Skip to main content

Hiking During Summer in the Adirondacks

In summer, hikers travel from around the world to the Adirondacks to experience the pristine natural beauty of the mountains and valleys on more than 2,000 miles of New York hiking trails. When summer hits full stride in northern New York, the sun pops up just past 5 a.m. and daylight lingers until 9 p.m. Those long days herald summer hiking season and there's no shortage of wild spaces to wander.

woman in a fire tower during an Adirondack summer hike

Summer Day Hikes

Our famous 46ers—New York's 46 peaks that reach above 4,000 feet—draw ambitious hikers to the High Peaks. But day hikes also complement your mountain routine. Start Saturday morning in Saranac Lake with a quick jaunt up 2,452-foot Mt. Baker (1.8 miles round trip), then swing downtown to Riverside Park for vine-ripened tomatoes, lush kale, and raw milk cheese from the farmers market. Savor Lake Champlain views from Rattlesnake Mountain's 1,316-foot summit (3 miles round trip) on an afternoon hike, and head 10 miles north to Ausable Brewing Company. There, pair a Plowman's Lunch pilsner with a spiced Indian chickpea crepe from the Northern Feast food truck parked out front.

A detour from the High Peaks rewards hikers with empty summits and panoramic views. Blue Mountain overlooks the lake and hamlet of the same name in the southern Adirondacks. A two-mile scramble delivers trekkers to a 3,760-foot summit capped by a relic fire tower, plus a look at wild forest interrupted only by pristine lakes. Just 25 miles southwest, past Indian Lake, a 2.8-mile ascent tops out on Chimney Mountain. After you soak in 360-degree views, peek into the cave system beneath the summit.

Adirondack Mountains during the summer

Summer Hiking Tips

  • Pack plenty of water for each member of your group.
  • Research the trail ahead of time and know how long it should take you to complete.
  • Dress for the season as it can be warmer at the trailhead than the summit.
  • Wear wool or blended socks and sturdy shoes.
  • Whatever you carry in, also carry it out.

Unique Hiking Experiences

Another bonus of long summer days? Vibrant sunshine warms granite boulders next to treasured swimming holes. Cool off in brisk mountain rivers, relax on the rocks, and plan tomorrow's hike. This is the most popular season for hiking in the Adirondacks, and trails can become crowded - especially those in the High Peaks Wilderness area. If planning on hiking a popular route, make sure you arrive early to secure a parking spot.

Some of the best hiking in the Adirondacks can be found off the beaten path. Each of the Adirondack Regions offer a unique hiking experience - and each presents environmental and ecological factors to take into consideration. For example, rattlesnakes are known to inhabit very limited areas in the southern Adirondacks around Lake George, and biting insects can be a concern throughout the region during the summer. Protect yourself by applying bug spray and wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants.

The Adirondack Region is also home to more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, and more than 6,000 miles of rivers and streams. Cool off in a mountain pool or lake and relax in the pristine beauty of the Adirondack wilderness.

man with little girls on his shoulders hiking in the summer

Adirondack Waterfall Hikes