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Get Harvest Healthy - Burn Calories While Hiking

If you are anything like us, you went into the shutdown with the best of intentions. You were going to come out of it better, stronger, faster; a Six-Million Dollar Man of your own design. And then, and then ... It didn't happen. I mean your couch is really comfy. And Netflix had a really good year. And one thing led to another, and 25 pounds later...

Published: 08/10/2020
man and woman burning calories while hiking Baker Mountain in the Adirondacks

Autumn is around the corner. An entire season devoted to food; warm, comforting, earthy, and sweet. Relishing in the cozy comforts of delicious food this time of year is as old as civilization, a celebration of the physical efforts to produce a bountiful harvest. At least that's how it is traditionally. This year was no less labor-intensive than in generations past, but getting to the 2020 harvest has been a labor of love, and an emotionally draining one, at that.

Don't go into pumpkin and apple season with those pandemic pounds! Hiking in the Adirondacks is the perfect way to get back to homeostasis. Breathe in the mountain air laced with evergreen phytoncides, clear your head and heart of the 2020 baggage, and burn more calories than you would when running or walking on pavement with these great Adirondack hikes.

The Science

In his Healthline article, "How Many Calories Does Hiking Burn", registered dietician Gavin Van De Walle breaks down how a variety of factors stack to make hiking one of the best ways to reclaim your health, most notably the higher the incline the better your workout. Here's what he has to say about burning calories:

Moderate Paced Hiking at 1-5% Grade

  • 120 pounds: 292 calories
  • 150 pounds: 360 calories
  • 180 pounds: 435 calories
  • 210 pounds: 504 calories
  • 240 pounds: 578 calories
  • 270 pounds: 652 calories

Moderate Paced Hiking at 6-15% Grade

  • 120 pounds: 440 calories
  • 150 pounds: 544 calories
  • 180 pounds: 656 calories
  • 210 pounds: 760 calories
  • 240 pounds: 872 calories
  • 270 pounds: 984 calories

The Math

If you haven't used algebra since you learned it, the gradient of a slope is the change in height divided by the length between two points or "ride overrun". Multiply that by 100 and you have your gradient percentage.

The Hikes

So what kind of calorie burn are you looking at when you're hiking in the Adirondacks? With six million acres of Adirondack wilderness, your options are nearly unlimited, but if you're looking to come out of hibernation with a gradual increase, we strongly recommend the Lake Placid 9er. This hiking challenge consists of nine summits easily reached from High Peaks Resort and offers a variety of terrain. Plus, you get a neat badge when you complete them all!

Please Note: Gradients below are approximate.

Cobble Hill || 4% Gradient

  • Distance: 2.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 485 feet

Mt. Jo || 4% Gradient

  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 692 feet

Baxter Mountain || 6% Gradient

  • Distance: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 764 feet

Mt. Van Hoevenberg || 3% Gradient

  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 892 feet

Big Crow Mountain || 8% Gradient

  • Distance: 1.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 570 feet

Bear Den Mountain || 8% Gradient

  • Distance: 3.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,479 feet

Pitchoff Mountain || 6% Gradient

  • Distance: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,610 feet

Catamount Mountain || 7% Gradient

  • Distance: 3.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,571 feet

Hurricane Mountain || 5% Gradient

  • Distance: 5.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,528 feet

So, when you're trying to determine how many calories you can burn while hiking in the Adirondacks, consider how much you weigh, the gradient of the hike you're planning for, and the distance of the hike itself. Remember, the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn. Therefore, not every hiker's calorie burn is the same, just like any other workout. Hiking is a super healthy form of exercise and can get you into great shape. And did we mention the views at the top offer a well-deserved reward? Get outside and hike the Lake Placid 9ers, or any of many mountains and trails throughout the Adirondack region, and enjoy the benefits of calories burned, time in nature, fall memories, and spectacular views.

Family on paddle boat on Mirror Lake
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hiking pack with boots
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