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Hiking In the Adirondacks

Beautiful Fall day in the Adirondacks

Hannah Strzelinski

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Located in upstate New York, a mere 2 and a half hours away from Oswego, is the Adirondack state park. The Adirondacks are known for Lake Placid, eye-catching fall foliage, and of course, the mountains. Specifically, the 46 highest peaks in New York State.

In 1936, a group of hikers began the Adirondack 46ers club. To become an Adirondack 46er, one must climb all 46 high peaks. But as long as you’ve climbed one of the high peaks, you can call yourself an aspiring 46er. What started out as a small group of friends rapidly grew to a network of thousands of people.

An elite group of hikers don’t just stop at becoming 46ers, some hold the even more rare title of a Winter 46er. The conditions of these mountains in the winter are treacherous; there can be wind chills as low as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit due to the strong winds on the exposed summits.

Hiking can be a relaxing activity. Mrs. Babcock says that “if I skip a weekend, or particularly two weekends, I get tense. I can feel that I’m not a calm person, because it’s (hiking) really a form of meditation… I’m a much better person when I’m out hiking”.

For those that don’t fancy a mountain hike, there are over 2,000 miles of foot trails in the Adirondacks and plenty of trails to choose from. Some easily accessible options include pond hikes, nature walks, and educational trails such as the options at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.

 

A good first high peak for beginners is Cascade Mountain. The hike is only 4.8 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of about 2,000 feet. If you’re looking for a short family-friendly hike near Lake Placid, Mt. Jo is an excellent choice. Mt. Jo is 700 feet high and surrounded by high peaks. The loop trail to Mt. Jo is only 2.1 miles long and there is a $10 parking fee. Because of it’s unique location, the hike is well worth the 360 degree views from the summit.

For those who want to start hiking, there are important things to remember. When interviewed, Mr. DeLorenzo, Mr. Stacy, and Mr. Phaneuf all unanimously said “be prepared”. Mr. Phaneuf went on to suggest to “Do a little research in advance. Know that there are a handful of things that you should always have with you. You need a compass, matches, a light, and enough water to last you your hike… I always have a contingency plan”.

Another option is driving to the top of Whiteface mountain, the fifth highest mountain in New York state. Open May through October, the winding road travels five miles to the top of the mountain. There, just below the summit, is Whiteface Castle. Inside the castle are a café and gift shop. Visitors can hike the short stretch from the parking area to the summit and observatory or take an elevator. There is a $15 fee per vehicle/driver and an $8 fee per each additional passenger.

“I’d love to go (to the Adirondacks) with students and use it as a way to talk about nature and ecology… students don’t go there enough” Mr. Phaneuf said in an interview. The

Adirondack park is vast, diverse, and unique. So, plan a day-trip or weekend getaway and explore the Adirondacks!

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