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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.

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.


Looking for More Vacation Inspiration?

Tag along with Alba Adventures on their recent visit to the Adirondacks!

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Leave No Trace

Please help us preserve the Adirondack Mountains so that many generations to come can enjoy them as much as we are now. In partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Adirondack Mountain Club has great information about the seven principles of Leave No Trace.

Safe Hiking for Your Whole Family

When hiking in the Adirondacks one can never be too careful. It's important to remember that although the Adirondack Mountains are just a few hours from home, the mountains are wild country and can be dangerous if underestimated. No trip is worth it if any member of your family will risk overexertion.

Adirondack.net is a great resource for easily accessible recommendations on hiking in the Adirondacks, from experienced hikers like more great hikes for families, great hikes for dogs, and more.

For information on trail conditions and safety, please refer to the NYS DEC.

Adirondack Activities

Check out all the fun things to do in Lake Placid and the Adirondacks during your stay at High Peaks Resort.

Contact Guest Services

A visit to the Adirondacks can be any thing you would like! Our concierge has relationships with our region's most prominent and sought after professionals and organizations to provide you with limitless ways in which you can enhance your visit.

If you are interested in information on Adirondack activities, don't hesitate to contact us!

Bed & Breakfast

Enjoy the breakfast of your choice at the world-famous Dancing Bears Restaurant for each person each day!

Our Hotel is Your Lake House

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.

Sunset through a set of wide bay windows.