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Our Favorite Adirondack Hikes for Families

If you've ever gone hiking, you know that the mountains offer more than just a great way to work off breakfast.

The Adirondack Mountains boast over 2,000 miles of hiking trails traversing the 6-million acre park; the largest trail system in the United States. That means there are nearly unlimited options for you and your family to hike the Adirondacks - many very close to Lake Placid itself which means you can be back from your hike and strolling down Main Street for a little afternoon shopping, a bite to eat, and a creamy, frozen treat to end the evening.

Best Adirondack Hikes for Families

Cobble Hill

This popular hike has its trailhead right in the village of Lake Placid on Mirror Lake Drive. The hike is 3 miles round trip on the easy trail and will take about two hours with young children. We've hiked this ourselves, twice! Read about how we conquered Cobble Hill to learn about the do's and don'ts of hiking in the Adirondacks or about our failed first attempt.

Directions to Cobble Hill parking area on the Northwoods School campus from High Peaks Resort.

Henry's Woods

A great woods walk with a variety of loops to try. Located in Lake Placid near the Olympic Training Center on Bear Cub Lane, just off of Old Military Road. The easy loop is about 4.5 miles and with young children will take about two and a half hours.

Directions to Henry's Woods from High Peaks Resort.

Peninsula Nature Trails

Located behind the Quality Inn in Lake Placid, this woods walk is a series of intersecting loops along the shores of Lake Placid and the Peninsula Woods.

Directions to Peninsula Trails from High Peaks Resort.

John Dillon Park

While not as close as some of the areas on our list, John Dillon Park is worth the drive. It is the only facility specially designed as fully accessible to all visitors and welcomes dogs to boot! Please refer to their website for a full list of regulations so that all visitors can enjoy an exceptional day in the woods.

Directions to John Dillon Park from High Peaks Resort.

Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center

Here you'll find four miles of marked trails including four separate loops that are great beginning trails for kids. This hike is complemented by indoor exhibits, multi-image presentations and in summer a butterfly house of all native species. For a more relaxed excursion, consider a Forest Bathing ecotour at the Paul Smiths VIC with Adirondack Riverwalking!

Directions to Paul Smiths College VIC from High Peaks Resort.

Owl's Head Mountain

This is a perfect first hike for children. Even though it is steep in places, there are lookouts all along the way. The hike is about 1.3 miles round trip and will take one and a half hours with young children.

Please Note:
Owl's Head Mountain is a mid-week hike, only. The private landowners have graciously agreed to allow respectful visitors to enjoy the Owl's Head Mountain Trail during the week, but weekends are strictly prohibited. For more information please refer to this DEC Bulletin.

Directions to Owl's Head Mountain from High Peaks Resort.

Moose Pond

This hike has a lot of beautiful scenery along an easy path to the scenic Moose Pond. Photo opportunities abound here with a rocky shore and view of Whiteface and Esther peaks. Roundtrip, this hike is three miles. (Local Tip: This is a great trail for winter snowshoeing!)

Directions to Moose Pond Trail from High Peaks Resort.

Mt. Jo

The summit ledges on this hike provide one of the best views of the High Peaks to be found on a relatively easy hike. There are two trails up, the shorter and steeper trail is better built and there are many steps and water bars along the trail. The "long" trail is not as well built, but also not as steep. This will take about two and a half hours to complete 3.6-miles roundtrip with young children.

Directions to Mount Jo Loop Trail from High Peaks Resort.

Baker Mountain

This hike is short, but somewhat steep and reaches a wooded summit and open rocky areas with great views looking toward the High Peaks and the Saranac Lake Chains. The trailhead is near Saranac Lake off of Route 3. Only 1.8 miles round trip, this hike will take about two hours with young children.

Directions to Baker Mountain from High Peaks Resort.

Panther Mountain

There are a few steep parts of this hike so it may not be suitable for children of all ages, but you'll reach the summit in under a mile so it's great for kids. When you reach the top you'll enjoy fantastic views that were well worth the effort! Round trip it's only about 1.2 miles, but with the steep points, you'll want to give yourself about two hours.

Directions to Panther Mountain from High Peaks Resort.

Be Prepared!

No matter how long your hike, don't forget to bring more water than you think you'll need and hydrate often. The Trailhead Market at High Peaks Resort has an inventory of many items you'll find useful like water, snacks, hiking sticks, sunscreen and basic first aid items, but you should always research where you'll be hiking and what you should bring beforehand and pack accordingly.

More Adirondack Family Fun

Hiking in the Adirondacks can be very rewarding. Whether it's the views at the top of a mountain or breathing in the fresh air through a wooded trail, families can enjoy getting back to nature together and making memories for a lifetime. Beyond hiking, families can experience the joys of paddling in the Adirondacks as well. You can either borrow some of our recreational equipment, complimentary with all stays at High Peaks Resort, rent from nearby outfitters, or bring your own along for the trip. With so many lakes and rivers, the is no shortage of fun paddling spots to explore in and around Lake Placid.

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Couple over looking mirror lake in the great room at the lake house
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With more than just comfortable, Adirondack lake character, a stay at Lake House puts you one threshold away from everything you want to see in the High Peaks Region.

The Adirondacks are yours. What they mean, how they inspire, is totally up to you.

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Sunset through a set of wide bay windows
Sunset through a set of wide bay windows