The Adirondack Park covers a 12-county wide area and includes Saratoga County. Therefore there are loads of good hiking trails within a half hour drive from Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past couple of weeks I planned, and went on, two different hiking trips. My buddy Ryan and I hiked two of the Adirondack High Peaks, Giant Mountain and Rocky Ridge. The second hike was to Hadley Mountain Trail.
Giant Mountain is the twelfth highest High Peak with just over three miles of trail length. A two mile trail connects Giant to Rocky Ridge. Because of their close proximity, I recommend doing both trails the same day. We did, covering just over 10 miles, which took us 8 hours. This was my first High Peak hike. This hike was quite steep, with lots of rock faces.
To plan your trip use AllTrails, a website and free mobile app, is a good place to start. You can use it to search for trails in your area, filter by trails by difficulty, get directions, and record your time hiking. The app also shows you how long a trail is, its elevation, and reviews left by users. Giant Mountain was rated as “Hard” by AllTrails and I would certainly have to agree. The steep elevation combined with the rock faces made the climb harder than expected. For those who wish to brave it, I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes, a pack, bottled water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and a raincoat if the forecast dictates it.
To be honest, this is an ambitious hike for a first-timer (like me!) and I was not wearing the most comfortable boots.
While High Peaks are rewarding once you reach the top, there are other trails that are far less challenging and accessible. Hadley Mountain is one such trail. AllTrails rates this hike as “Moderate” but I would consider it somewhere between “Easy” and “Moderate”. While the trail can be steep at times, there aren’t many rock faces and there are a few stretches of flat land that serve as a break from the more difficult climbing. Even though we didn’t go all the way up to the top, it was still an enjoyable hike and far less challenging than Giant.
If you’re thinking of hiking the Adirondacks, go for it! There’s a trail for every fitness level. Hiking is a great way to bond with friends and family, enjoy nature and stay active.
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- Adirondack Hikes To Try: Giant, Rocky Ridge & Hadley - July 21, 2017