By: Kevin Oldroyd
It’s no secret that Lake Placid boasts some of the best natural scenery in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. Incredible views, numerous nature trails, mountain passes and a few historic sites make this area a must-visit. One of the key elements in Lake Placid’s mystique is the opportunity to see a number of incredible rivers and waterfalls. Here are three amazing hikes around Lake Placid.
High Falls Gorge
High Falls Gorge is a 22-acre, privately owned nature park that boasts the title of “the Adirondacks’ most breathtaking walk.” Many people say summer is the best time to visit the gorge, with thousands of wildflowers spread over the granite cliffs.
The hike is a relatively easy half-mile walk from the gorge parking lot. It’s a completely self-guided tour, with numerous signs and walkways to lead you. Along the way you will visit four unique waterfalls, cascading across the granite stone into a massive crevice formed over a billion years ago.
If you are looking to explore the area beyond the standard gorge trail, you can continue onto the one-mile nature trail. This is a beginner/intermediate hike that requires hikers to walk up steep inclines and uneven surfaces.
The High Falls Gorge is a great hike for families and friends, with easy trails and a large picnic area to relax at. If you forgot to pack some snacks, head to the River View Cafe alongside the magnificent Ausable River.
During the summer months, the price of the hike drops. Adults pay $11.25 and children aged 4 to 12 pay $8.25.
Rocky Falls is another pleasantly simple hike in the Lake Placid region. The name may suggest a more grandiose waterfall and although the highest drop is just over 10 feet, don’t let this turn you off. The waterfalls are set among some beautiful woodlands, and visitors are encouraged to take a dip in the natural pools to cool off.
After exploring Rocky Falls, feel free to head on toward Indian Pass and Summit Rock, two hikes that offer incredible views, including one of the highest wilderness cliffs in the Northeast.
The only fee for Rocky Falls hike is a $10 parking cost.
Calamity Brook to Flowed Lands
This uniquely named trek is not necessarily a waterfall hike, but is set alongside a historical meandering stream and leads to the beautiful Flowed Lands. It is considered by many to be the best hike in the Lake Placid region, offering some of the best water views and natural scenery in the Adirondacks.
Similar to the previous two hikes, Calamity Brook is a moderate hike that most people can complete without a problem. It is slightly longer than the other two, totaling about 9 miles, but the relatively flat terrain and beautiful scenery make it one of the most adored hikes around Lake Placid.
Calamity Brook satisfies the inner adventurer in everyone, taking hikers over suspension bridges and through wild forests. Take some time to explore the area around Flowed Lands, which offers some incredible views of the valley below.
The Calamity Brooks trail is completely free of charge.
Invent your own perfect day. Check out Lake Placid's website for all the info you need to plan your Adirondack adventure.