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Adirondack Family Hiking

Some of the best family friendly hiking in the Adirondack Region is found off the beaten path - outside of the area known as the High Peaks Wilderness. The six-million-acre Adirondack Park boasts over 2,000 miles of hiking trails that cater to a wide range of abilities - from universally accessible nature paths to mountain climbing routes. From easy to difficult, find a hike that fits your family's skill level.

Whether trekking from the summit of Mt. Marcy (New York's highest peak) or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through the woods - get outside and enjoy a day of hiking in the Adirondacks with your family and friends.

two sisters enjoying a break during a family hike in the Adirondacks

Featured Adirondack Family Hikes

Easy Family Hike Recommendations:

  1. Heritage Trail in Plattsburgh offers several routes through the city with stops at historic sites. This "city hiking" route also travels along the Saranac River, offering easy access to Adirondack restaurants and shops, with incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
  2. The Buttermilk Falls trail in Long Lake is a super-short 0.3 mile round trip trek into a series of cascades on the Raquette River that drop to 40 feet. A small parking area at the trailhead on North Point Road offers picnic tables and fireplaces.
  3. Copperas Pond trail in Wilmington is a 4-mile round trip hike into three ponds, including Owen and Winch. Enjoy multiple hiking trails and swimming. A lean-to area is located on Copperas Pond for overnight camping or an afternoon of relaxing.

Moderate Family Hikes:

  1. Whetstone Gulf State Park in the Adirondacks Tug Hill Plateau offers a 5.6-mile loop trail that travels along the three-mile gorge. Cut into the eastern edge of the Plateau, the gorge offers one of the most unique hiking experiences in the Adirondack Park.
  2. Mt. Baker trail in Saranac Lake is a 1.8-mile round trip hike that offers incredible views of the High Peaks and Saranac Lakes Chain. This short, but sometimes steep hike provides a great picnic spot along rocky ledges at the summit.
  3. The Wolf Lake Hike trail in the Adirondack Seaway Region is a moderate 5 mile-loop winding around rocky outcrops and leading to a series of picturesque lakes. There is a lean-to area located along the route, which ends at a 40-foot bluff overlooking Huckleberry Lake.

Difficult Family Hikes:

  1. Blue Mountain trail in Blue Mountain Lake is a four-mile round-trip trek. Enjoy spectacular summit views of the surrounding mountains and lake. One of the last operating fire towers in the Adirondacks sits atop the summit. Each August, an interpretive guide will be on the summit to greet hikers and provide more information about fire towers and the forest preserve.
  2. Black Mountain trail in Lake George is a 5.6-mile round-trip hike offering some of the most spectacular vistas in the southern Adirondacks. At the summit, you will find a ranger's cabin, antenna tower, and a power-generating windmill. Glimpse Round and Lapland Ponds, and enjoy pristine views of the surrounding wilderness.
  3. The Algonquin Mountain trail in Lake Placid is the second highest peak in New York State. The 8.6 round-trip trek offers a moderate-to-difficult climb and a summit elevation of 5,114 feet. Mid-way along the trail, you'll find a waterfall clearing perfect for resting or a family picnic.
family hiking together in the Adirondacks

Recommended Adirondack Day Hike Supplies

  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes or worn-in hiking boots
  • Daypack
  • Water
  • Wool or blend socks
  • Extra food
  • Compass/maps for back-country treks
  • Knife/multipurpose tool
  • Flashlight
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Fleece jacket
  • First aid kit
  • Waterproof matches
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
backcountry camping tent set up in the woods

Guide to Backcountry Camping

When planning an overnight Adirondack camping trip, check out our guide to backcountry camping and be fully prepared for whatever comes your way.

Hiking Lyon Mountain

Adirondack Hiking Challenges

Are you up to a challenge? With more than 2,000 miles of scenic trails, there’s a hiking challenge for everyone at any level seeking to test their tenacity on the trails.

summit of Ampersand Mountain

Top Scenic Hikes