Open summits, breathtaking views, and long, steep climbs — a full day or half day hike in the High Peaks Region is a great way to spend your vacation in the Adirondacks. These hikes usually take 4 - 8 hours and are best for adults and older children as they are longer and typically more challenging hikes, which might not be suitable for the littlest of hikers. We suggest 1 - 2 hour or 2 - 4 hour hikes for kids under 10. 

Browse our other half day and full day hikes below and find one perfect to complete your trip to Lake Placid.

If you're looking for a more challenging hike, consider a full day hike in the Adirondacks and satisfy your wilderness needs.

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.

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

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Where
Indian Pass Trail
Heart Lake, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Summit Rock and Indian Pass is of historical significance for the Adirondack Park and was the key passageway to the discovery of the Tahawus Mine in the Upper Works Region. While the lower portions of this hike, from either direction, are easy to...

  
Wanika Falls
Lake Placid

This is the most northerly section of the 133 mile Northville-Placid Trail. The 14-mile round trip to Wanika Falls is a challenging undertaking, but there are many views and other stopping points along the way to make this a shorter trip. How to get...

  
Phelps Mountain
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Phelps Mountain is the 32nd highest peak in the Adirondacks. Phelps can be found east of Marcy Dam and north of Mount Marcy. Resting in the heart of the High Peaks Wilderness Area it boasts some of the best views in the park. The hike starts...

  
Wright Peak
Heart Lake, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking This Adirondack 46 High Peak is #16 on the list and #1 for wind factor. A B-47 bomber crashed here in 1962, and most of the wreckage remains. Wright peak can also be combined with Algonquin Peak, Rong Peak, and Iroquois Peak for a long day. The...

  
Eagle Eyrie
Connery Pond Road, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Eagle Eyrie is a low peak at the north end of Lake Placid that offers a unique view of the Lake and the High Peaks. It can be approached on foot or by boat. The hike starts along an old road and parallels attractive Connery Pond. The trail to...

  
Lake Arnold
Heart Lake, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Lake Arnold is a small body of water located at almost 3800' in elevation, making it one of the highest bodies of water in the Adirondack Park. If one were so inclined they could possibly throw a rock to the opposite end. The hike follows along the...

  
Scott and Wallface ponds
1002 Adirondack Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Route Description From the large parking area, walk back to the booth and cross the road to access the trail to Indian Pass. The well-used trail crosses several boardwalks and climbs moderately over rolling hills. With the High Peaks on both...

  
Algonquin Peak
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking The lowdown The shortest route to Algonquin Peak's open summit is from the Adirondak Loj parking area. Don't be fooled by the relatively low milage of this trail -- the last mile or so of the hike is a relentlessly steep climb on open rock. It...

  
Great Falls Loop
Ausable Road, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking This hike full of waterfalls includes two great falls, the impressive Beaver Meadows and the grand Rainbow Falls, which is fifteen stories of waterfall which cascades into a deep, short, gorge. There's also other, smaller, falls. However...

  
Cascade Mountain
Route 73, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Cascade is generally considered to be the "easiest" of the 46 High Peaks, but that doesn't mean it's not a challenge! Sweeping views are only reached after ascending almost 2,000 feet...

  
Lake Tear of the Clouds
Lake Placid

Lake Tear of the Clouds is said to the be the source of the Hudson River. Read more about that here.

  
Avalanche Lake
Heart Lake, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Avalanche Pass is usually approached from the Adirondack Loj. But it can also be approached from the Upper Works, and when the two are combined make for an excellent through hike. Hiking Below both routes are described for those who want to hike the...