Mt. Marcy in the northern Adirondacks is the highest peak in the state of New York. Hiking to the top of Marcy a quick walk in the woods.
The first ascent was made in 1837. Although technically not the most challenging hike, be prepared to spend a majority of the day on the trail. Hiking back and forth in one day can be accomplished with the 7 mile Van Hoevenberg Trail on the north side. At 7 miles to the summit from the parking lot of the Adirondack Loj, which is a nine-mile drive from Lake Placid Village, the trail head is accessible and convenient.
The first 2 miles of the Van Hoevenberg trail provides flat cruising on soft ground that enables you to pick up some good steam and get your breathing going that can enable you to catch a smooth rhythm. After 2 miles you come to the rest stop of all rest stops, Marcy Dam.
From here it’s all sweat and uphill tenacity to the top of Phelps Mountain which lies next to Marcy. Basically on the Van Hoevenberg trail, you aren’t climbing Marcy from top to bottom, you’re climbing Mt. Phelps and then crossing over. There are trails that scale Marcy from top to bottom, but be prepared to make it a two-day event if you choose that route.
Climbing uphill for the next 3.5 to 4 miles is mostly within the trees without any views that are worth stopping for. It’s all about keeping the momentum going and imagining the rewarding views once you finally make it above the tree line.
Once you summit Mt. Phelps, the summit of Mt. Marcy proudly stares you in the face. From this point on, it’s all above tree line as hikers scale the rock face leading up to the summit. This is perhaps the most exciting and rewarding part of the hike as the summit is within sight, but yet you are exasperating every last inch of energy to reach the top.
Mt. Marcy is a great day hike that tests your stamina, desire and conditioning. You need no technical climbing skills to accomplish it in the summer.
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On your way to Lake Placid, you'll pass some great areas to go hiking! During good weather, you'll see cars parked along Rt 9 after you've gotten off the exit 30 on I-87. In fact, the first thing you'll pass is a natural spring on the left after you get off the exit, less than a mile down Rt 9. Route 9 turns into Rt 73, which takes you in to Lake Placid.
Be careful driving around these cars. You'll want to part near them and parking on the shoulder only is not advised. Make sure your car is clearly off the road, and be sure to push your outside rear view mirror in towards your side window, too!! This is pretty much all part of the Adirondack Park Reserve.
You'll see a few trails here and there. There's a small waterfall, too. Excellent for photography!! There's a river that you can canoe around that runs along with the highway, so have a great time!!
There really is beauty everywhere here and you will come upon many scenic views and various hiking paths while you are driving through these mountains.
So, here is the skating rink we walked past several times. No wonder, would you recognize it? A few months after we were there we saw some old pictures on tv and then we recognized it all.