Bring your boots!
Get ready for an outdoor adventure in Upstate New York.
Ask a local what the top scenic hikes are in the Adirondacks and response will vary.
The truth? The best hikes spark deeper connections, stun trekkers into awed silence, and deliver unexpected natural wonders. Tap into your imagination and picture the scene that sparks your interest. Is it a steep trail to a cloud-splitting summit or a looping mountain trail through lush forest? Do you wish to step back in time and learn the living history of the environment around you? Or maybe you simply envision a quiet afternoon beneath a majestic waterfall. Whatever it is, you are sure to find a scenic hike to meet your expectations in the Adirondacks..
Here is a sampling of great hikes Upstate.
Appalachian Scenic Trail
30 miles of the National Appalachian Scenic Trail passes through southeastern Dutchess and the Hudson Valley, and includes 4,000 acres of protected parkland with hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, and five overnight use areas.
Climb to the top of Hunter Mountain and discover the beauty of the Northern Catkills. The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built in the Catskills, and it is one of five that is still standing. From the summit of Hunter Mountain, discover panoramic views of the Catskill peaks and the Hudson Valley. On a clear day, hikers can see as far Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont.Register.
The Adirondacks are magnificent. Challenge yourself and take a hike up Mount Haystack in the High Peaks Region. At an elevation of 4,960 feet, the summit presents a stunning look at the Great Range. It is the third highest peak in New York State, making it one of the most difficult of the 46 High Peaks.
Climb an easy one mile up Mount Arab near Tupper Lake and find not only a fire tower, but also a museum inside a cozy cabin. Enter the museum to learn about the rich history of the area and the many Adirondack fire towers. Take the stairs to the top of the fire tower and lookout over Tupper Lake and the surrounding landscape. This is a great hike for families and adventurers of all skill and experience levels. With so much to see and learn atop this beautiful mountain, it is no wonder why it is considered a top scenic hike.
Learn more about Sports Upstate
Hiking is a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails (footpaths), in the countryside, while the word walking is used for shorter, particularly urban walks.
In the 1990’s there was a proliferation of official and unofficial long-distance routes in national parks and state parks across the USA. One of country’s most famous trails is the Appalachian Trail, which was conceived in 1921 as America’s first National Trail. It runs from Maine through New York State and on to Georgia.
American writers have loved hiking as a topic since the founding of the republic. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) and Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) were important influences on the outdoors movement in North America. In 1876 the Appalachian Mountain Club, America’s earliest recreation organization, was founded to protect the trails and mountains in the northeastern United States.
The Scottish-born, American naturalist John Muir (1838 –1914), was another important early advocate of the preservation of wilderness in the United States. He petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.