By Sierra McGivney
Leaves softly cascade to the ground, covering trails in a mosaic of titian, cherry and amber. Sunbeams poke through trees highlighting fall colors even more. The summer heat has finally broken. Breathe in, fall is here.
Leaf peeping season can bring crowds of people from all over the northeast. I recommend going during the week if possible. In addition, the temperature during the day might be in the 60s but at night the temperature can drop to the 30s. Always carry extra layers, food and a headlamp! If you can’t make it out to the Adirondacks for a bit or want to get really excited before heading out on your hike, you can view the leaves from Mount Van Hoevenberg from a couple weeks ago.
The Adirondacks show off every fall from the mountainside to the foot lands, colors burst everywhere. What’s your favorite way to view all the reds, oranges and yellows? Here are five great hikes with different ways to view the leaves.
Here are the five fall hikes:
Noonmark Mountain offers a 360 view of the high peaks area. From the top, hikers can view the spectacular Great Range and Keene Valley. Climb up to 3,556 to get some of the best views for leaf peeping in the Adirondacks. The trail is on the steep side with rocky sections. This is a 5.5 mile round trip hike that starts from the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). If you are planning on hiking Noonmark you will have to make reservations with the AMR (until Oct 31.). The best way to end this hike is by heading over to the Noonmark Diner for a slice of pie. READ MORE
Wardsboro Road is a relatively flat hike along an old nineteenth century thruway. Unlike Noonmark, you won’t be climbing up to great heights to get fall colors. This trail is rarely used. Animals such as grouse and newts roam alongside the trail. After a 1.5 miles from the southern trailhead an old graveyard sits, undisturbed. The trail has both a southern trailhead and a northern trailhead in the Lake George area. READ MORE
If beautiful lakes surrounded by fall foliage sounds like the perfect fall day, this hike is for you. This 5.3 mile out and back trail is the perfect quiet fall getaway. Located near Gloversville, this trail is on the muddier side but has beautiful views of the lake and features a lean to. Lunch by the lake never looked so good! READ MORE
Walk on the wild side by venturing out into the High Peaks wilderness for a full day adventure of leaf peeping. This trail is rated difficult. It is 7.6 miles out and back via The Brothers. Climb up to 4,239 while hearing leaves crunch beneath your feet. Check off a high peak on your list of 46. Enjoy 360 views from the summit of the High Peaks region, during one of the best times of the year. READ MORE
Anthony’s Nose Preserve (Putnam): Fall is the perfect time to try this short hike (.8 miles OW) with great views of Lake George. From “12 Short Hikes on Preserves Near Lake George” by Mike Lynch, multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. Lynch selected a dozen hikes in the vicinity of Lake George that can be done in a few hours.
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P Strasser says
I just did the Chase Lake hike yesterday (9/29/21). It was lovely. There are a lot of hemlocks but also many mixed hardwoods. I would estimate that the color is just a bit early but by next week will be full color.
One note, your map is outdated. They moved the lean-to to the north end of the lake. Your map will take the hiker to the tent site. It is 2.7 miles (one way) to the lean-to and 2.5 miles to the tent site. Follow the red blazes to the lean-to. The trail will “Y” off at 1.7 miles. You follow the yellow blazes to get to the tent site at this point.
For reference, it took me 1 1/2 hours to hike the 2.7 miles to the lean-to (including time to stop to take photographs).