For those of us who privileged to live in the Adirondacks, winter is magical. With the arrival of snow and cold temperatures comes cozy clothes and crackling fires, snow sports and snow angels, hot beverages and hearty stews and so much more. But for even the most ardent winter fun participant, there comes a time, whether it's snowing or not, when winter is over and it needs to go away. And let's face it; unless you're a winter Olympian, beef or winter vegetable stew followed up by even a small apple tart for days on end makes us all a little more... huggable... whether we like it or not.
So in the spirit of possibility and potential that seems to travel with spring, I've put together a list of easy spring hikes with great views that will get you ready for warm temperatures and summer adventures, like these Adirondack hikes for families that can be enjoyed on your next summer vacation.
Five Easy Spring Hikes to Get in Shape for Summer
First on our list is less of a hike and more of a walk, but trust me, the Bloomingdale Bog trail is the perfect place to reintroduce outdoor exercise to your life. The relatively flat, open, and straight trail starts in Bloomingdale, NY and ends 10 miles away in Saranac Lake, NY (or vice versa). The negligible incline won't leave most people winded after the first eighth of a mile but the length of the trail means you can walk to your heart's content. It is also a great trail for doing some bird watching as the birds migrate back north!
- 12 miles from High Peaks Resort
Paul Smiths VIC
The Visitors Interpretive Center at Paul Smiths College is a one-stop shop for spring conditioning. With 3,000 acres to explore, the VIC offers a little bit of everything; from the wheelchair accessible Barnum Brook trail to the rolling terrain of Black Pond or Heron Marsh or the steeper climb of Jenkins Mountain. And to make things even better, the VIC hosts a smorgasbord of public programs with local naturalists to combine fresh air and learning (sign us up for the Wild Edibles Walk)!
- 22 miles from High Peaks Resort
Just a hop, skip and a jump from High Peaks Resort, the five trails of Henry's Woods offer a wealth of spring conditioning opportunities. Easy to moderate in elevation, the Henry's Woods trail system can be combined in lots of different ways to add elevation, distance or just to keep things interesting.
- 2 miles from High Peaks Resort
Clocking in at under a mile to the summit, Baker Mountain is a great hike when you're ready for a little elevation, but not too much. And the pay off makes it so worth it. At the summit, you'll see the town of Saranac Lake, the Mackenzie Mountain wilderness area and the Adirondack High Peaks in the distance.
- 9 miles from High Peaks Resort
There are two ways up Cobble Hill, the easy route or the steep route, and both will make you sweat. The steep route, a 0.8-mile scramble up over rough trail and bare rock, is an easy challenge for the experienced hiker while the easier route is a great beginner hike that is less steep, but not effortless. And the fact that you can walk to it from the hotel? What more could you want?
- 1 mile from High Peaks Resort
Hiking When Muddy
It's important to remember that if conditions are muddy, trails should be used with extra care (or avoided) so as not to increase erosion. If you encounter a muddy section of trail you should go through it, not around it as continued side-stepping widens the trail.