Trip report

Lake Placid Fall Hiking Week

Vacation Trip DATE: 09/11/2018 - 09/18/2018

Trip/Event Location: Keene Valley, NY

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf , JDNnh

Max # People: 8

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Lake Placid and the Adirondacks are calling to us! If you have interest in spending a week exploring, hiking, and sightseeing the spectacular Adirondacks at the start of fall foliage, then please sign

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

Directions will be provided by the owner a few weeks prior including the code to enter into the keyless entry lock. 

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Awesome friends, wonderful hikes, bountiful dinners and lots of laughs make life so worth living!

Ever wish you could travel somewhere that's so spectacular, so overwhelmingly gorgeous, that it makes all of life's worries seem small?

New York’s Adirondack Park is that kind of place!

For one week, a bunch of GOers spent their days hiking in the Adirondacks.

New York’s Adirondack Park is the largest state park within the continental United States, covering about six million acres of land. It's larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and the Great Smokies National Parks combined. Over 2,000 miles of trails can be found here, which means there's no reason it shouldn't be on every hiker's bucket list!  

Just south of the resort town of Lake Placid, lies an area of rugged, roadless mountains, the High Peaks of the Adirondacks! With a vast network of hiking trails, dozens of lean-tos and camping sites, spectacular alpine scenery and a rich & storied tradition, the High Peaks are unique in this country. The High Peaks include all but two [Hunter and Slide are in the Catskills] of New York’s 48 summits over 4,000 feet. And while the high mountain terrain in New Hampshire’s White Mountains tends to be along ridges, the concentration of complex mountain terrain in the High Peaks is probably unequalled in the northeastern United States. In places the forested mountainsides have been stripped by landslides, leaving the long, fan-shaped scars which are a characteristic of these mountains.

Life in the Adirondacks fell into a relaxing pattern. Six of us shared the expense of renting 3400 square feet of spacious comfort on 15 acres of secluded, peaceful, mountainside home in the heart of the High Peaks Region, Keene Valley, NY. We took turns cooking and none of us loss weight on this trip! Jon prepared delicious cheese/crackers and veggies with dip appetizers each night. Meals included grilled salmon, lasagna, oven baked chicken and ribs, hamburger/hot dogs, and grilled chicken. Most meals were accompanied with salad and rice or potato.   

It's impossible to put into words just how breathtaking this beauty is...

So we'd like to do our best to show you. See our sample of our pictures below!

We could hardly believe the breathtaking views that greeted us each day. Our first three days, our starting point was the Heart Lake area, the most important trailhead in the Adirondacks, comparable to New Hampshire’s Pinkham Notch.

We were blessed with beautiful sunny days each day except for our first hiking day so we decided to hike at a lower elevation. Here is a summary of our itinerary with comments:

Tuesday, we arrived at High Rock Fort in Keene Valley, our house and base camp for the week. John was already at house when Jon and I arrived. Bob arrived a bit later. Rich arrived just in time for a delicious salmon dinner prepared by Jon. It was awesome to get reacquainted with everyone! John and Bob updated us on their recent house purchase at Sugar Hill [Bear Pond], NH while Rich shared stories of his adventure at Cape Bretton, Nova Scotia.

Wednesday: Avalanche Pass Hike and Swim – a hike through one of the most spectacular routes in the Adirondacks with sheer rock walls rising directly out of the water on both sides! We passed over ledges, large boulders, and many crevices aided by bridges and ladders.  In two areas where the cliffs rise directly out of the water we passed on bridges bolted to the cliffs! 1,100 feet elevation gain, 10 miles round trip. Bob and John served a delicious lasagna, salad and yummy Italian desserts.

Thursday: Algonquin Peak [5,114’] – spectacular, panoramic views. One of the great classics of the Adirondacks and one of the best hikes in the East. 2,940 feet of elevation gain – 8.6 miles round trip. Rob and his dog Soleil arrived. He had lots to share about his recent Tour du Mont Blanc trek in Europe. Jon cooked up a tasty marinated chicken breast with spices, ribs with BBQ sauce, bread and salad. After dinner we relaxed around the gas fired fire pit on the deck underneath millions of stars.  

Friday: John and Rich took the day off to explore Lake Placid.  Mt. Marcy [5,344’] – highest in New York State and a mecca for hikers. Wonderful open summit – 3,200 feet elevation gain and 14.8 miles round trip.  Because it was mid-week, we did not see many hikers on this popular trail. After steady climbing, some of it steep, we reached the ledges of Indian Falls where we could sit and rest on the smooth slabs with water rushing down. Our finale was a clamber up open ledges to the summit! Here we relaxed and contemplated the incredible panorama: The Great Range, Giant, Dix, Johns Brook Valley and Whiteface. Unfortunately, due to an eye infection, Jonny had to suddenly cancel.  We missed our Adirondack hiking buddy whom we've shared many Adirondack adventures in the past. Rich grilled up some well-deserved hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner.  

Saturday: Rich left us in the morning. Hopkins Mountain [3,183’] – great summit ledges with an unusual perspective on the High Peaks – 2,200 feet elevation gain and 6.4 miles round trip. We concluded with Rob finding an awesome swimming hole in the Ausable River. Rob cooked up some delicious turkey breasts on the grill with Jon assisting with some potatoes and salad. Tim Buchanan from Buffalo, NY joined us for dinner and premiered The Long Trail Out to its first gay audience, a movie centering around his coming out after 72 years, with a focus on outdoor adventures. We felt it certainly is a Banff film festival contender and the movie will be a powerful message to inspire anyone who is struggling with coming out.

Sunday: Rob left us in the morning. Noonmark [3,556’] – superb panorama from the summit. Views of Dix and Giant. Relatively short hike, but the upper section is steep open ledge – 2,300 feet elevation gain and 5 miles round trip.  This trail got down to business, climbing quite steeply in some places. There were numerous short scrambles up bare rock which was very enjoyable for out troop of gay hikers! The wide-open summit of this sharp little peak offered an unrestricted panorama! John and Bob were leaving the next day so we decided to have dinner together in Lake Placid. The town was quiet on this Sunday night and being a hot, humid day, everyone in town wanted to eat outside so the best we could do is find a table indoors with a view over Mirror Lake.

Monday: The Brothers and Big Slide [4,240’] - a rolling ridge climb culminating on a 4,000’ summit. Stunning views of Giant and the Great Range – 2,800 feet elevation gain and 9.5 miles round trip. We started from a new trailhead, the Garden. After some rather steep, rocky climbing, we came out to many open ledges with views of Giant and the Great Range that stopped us on our tracks! After climbing over the three brothers we were at the base of the Big Slide summit. We made the final steep clamber to the top with views stretching from Giant to the east, along the Great Range and all the way over to Algonquin Peak in the west. This was our first loop hike of our trip. We descended down Slide Mountain Brook Trail crossing the beautiful Slide Brook multiple times. On our return, we enjoyed having the house all to ourselves, relaxing on the deck and sipping on wine. We lit up fire on the outdoor fire pit to finish off our vacation!  

On Tuesday, we drove back to our house and had enough time to enjoy sunbathing and swimming in the Mad River!

We had a fantastic time and we can’t thank enough the GOers spirit and adventure for making this a memorable trip!!! Thanks to: Rob, Bob, John, and Rich.

~ Mike and Jon  


Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Bowdoin, ME

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Upton, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Upton, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

NYC/Hudson Valley, NY

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Boston, MA

United States
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