terrain, preferably with ankle protection
  • Synthetic or wool socks and a second pair
  • Gaiters
  • Sandals (for river fording, trip home)
  • Crampons for ice

Leave No Trace

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks.

Seven Principles of Leave No Trace

Results for "2 - 4 Hour Hikes"

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Where
Mt. Van Hoevenberg
South Meadows Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

There are two approaches to this awesome mountain. Both offer fine trails and lead to excellent views. Mount Van Hoevenberg is one of the Lake Placid 9er mountains.

  
Mt. Van Hoevenberg
220 Bobsled Run Lane, Lake Placid
(518) 523-4436

Home to the combined bobsled, luge and skeleton track--the only one east of the Rockies--as well as 50 km of groomed cross country ski trails and a biathlon shooting range, the Olympic Sports Complex is a study in extremes. It's on this track that...

  
Mountain Pass Lodge Hiking Center
31 Van Hoevenberg Way, Lake Placid

The new hiking center at the Mountain Pass Lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg provides hikers with the opportunity to regroup before or after a hike, and use front country amenities before heading off on the trail.

  
Klondike Notch
South Meadows Road, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

This steep trail ascends the shoulder of Phelps Mountain before topping out at Klondike Notch. One can descend the other side of the notch and arrive at Johns Brook Lodge in the Johns Brook Valley.

  
Whiteface Landing
Off Route 86, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking It's a 2.5 mile hike one way to Whiteface Landing. The trail starts at the left side of the trailhead parking area and soon climbs moderately away from the pond and the private camps on the pond before descending to the shore of the pond at 0.4...

  
Goodnow Mountain
Route 28N, Newcomb
(518) 523-2445

Goodnow is a very prominent peak when seen from Route 28N. This ragged-looking mountain is home to one of the remaining fire towers in the Adirondacks.

  
Bloomingdale Bog Trail
Route 86, Saranac Lake
(518) 523-2445

The Bloomingdale Bog Trail is a scenic, end-to-end path that follows an old railroad corridor that connects Saranac Lake to Bloomingdale. The entire route is wide, level, and mostly straight, making it perfect for a casual stroll or bike ride.

  
Little Porter Mountain
12942 NY-73Marcy Field, Keene
(518) 523-2445

NOTE: The trail up Little Porter Mountain from the Garden parking area is closed until further notice. This mountain can be approached from the Marcy Field and Cascade Mountain trailheads. Little Porter is a rocky ledge with an expansive view on the...

  
Blueberry Mountain
Route 73, Keene Valley
(518) 523-2445

Although Blueberry Mountain is a gateway to Porter Mt. and Cascade Mt. it is typically hiked by itself and not in conjunction with the High Peaks.

  
Cooper Kiln Pond
Route 431, Wilmington
(518) 523-2445

Cooper Kiln Pond lies in the valley between Morgan Mountain and Wilmington Peak. The pond sits nestled in the mountains with a somewhat heavily treed shoreline.

  
Catamount Mountain
Forestdale Road, Wilmington
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Catamount Mountain in one of the more popular gems of the Whiteface Region and should not go unvisited by anyone. With its two open summits it affords spectacular views of the entire region. In season, the blueberries are nearly as spectacular...

  
Bald Peak
Route 9, Elizabethtown
(866) 843-5253

Bald Peak has a trail which starts flat, crosses a stream, climbs steadily through forest, and then follows the stream. After a mile it turns left, crosses stream again and climbs steeply to summit with stunning views.