Opportunities for outdoor recreation surrounding Lake Placid are plentiful. Located near some of the Park's most popular protected lands, and nestled in the foothills of the iconic High Peaks, many visitors enjoy hiking during their stay. A wide variety of family hikes are located nearby, as well as challenging treks up mountains that stretch over 4,000 feet into the sky. Hiking is an excellent way to experience the pristine beauty of the Adirondacks, but these lands will only remain pristine if we all do our part to protect them.
Whenever you are recreating in the Adirondacks, please follow the seven Leave No Trace principles. These guidelines for responsible recreation will help ensure that you have a positive experience in the wilderness, while also making a positive impact on the land and other visitors.
7 Principles of Leave No Trace
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
This is perhaps the most important principle, and it begins before you even walk out your hotel room. Planning ahead and being prepared dramatically lessens the chances of something unexpected happening, which keeps you and the environment safer. Familiarize yourself with your route before you begin your hike. If you are unsure of directions, front desk staff at High Peaks Resort will be happy to assist you. Make sure you pack appropriate quantities of food and water for every member of your party and dress appropriately for the weather and current seasonal conditions. If you forget something, there are several local outfitters where you can rent or buy necessary gear.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
You may not need to worry about where to pitch a tent, but you should pay close attention to where the designated trail is! Staying on designated trails is important for you and the environment. First and foremost, staying on the trail prevents getting lost. It also lessens human impacts on the land. It's amazing how much a few footprints can affect the delicate plants surrounding well-worn trails.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
This is an easy one. All you have to do is carry out what you carry in. Bring an extra bag to hold any trash from snacks or water bottles, or be a good steward and pick up litter you see along the trails. This principle also encompasses responsible bathroom practices. Many trails have latrines at the trailheads or along the route. Try to use these whenever possible. If an emergency stop is necessary, walk 150 feet (or roughly 70 adult steps) from the trail before doing your business. And remember to bury it six-to-eight inches deep. It's best to carry a small garden spade for this exact purpose.
4. Leave What You Find
Everyone loves a good souvenir, but you can get those shopping in downtown Lake Placid! Please leave nature where it belongs – in nature! While taking a small stone, pinecone, or leaf may not seem like a big deal, what would happen if every visitor did the same? Everything you see in the woods is a piece of a puzzle. Take a piece away and the picture quickly changes.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
Campfires are really only necessary when you're spending the night on the trail. If you do choose to make a fire, keep it small and only burn previously dead and downed wood. Make sure you clear debris away from the fire, and be mindful of limbs overhead. Also, be aware of local regulations on where fires are allowed and always stick to established campfire rings to minimize your impact. Finally, make sure your campfire is thoroughly extinguished so as to not start a forest fire!
6. Respect Wildlife
Adirondack wildlife is beautiful and fascinating, but please only enjoy local critters from a respectful distance. You are a guest in their home, and many of them are more afraid of you than you are of them. When you encounter wildlife, stay quiet, look from afar, and continue on your way. Never attempt to pet or feed wildlife, even the very friendly chipmunks. It creates a dependency on humans that is not natural or sustainable for the animals. If you want to see Adirondack animals up close, visit the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, located a short drive from High Peaks Resort.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Though they are protected, the Adirondack Mountains lie on public lands, free and open for all to visit and enjoy. Please be mindful of other hikers and their experience. Keep noise levels down, pick up after yourself, and share the trails and summits equally. After all, everyone wants a photo of that perfect view!
The word "wilderness" might bring to mind a lawless land, but protecting the environment and preserving a pristine nature experience requires buy-in from everyone. By following these principles when you're hiking, paddling, fishing, camping, or enjoying any form of recreation in the Adirondacks, you act as a good steward for the land and help preserve it for future visits and future generations.
Did You Know High Peaks Resort is a Green Hotel?
When you choose to stay at High Peaks Resort, you have the opportunity to practice other environmental stewarding by opting into our eco-friendly guest perks program.