30 Mar Adventures in the Adirondack Mountains
Upstate New York was never really on our radar prior to a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t until last year on our mega road trip that we finally had some time to dip our toes into exploring the region. We made our way to the Adirondack Mountain region to meet up with our friends Evan and Hilary from Pure Adirondacks for a weekend of camping, hiking and exploring the gorgeous scenery of the Adirondacks.
The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the United States—it was created in 1892 and has over 6 million acres of land. This means that the park is larger than the following national parks combined: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite and Great Smoky Mountains. The region is a mix of public and private lands, and it contains over 3,000 lakes, 105 towns and villages and over 2,000 miles of marked hiking trails. There are 46 peaks over 4,000 feet high, which make up the famous 46 High Peaks.
We set up camp at a lakeside site in the Lake Eaton Campground. The site had space for two tents and plenty of trees perfect for a hammock or two. After we unpacked our belongings, we cooked dinner over the fire and enjoyed a relaxing evening at the campground.
The next morning we made our way to Owl’s Head Mountain near Long Lake for a hike and to check out the fire tower. The hike is just over 3 miles each way and the elevation of the summit is 2,812 feet. While it isn’t one of the 46 High Peaks, it’s a great lower elevation hike with fantastic views at the top.
We loved climbing the fire tower and stopping for a snack at the top, and when we got back to the car, we were definitely ready for our lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Before heading back to our campsite for the evening, we made our way to a nearby waterfall, Buttermilk Falls, but we didn’t stay for long as the skies decided to open up with some rain showers.
To dodge a bit of the rain, we drove into the town of Long Lake and browsed around Hoss’s Country Corner and debated on whether or not we should eat out for dinner or brave the rain and cook dinner at the campsite.
We ended up buying some sauce at Hoss’s for grilling, so we decided that cooking our own meal for the evening was the way to go. As the rain continued to fall, we settled in under the tent for a dinner of chicken, corn and potatoes on the grills.
We wound up the radio to hear warnings about severe weather heading our way. It was looking like we were in for a night with temperatures dropping below freezing. Luckily, we had plenty of layers to pile on because we woke up the next morning with ice on our tent!
After a couple of chilly nights camping and a detour to Glens Falls for a Brew Bus tour, we spent the next couple of nights in Evan’s hometown, Lake Placid. Lake Placid is located inside the Adirondack Park and was home to the 1980 Winter Olympics.
One of our favorite adventures in the Lake Placid area was driving up the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway to check out the Observatory at the top. Whiteface Mountain is 4,867 feet high and there is a paved road that leads up to the summit. At the top you will find a restaurant, gift shop, stone castle, and both a stairway path and elevator that lead up to the weather station which provides gorgeous views overlooking the surrounding Adirondack Mountains.
While we were at the top of Whiteface, we had fun climbing around the rocks, taking funny photos by playing with perspective, listening to an impromptu choir performance by fellow visitors, and soaking up the never-ending views of rolling hills, mountains, lakes and rivers.
As the weekend came to a close, we weren’t quite ready to head out—we had a fantastic long weekend exploring the Adirondacks with some great friends. We already have plans to head back again this summer and can’t wait to do some more exploring.
With so much to offer, the Adirondack Park is definitely a region to visit if you want to explore some of the great wilderness in the United States!