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.
Adirondack Woods & Waters
For a variety of interests, June represents the best time to walk in the Adirondack woods. Waterfalls and streams thunder down mountainsides with great enthusiasm, birds sing torch songs, wildflowers appear everywhere you look, and even popular places are rarely crowded. Opportunities for fishing, photography, hiking, and boating are outstanding.
- You can't talk about Adirondack waterfalls without talking about High Falls Gorge. Traversing the bridges, cliff-side walkways, and viewing platforms, at High Falls Gorge you experience the AuSable River close enough to feel the mist on your face. The half-mile waterfall walk is a breathtaking walk perfect morning or afternoon attraction for every member of your family, but you can explore the steep nature trail as well and enjoy the gorge grounds all day.
- There are lots of places to walk through the woods for a perfect photo opportunity! One of our favorite spots is the Paul Smiths VIC which boasts 3,000 acres and 25-miles of hiking trails through woodland, marsh and bogs, old-growth forest, and boardwalked wetlands. In one place you can see a representation of all the Adirondack habitat (except for alpine vegetation).
Birds & Butterflies
June is a joyous month. It brings birds, butterflies, and the full greening of our magnificent Adirondack northern hardwood forests. The weather tends to be ideal much of the time, with warm days and cool nights. Wildflowers remain abundant, including the pink ladyslipper and Clintonia lily. By day and by night, the haunting calls of loons ring out on our lakes. Songbird choruses at dawn take the listener's breath away with their wild and timeless beauty. A stroll at dusk will likely bring the soft, piccolo-like notes of a hermit thrush.
- Through residential, recreational, and commercial areas, the 3-mile Mirror Lake loop is the perfect way to explore downtown. Perhaps you'll hear the distinct call of the Common Loon, which makes its summer home in the Adirondacks and raises its young on Mirror Lake.
- We've often mentioned this before, but with over 60-million birdwatchers in the US alone, it bears repeating! 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.
Birds of Song & Prey
Birdsong continues to turn the great Adirondack forest into a concert hall. To enjoy the performance, there's no need to identify the performers. All one needs is a functioning set of ears, an alarm clock, and a love of nature. Just rise early or wander outdoors before dusk. Bird diversity in the woods reaches its peak, although some migrants will begin to leave by month's end. On water, watch for big hawks called ospreys. They circle overhead on wings that look slightly crooked and dive for fish. If you're really lucky, you might even spy a bald eagle.
Join wildlife educator and rehabilitator Mark Manske for a weekly demonstration on birds of prey found in the Adirondacks. Adirondack Raptors is a privately held company that monitors and researches raptor populations in the Adirondacks. Its goal is to promote a healthy awareness of wildlife in the community by utilizing raptors as a teaching tool. Mark has been studying raptors since 1984 and has taught at St. Lawrence Central High School and Paul Smiths College. He also contributes to Embark, a bimonthly publication produced by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Demonstrations this June 25 through September 3, Saturdays at 10 AM.
Jump In! The Water is Just Fine
This month and its successor are the most congenial of the year for boating, swimming, fishing, and plain old walking in the woods. If you're going to jump in the water and enjoy some old-fashioned lake or pond swimming, this is the time.
- When you stay at High Peaks Resort you have access to two outdoor pools and our fleet of watercraft including stand-up paddleboards, pedal boats, and kayaks. Perfect for enjoying Mirror Lake and staying cool on a summer day!
- Whitewater rafting in the Hudson River Gorge is one of the top-rated paddling trips in the United States. This wet and wild full-day rafting adventure (lunch included) will take your paddling crew through more than 15 miles of scenic Adirondack whitewater in the middle of the largest protected wilderness area in New York.
Adirondacks in Bloom
Whitetail deer look gorgeous in their cinnamon-colored summer coats. If you care to look (you may not care), late July brings the first touches of fall color. Leaves of crimson and ruby start making their appearance on red maples and hobblebush. Make the acquaintance of Adirondack trees, wildflowers, birds, and more, hold a frog or salamander in your hand and meet such fascinating novelties of the forest as the Indian pipe, a wildflower that looks like a fungus. Indian pipe's leaves, stems, and flowers lack chlorophyll and are as white as snow. The plant is parasitic on fungi in the soil.
- Covering more land than all of the Unites States National Parks combined, the Adirondack Parks offer unlimited possibilities for adventure. But where to begin and what direction should you go? Do you want a guided hike up one of the 46 High Peaks and which hike is right for you? Do you want to learn about the flora and fauna and what it means to be "Forever Wild"? Where to begin? Ed Kanze, Adirondack Naturalist and Guide, is a seventh-generation Adirondacker with decades of experience as a wilderness leader and interpretive naturalist. He is uniquely versed in where to go and what to look for and how.
- Formerly known as the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the Wild Center is a museum like you've never experienced. Approximately 50 animal species call the center home, including birds, amphibians, fish, and the world-famous river otters. The interest follows you outdoors with the Wild Walk, the treetop walk through the Adirondack canopy, and Forest Music, which pairs steel sculpture by Barney Bellinger and music by Whatever Penny in a one-of-a-kind outdoor art exhibit.
Early in the month, water temperatures reach the year's warmest. Go for a swim! August is an excellent month for all outdoor sports: hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and more.
Wild blueberries abound in sunny places early in the month. Their flavor puts that of grocery store blueberries to shame. Wild huckleberries (much like blueberries, with tiny gritty seeds inside) ripen at month's end. Connoisseurs prize them more than blueberries. August is the time to get down on hands and knees and search for the most elusive and delicious of wild Adirondack Mountain fruits, the often hidden creeping snowberry. Even many locals have never learned of it. The berries are white and round and about the size of a plump pea with the flavor of particularly savory wintergreen.
- Foraging has been practiced for as long as people have lived in the Adirondacks, but it is definitely an activity best left to the professionals or practiced with a guide. That doesn't mean you must miss out on the mountains' bounty, you can absolutely take a taste of the Adirondacks home with you! Visit an Adirondack Farmers Market for locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and original art.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Birds are moving. Most summer birds are still here, but nesting duties are ended for most and locations are less predictable. Last chance to hear wild forest music. On lakeshores, listen at night for the deep bass voice of the bullfrog. It sings, Jug-o-rum, Jug-o-rum, Jug-o-rum. Cardinal-flower opens its flaming red flowers for business along the shores of rivers and lakes. In wet spots, the peculiar and arresting blooms of a wildflower called turtlehead appear.
- The Adirondacks are known for hiking peaks, but lowland trails boast major payoff. One of our favorite lowland hikes is the trail from the Saranac River to Moose Pond in Saranac Lake, NY. It's a family-friendly trail that takes you to a quiet, pristine lake for big panoramic views.
- The Adirondacks are accessible! Whether you'd like to explore the woods or waters, there are wheelchair-accessible trails and attractions as well as accessible and roadside birding stations so your whole family can get out and enjoy the fresh air.
The First Tastes of Fall
Some Adirondack Augusts are colder than others. Late August may bring frosts that in turn usher in early autumn color, especially in red maple, silver maple, and yellow birch.
- With spectacular views of the Adirondack Mountains from most of our guest rooms, it's never too early to book your stay for our most popular time of year, fall foliage season! Book your Golf in the Adirondacks package and enjoy morning or afternoon with panoramic views of the Adirondack Mountains and 18-holes at Whiteface Club & Resort, one of the country's oldest golf courses.