Here are 10+ ideas for hikes that could take a relationship to new heights
By Melissa Hart
Recently, I sparked a discussion on the Adirondack Backcountry Hikers group when I asked for suggestions of “best hikes to take a date on.”
I kept the details vague (full disclosure: I’m happily married but “date hike” can include spousal outings, right?), which I feel worked out better that way, as people were quick to share their stories and experiences.
While I expected to receive lots of hiking ideas, I wasn’t expecting to hear so many stories of first and second date treks that turned into serious relationships. Such as these:
“About 18 years ago our first date was actually a hike to Noonmark. Then we got married and hike all over.”
“Second date, I took my boyfriend up Big Slide in winter. First time winter hiking, first time in showshoes, meeting my friends. I knew if he didn’t make it we weren’t meant to be.”
“I took my girlfriend on Pharoah Mtn in the ’80s and told her it was a 5 mile round trip hike…oops it was 2x longer but she still married me.”
“We just renewed our vows on Mt Jo, that’s been our romantic spot for 30 years!”
It appears there might be something to taking a date on a backcountry adventures.
Go easy or hard?
As for the suggestions, the 128 responses tended to split into two camps: When you aren’t 100 percent sure what your date’s athletic abilities are, it’s either best to play it safe and easy or put their hiking dedication to the test with something challenging.
Here is some of the advice along those lines:
“I suggest something close to where you live and easy. On a date you want to have a conversation and get to know each other, not prove how great of a hiker you are.
If you pick an adventure where you’re not going to be able to talk while you hike, I’d think you’ve picked the wrong one.”
“Hikes bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. After a long, hard hike you will know.”
Here are some of the date hike ideas, in no particular order (assuming you are looking for easier to scale ones), along with details from Adirondack Explorer stories to accompany each:
Sleeping Beauty (Lake George): In addition to great views, you can take advantage of the après-hike dinner options in Lake George. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Indian Head and Rainbow Falls (Keene): The most posh reservation in the ADK these days is one made for a day at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Click here for more information about the AMR’s hiking permit system.
Bald Mountain (Old Forge): A 2-mile round trip with a fire tower. As former Explorer publisher Tom Woodman writes in 2012, “the hike is moderate enough to be accessible for all ages yet has just enough ledge-scrambling to give a hiker a sense of accomplishment.” READ MORE
St. Regis (Santa Clara): In the northern Adirondacks, another fire tower, but with a longer 6.6-mile round trip hike. We have this article in our archive from a snowshoe trek on St. Regis.
Copperas Winch and Owen Ponds (Lake Placid): Walk through quiet woods to visit these pretty ponds, take in some nice scenery, and perhaps go for a swim—all just a few miles from downtown Lake Placid. The middle pond, Copperas, has a lean-to. 4.5 mile hike total. READ MORE
Castle Rock (Blue Mountain Lake): With an elevation gain of 700 feet, the hike to the summit is generally a gentle slope except for one steep section just below the summit. READ MORE
Mt Jo (Lake Placid): Classic jaunt from the Adirondak Loj that involves great views with minimal effort. LEARN MORE
Moxham Mountain (Minerva): A new-ish trail (about 10 years old) up a short and scenic mountain. READ MORE
Popular High Peaks: Up for a date hike challenge? Some ideas for High Peak date hikes include Cascade, Big Slide, Nippletop, Giant.
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