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Secret Spots in the Adirondacks

The Adirondacks are filled with iconic views, must-dos, and top tourist attractions. But for travelers looking for a more authentic experience, we've rounded up some of our favorite hidden gem locations across the Adirondacks.

From secret coves for swimming and paddling, to a brewery and more, it's time to get off that beaten Adirondack path and find some hidden gems.

Cobble Lookout

Cobble Lookout in Wilmington is a newer trail in the Adirondacks. Located just past the start of the Whiteface Memorial Highway Toll Road, the trail starts on Gillespie Drive, where you'll find a small parking area, and meanders for 1.3 miles to an overlook that rewards with stunning views for minimal effort. Pack a picnic and enjoy the view! Great hike to do with kids or inexperienced hikers. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles when spending time in the Adirondacks.

Moose Island

Moose Island on Lake Placid is the larger of the two islands in Lake Placid Lake, features two first-come, first-served lean-tos for overnight camping. These tucked-away lean-tos are just secret enough that they aren't claimed very often. We think they make an excellent basecamp for a day of exploring on the lake. Pack a cooler full of locally made delicacies, drinks, and paddle or boat out to Moose Island. Go during the week and feel like you have the lake to yourself – even in the middle of summer.

Middle Saranac Lake

Middle Saranac Lake just outside of Saranac Lake's downtown dining and shopping district – about 8.5 miles toward Tupper Lake on Route 3 – find the perfect Adirondack swimming spot. A short, half-mile hike from the parking lot brings you to a wide sandy beach with shallow water at the shoreline, perfect for families with little ones who love to build sandcastles. It's also a great place to bring your dog for a short hike and a rewarding swim. Bring beach blankets and plan to spend a day soaking up the sun!

Raquette River Brewing

Raquette River Brewing in Tupper Lake is just a short drive from one of the most popular Adirondack attractions, The Wild Center. The brewery has a cult following, and after a few sips of their Mango Wheat, you'll know why! Enjoy handcrafted brews, New York ciders and wine at picnic tables or at their indoor tasting room year-round. If you get hungry, order pizza, sandwiches and more from the food trucks that are on-site daily.

The Deck

Finally, why not enjoy a thirst-quenching cocktail or local microbrew on The Deck at High Peaks Resort? It's not really a secret – but it's a great place to end up after a day of exploring the Adirondacks' hidden gems!

These are just a handful of the Adirondacks' secret spots. Keep your eyes open when traveling through the region – you never know when a trailhead or boat launch is going to catch your eye and beckon you to stop what you're doing and start exploring.

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