Adirondacks State Park

The High Peaks

The High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Park offers an endless array of possibilities for hiking—from an afternoon saunter with the family to a week of wilderness backpacking. The term "high peaks" refers to the tall heart of the Adirondacks. This is the territory of the "46ers"—a (very) loosely organized club of those who've climbed the 46 highest peaks.

And Mount Marcy is the highest of the high. Mt. Marcy is also a hugely popular destination, and offers several routes to the summit. Some routes are more trafficked than others. But you can't get away from the fact that on a fine summer day, you'll find scores of hikers lounging on the summit. Many people rate higher the Adirondacks' other 5,000+ peak—Algonquin Mountain. This is a challenging, though non-technical climb with the best views of the High Peaks at the summit, and even before. You can't do better than this hike in the autumn during leaf-peeping season. Though technically not part of the High Peaks, the area around Saranac Lake offers more solitude. Ampersand Mountain, Scarface, and Mount Mackenzie are all recommended hikes.

The cross-Adirondack Northville-Placid Trail crosses this region between Long Lake and Lake Placid.

Please note that there have been several new conservation regulations restricting some activities in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. Details of the special regulations of the High Peaks Wilderness can be found at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Web site.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »