Barnum Brook trickles down over ancient rocks on a trail at the Adirondack
Visitor Center in Paul Smiths.
Frosts come early to the High Peaks (near Saranac Lake). The best time to
see fall foliage is late September to early October.
The Olympic Center in Lake Placid, the home to "The Miracle on Ice" in
the 1980 Winter Games.
A statue of John Brown stands at his homestead outside Lake Placid. The
controversial abolitionist warrior is buried here.
Lower Cascade Lake reflects nearby mountains on the road between Lake Placid
Roaring Brook Falls is just a short hike from Route 9N, just south of St.
Wilmington Notch is a narrow valley carved by water and glacial
erosion along Route 86. The Ausable River tumbles through many small falls
and rapids along this route.
Trip D: The Adirondack
A scenic road trip through
the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, including Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
make a mistake in the Empire State!
The High Peaks
of the Adirondacks are certainly scenic gems, wilderness areas just a day's
drive from New York City and most of the rest of the state. Of course, you
don't want to rush through this road trip. There is so much
scenery to see, no matter what time of the year (although autumn is especially
spectacular). Along this route there is the opportunity to get out and see
the mountains up close and personal (which is a prerequisite for a geographer).
You will learn about the natural history of the Adirondacks at the Visitor
Center in Paul Smiths. You can shop for mountain crafts in Lake Placid and
Saranac Lake. And you will enjoy one of the most awesome vistas in the Northeast
from the top of Whiteface Mountain.
Get moving. The mountains are calling your name!
Description of the Route:
|The trip through the High Peaks
will begin and end in the "hub" village of Saranac Lake. In the late
1800s, this little town was home to hundreds of tuberculosis patients hoping
for a mountain cure. One on them was the author Rober Louis Stevenson, and
you can visit his cottage on the edge of town (photo on left).
Take Rte. 86 north and get ready for some great views of the mountains off
on your right! Shortly you will arrive in the little college town of Paul
Smiths. Just north of town is the Adirondack Visitor Center. You
should stop, see a video production and then hike one of the trails maintained
by the Center.
When you leave stay on Rte. 30 heading south. This will take you through
some of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the East.
When the road intersects with Rte 3, turn left and return to Saranac Lake.
| Take Rte. 86 again, only this time head east for Lake Placid.
Take time to stroll the business section and perhaps see an event at the
Olympic Center. Drive out of town on Rte. 73. Watch for signs for John
Brown's Farm. This is final resting place for the man some say started
the Civil War.
Get back on Rte. 73. You will pass a couple venues of the 1980 Winter Games,
which are still very much in use. Maybe you might want to ride the bobsled?
The road continues eastward into a very narrow valley filled with the two
Cascade Lakes (see photos on both the left
and the right). This is a great spot for picnicking, fishing and boating.
When you leave the picnic area, be careful, since traffic might not see you.
Then you can safely proceed down a long incline into the Keene Valley.
| Turn right
at the intersection in Keene. (Stay on Rte. 73). After you pass through
little St. Huberts, watch for the parking area for Roaring Brook
Falls. This is a very pretty and easy hike. The forest and the waterfall
are worth the stop (trust me!).
Retrace your steps back to Keene Valley. Stop at the Noon Mark Restaurant
for a piece of their homemade pie. Then take Rte. 9N north through Keene
Turn left on to Rte. 86 west and follow it to Wilmington.
Just outside the village is the road to both the North Pole and the
incredible Whiteface Memorial Highway. You haven't seen the Adirondacks
until you've been to the top of Whiteface! (see photo on the left).
On a clear day you can see Vermont. And it's great fun to walk through an
After returning to Wilmington, take Route 86 back toward Lake Placid. The
trip is not over! The road passes through Wilmington Notch along the
Ausable River. Here you will find the Whiteface Ski Center and the
High Falls Trail. These are also recommended
stops on your grand tour.
Route 86 soon returns you to Lake Placid Village and Saranac Lake is around
9 miles further.
to go to see New York Geography
up close and personal.
on the links below!