Selected Walks

"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul" -John Muir

Getting outside is what a trip to Lake Placid is all about! A good way to get outside is to go explore one of the many nature trails in the area.
This is a great way to get your hiking legs ready or just take in the surrounding nature! The following will recap my experience from three local trails I walked on July 2, 2020. 

A couple of notes about all three trails

They are great to do any time of year. During the winter many people will cross country ski or snowshoe. When walking during colder months, micro-spikes are HIGHLY recommended as the trails can be very icy.

All three are dog friendly. I don’t think I’ve ever gone and not seen another dog. Most locals will let their dogs run off-leash. My dog is very good off-leash, as are most that I’ve come across and we’ve never had an issue. If you’re not a dog person – just a heads up you might make a new friend! 

First stop was one of our go-to trails when we want to let Eden, our 5-year-old lab, run off some energy – Henry’s Woods.
The Henry’s Woods Trail System consists of 5 distinct trails through a thick, shaded forest with occasional brook crossings and mountain views. 


Henry's Woods

15 Bear Cub Road | Lake Placid, NY 12946

Directions from GALR: {1.8 miles | ~5 minute drive}

Turn left out of the hotel parking lot. Follow Main Street to the second stop light. Turn right on to Sentinel Road/73E. Take a slight right on to Newman Road (by the ADK Corner Store). Take the second left on to Church Street. Church Street will intersect with Old Military Road in .4 miles. You’ll continue straight on to Bear Cub Road. The trailhead with its sign & parking area is on Bear Cub Road .1 miles from the intersection with Old Military Road.

Henry's Woods Welcome Sign

You’ll start on the Connector Trail which connects to the Loop Trail in .3 miles. You can either go left or right on the Loop Trail and walk the 2-mile moderate loop, or take one of three connector trails. We decided to go left on the Loop trail and take the .4 mile walk to the Plateau Trail so we could take in the views. The Plateau Trail is a low impact, .9 mile trail that carefully winds through the woods with wonderful views, benches and a sense of seclusion. It has a low net elevation change, but frequent ups and downs. You’ll see the Wilmington Notch View and then the Sentinel Range view from this trail.

Each trail is marked by different colors that correlate to the map below;
e.g the Plateau Trail is yellow.

Henry's Woods Trail Map

There is a similar map at the beginning of the walk so you can see exactly where you want to go!


This trail turns and circles back to the Loop Trail, or you can keep going and take the .25 mile Switchback Trail to the Loop Trail (which is what we did). Going this way brings you to the side of the Loop Trail close to the Bride to Nowhere. From the Loop Trail, we took the .15 mile walk to look at the bridge (and play on the big rock). 
From here you can keep going on the Loop Trail and connect to the third connector trail, the Rocky Knob Trail. Because it was so warm out and we still had two more trails to cover, we just turned around and headed back to the trailhead.
The Rocky Knob Trail is definitely worth checking out if you have the time though! This is the steepest and most demanding trail in Henry’s Woods. There are many interesting twists and turns that lead to several magnificent vistas near the summit. You’ll get Great Range views and Lake Placid views. This trail is .9 miles, with the summit reaching 2,270 feet.

Next up on our day of trails was Heaven Hill. Heaven Hill is just a 2-mile drive down Bear Cub Road. You’ll take in some great mountain views along the way, as well as see the Olympic Ski Jumps! 
The Heaven Hill Trail System consists of three main loops. They follow long, established farm or wood roads and intersect with other trails to form several shorter loops of varying lengths.

Heaven Hill

166 Bear Cub Road | Lake Placid, NY 12946

 

Directions from GALR: { 3.9 miles | ~9 minute drive}

Turn left out of the hotel parking lot. Follow Main Street to the second stop light. Turn right on to Sentinel Road/73E. Take a slight right on to Newman Road (by the ADK Corner Store). Take the second left on to Church Street. Church Street will intersect with Old Military Road in .4 miles. You’ll continue straight on to Bear Cub Road. The trailhead with its sign & parking area is on Bear Cub Road 2.2 miles from the intersection with Old Military Road.

 

When you walk on to the trail, you’ll first see a kiosk with a map and information to decide what trail you want to walk. From here, you can go left on the Bear Cub Loop or right on the Big Field Loop.
The main outer loop of Bear Cub is about 1.5 miles. There are multiple connector Bear Cub Trails for those who want to shorten their hike or want to try something different. This trail is in the woods with little change in terrain. Note: you might find a wet section after it rains. You can also connect to the Big Field Loop going this way.

The Big Field Loop will bring you to the Orchard Loop as well as some shorter loops.
The Big Field Loop is just under one mile for those walking the outer loop. There are also connector trails that you can use to make your hike shorter.
The Orchard Loop is a 1.5-mile loop that travels along the edge of an old pasture. This loop is open which allows for views of the high peaks. The best time to do this loop is during the fall when the leaves are at peak!
For this walk, we took the following trails:
Big Field Loop – Old Orchard Connector – Short Drop – Beech Run – Upper Orchard – Old Orchard – Old Orchard Connecter – Big Field to the trailhead.

We spent the least amount of time at Heaven Hill on this trip because it was just so hot and very buggy on the Orchard Loop. If you can spend some time here, it is absolutely beautiful!
During the summer there are so many wildflowers and everything is so lush and green. During the fall the colors are breathtaking during peak leaf-peeping. Winter is also beautiful and this loop is great to snowshoe and take in the snow-covered mountains.

Heaven Hill fields

Last up on our day of trail walking was the Peninsula Trail. 

These interconnecting trails are located on the shores of Lake Placid. They are close to the Village Center but offer a taste of wilderness in a quiet and peaceful setting. Views of Lake Placid Lake make this an excellent destination for short outings.

Peninsula Trail

Directions from GALR: {1 Mile | ~4 minute drive}
Turn right out of the driveway. Follow Main Street to Saranac Ave/86W (take the left by High Peaks Resort). Stay on Saranac Ave for about .7 miles. Turn right onto Peninsula Way (between ‘Dack Shack and Quality Inn). At the top of the hill the road becomes gravel. The trailhead is .2 miles from that point.

 

The Peninsula Trail might be my new favorite trail. I love that it combines walking in the woods and being by the lake (if you take the Lakeshore Trail, which I had not done before today).

Peninsula Trail Sign

When you arrive at the Peninsula Trail, you will start on the Corridor Trail. From here, the first connector trail you can take is either going left or right on the Boundary Trail. Going left will loop around and connect to the Lake Shore Trail. Going right will connect to the Ridge Trail. We stayed straight on the Corridor trail and took the next left on to the Boundary Trail. You could also go right at this intersection on to the Ridge Trail, or stay straight on the Corridor Trail.

Peninsula Trail Map

After taking the left on to the Boundary trail, you will quickly start to hear the sounds of the lake. There are some rocky spots where I often see people fishing (and the dog stops for a drink!) Just a little way up, the trail opens and you can access the west side of Lake Placid (the lake). When you first approach you will see the SOA dam. You can get in the lake pretty easily here, or go a little to the right and there is a dock. If you don’t want to swim or continue your walk, there is a bridge on the left that takes you to the other side and connects to the Boundary trail (which takes you back to the trailhead/parking). If you want to keep your walk going, you’ll go right and start on the Lake Shore Trail. The trail is in the woods, but also next to the lake with spots where you can peek out at the views (or let your dog go swimming for the 50th time). Note: there are a lot of roots on this trail, so just watch your step! This trail loops around and connects you to the longer Ridge Trial or Corridor Trail which brings you back to the trailhead. 

Since we had been out on trails all day (and it was still very hot) we opted to head back to the trailhead. The Corridor Trail is a nice flat walk through the woods that is pretty well shaded – which is really nice after a long hot day of trail walking!

Peninsula Trail Sign

Whichever combination of trails you choose, make sure to look for the fun facts!

Bonus trail! We didn’t walk John Brown Farm this time, but here are some photos from our walk in the spring.

John Brown Farm

115 John Brown Road | Lake Placid, NY 12946

Directions from GALR: {2.8 miles | ~7 minute drive}

Turn left out of the hotel parking lot. Follow Main Street to the second stop light. Turn right on to Sentinel Road/73E (which turns into Cascade Road). Stay on Cascade Road for about a mile. Take a slight right on to John Brown Road (just pass the airport, before the horse show grounds). Take John Brown Road to the end (about half a mile). 

The dirt parking area for the trail system is .6 miles from the intersection of Rt. 73 & Old Military Road.

 

John Brown’s Farm is a National Historic Landmark operated by the National Park Service. It is the home and grave-site of abolitionist John Brown, most famous for leading the pre-Civil War Raid on Harper’s Ferry. There is a fee to access the museum (May—October) but the trails are free.

John Brown Sign
John Brown Trail Map
John Brown Phone Tour Sign

Check out the cell phone tour! While walking around the farm, a number of locations have signs letting you know what you can hear more about.

There are a number of picnic tables, perfect for having lunch with a historic backdrop – the Olympic Ski Jumps!

I hope this information has helped and inspired you to go take a walk in the woods!

Ready for a more challenging adventure?
Check out some of our top picks for an easy to moderate hike you can do in four hours or less!

two girls Snowshoeing at the flume trails

A little bit about me…
I’m originally from Jefferson County New York and grew up visiting Lake Placid. When the opportunity to move to Lake Placid came around, I couldn’t pass it up! Lake Placid has always held a special place in my heart and I am beyond happy to now call it home.
I love getting out and exploring what the area has to offer. Hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing are some of my favorite Adirondack adventures!

-Joell

"The only thing we overlook is the lake!"

hotel view from the lake
Surrender yourself to the natural and untouched beauty of the Adirondack Mountains at the first resort in the U.S. to receive the Audubon International’s Platinum Eco Rating for Hotels. There are now only six hotels in the United States to obtain this honor! It’s a place to renew yourself on the serene shores of Mirror Lake, and take in the history of the town, just steps away from the famed Olympic Village and the heart of Lake Placid, New York. No other place on earth provides this unique blend of comfort, rejuvenation, or one-of-a-kind experiences. Start planning your stay at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort now!

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