With 6-million acres of wilderness, the Adirondack Mountains hold unlimited potential for adventure and with so many possibilities it can be hard to decide on all the things to do this spring. To help you plan your experience we asked Ed Kanze, Naturalist and Adirondack Guide, what's special about spring in the Adirondacks. To leverage Ed's advice, see our list of suggestions below for each month this spring. Enjoy your fun in the Lake Placid region and don't forget to stop by and see us downtown.
Photo © Adirondack Foot Sanctuary
Relaxation & Restoration
By April, winter is over (despite the occasional blizzard!), spring is in full swing, and there's no turning back. A mix of cold and warm days make the weather unpredictable and exciting.
- If you are the kind of person that needs a reason to indulge in a little "you time" consider this your sign. Sleep in. Take a leisurely walk around the lake. Read that book or three that you've been meaning to. At High Peaks Resort, your guest room extends past your door with cozy reading nooks throughout the lobby.
- Revisit family game night. With lots of surfaces to spread out and lots of seating to get comfy, Lake House is the perfect spot to have game night.
- Pamper yourself and your loved one. The Spa & Salon at High Peaks Resort is the perfect spot to schedule a spa day full of facials, nails, and hair with your besties while the Adirondack Foot Sanctuary is a deeply indulgent experience focused on giving you a whole new spring in your step.
Return of Adirondack Wildlife
Most ponds and lakes ice-out sometime during the month, although some hold out until May. Instantly upon ice-out, uncommonly beautiful common loons return to their favorite Adirondack lakes. Birds, birds, birds: birds that remained through the winter are singing their hearts out, and birds from the South are arriving every day. Among the newcomers this month are yellow-bellied sapsuckers, eastern phoebes, blue-headed vireos, and early warblers such as the yellow-rumped, the pine, and the palm.
Painted turtles rise out of cold water to sunbathe on logs. Amphibians appear in astounding number: hordes of big, yellow-and-black spotted salamanders migrate at night to breeding ponds; and wherever there's water, one can usually hear the ancient love-choruses of (depending on habitat) wood frogs, spring peepers, leopard frogs, pickerel frogs, green frogs, and American toads.
- Did you know there are over 60-million birdwatchers in the US alone? That is more than basketball, baseball, and football players combined. Our Marketing Manager found out why the sport so so popular when she joined Ed Kanze for a morning of birdwatching at Bloomingdale Bog; it's easy to try, easy to do, and a great way to get outside and engage with every generation of your family.
- While the higher elevations are still a little icy and snowy, this is a great time of year to try lower elevation hikes which dry out from the spring thaw a little sooner than higher elevations. We've got a list of some of our favorite spring hikes that are great for fresh air at lower elevations.
Trees and Shrubs Wake Up
Early in the month, trees and shrubs begin blooming in earnest. Among them are red maple (a naturalist can teach you how to distinguish male trees from female by color, even at 65 mph on the Northway), American elm, quaking aspen, bigtooth aspen, assorted willows, shadbush, and beaked hazelnut. Our broad-leaved trees are just big wildflowers. Late in the month, in low damp places, trout lily blooms. This flower's dappled blue-green leaves are as pretty as its yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers.
- If you're interested in learning more about the Adirondacks, hiring a professional guide is well worth the investment! Adirondack Guides like Ed Kanze are a time-honored Adirondack tradition, and their knowledge and expertise provide in-the-moment insight tailored to your specific adventure.
Photo © Wild Center
Adirondack Breath of Life
For nature lovers, May represents perhaps the most exciting month of the year. Aside from a little mud, hiking conditions become ideal---rarely too warm and only occasionally cold. Inhale the mountain air and literally smell nature coming alive. As the last snows melt, rivers flow free again, lakes slowly warm, and sunshine heats the soil, the entire landscape bursts with life. Wildflowers start popping up everywhere: trout lily, goldthread, painted trillium, purple trillium, Clintonia lily, and pink ladyslipper orchids provide stunning beauty and interest.
- Gamify your Adirondack adventure by turning it into a wildflower scavenger hunt. You can start with a list of defined flowers to look for or set a goal of snapping photos of five different wildflowers and learning about your finds when you get home. Adirondacks Forever Wild is an incredible online resource on the flora and fauna of the Adirondacks.
- We're all responsible for protecting the Adirondack Mountains for generations to come. Some wildflowers like the ladyslipper orchid have a protected species classification, but removing or displacing rocks, tree bark, and other environmental elements can have an unintended impact on the forest as a whole. A wildflower won't last a lifetime, but a photo will!
Wildlife Observation Opportunities Abound
Every morning, new birds singing songs not heard since the previous summer fill forests and lakeshores with music and color. New arrivals include red-eyed vireos, Baltimore orioles, scarlet tanagers, Blackburnian warblers, yellow warblers, chestnut-sided warblers, American redstarts, and ruby-throated hummingbirds. American woodcock perform dramatic song-and-dance routines and aerial acrobatics on and over quiet meadows. Frog choruses continue. Listen for the knock-knock of the mink frog.
- Where can you canoe through an oxbow, walk among the tree canopy, see river otters at play, and learn about the natural history of the Adirondacks in both indoor and outdoor exhibits? Tupper Lake's Wild Center is an incredible 115-acre campus of adventure that is perfect for animal viewing and forest exploration.
Header Image © Wild Center