One foot in front of the other

Saranac Lake is a hub for hikers and when spring arrives with fresh buds on trees, the rush of snowmelt-fed streams, and fresh, sweet air, the hiking is extra good! Hiking is a favorite in the Adirondacks, and Saranac Lake is a beautiful region for beginner and experienced hikers alike. Gently meandering paths, trails to lake-side views, and big mountaintop vistas all await anyone who hikes here.

A female hiker smiles from a rocky pinnacle with mountain views beyond.

Try it, we think you'll like it!

If you're new to hiking, Saranac Lake is an ideal place to start, providing adventurers with a range of options that will fit right in to their skill set. Head out in any direction from town to find hikes that range from family-friendly to challenging. Each hike will offer something unique, from interesting geological features to stunning scenery. We have hikes close to town and others a little further afield, where you'll wind your way through pine-scented forests and past sparkling brooks. It doesn't all have to be rugged mountains; try a gentle nature walk

Whether you're a beginner or a hiker from way back, in the Saranac Lake region you'll find hundreds of miles of beautiful trails that are ready to be explored, savored, and enjoyed. The Saranac Lake 6er Hiking Challenge, which encompasses six hikes in the region, has been a popular activity for several years.

A hiker walks down a pine needle-strewn path in woods.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is a great resource for more outdoor recreation-related information, including useful maps!

Shoulder season safety

Spring means more than just the first buds on trees and plants peeking up from the snow; it also means messy weather. In the spring, many locations, particularly on peaks, see a wide variety of weather conditions, including snow and rain (sometimes in the same day), ice, and mud.

A couple signs into a hiking trail register.

Hiking during the fall season is a magical time to catch colorful foliage and enjoy the trails. However, fall also brings with it hunting season in the Adirondacks. During this time, hunters may also be out and about in our shared outdoors. It's important to stay alert and know who you’re on the trails with. Always prioritize safety during hunting season to enjoy your hike without incidents. We know how essential it is to prepare for your next hiking trip during hunting season, and we've come prepared with all the info you need! For more guidance on hunting zones, dates, and times, visit the NYS DEC website to learn more

Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK Pledge

By taking the Love Your Adirondacks Pledge and practicing Leave No Trace ethics you can help ensure that the forests, waterways, and communities of the Adirondacks remain beautiful and unique for generations to come. Make sure you also check out our Hiking 101 page, a great resource for before you hit the trail! When you choose to spend time in the wild, whether it's just a few feet from downtown or deep in the backcountry, it's important to be aware of your impact, how you can hike better and more safely, and share the trail with everyone. After all, we're all on the same team!

Trail closure: The NYSDEC has announced that the Scarface Trail is closed due to unsafe public use of the bridge. The bridge and the Scarface Mountain Trail will remain closed out of an abundance of caution until the structure is replaced, which is expected some time next year (2024). Planning is underway to replace the bridge. Users should not attempt to use the bridge or cross the brook on foot.

The Love Your Adirondacks Pledge

By practicing Leave No Trace ethics you can help ensure that the Adirondacks remain beautiful and unique for generations to come.

Watch Video
Keese Mill Road
Paul Smiths, NY 12970
St. Regis Mountain is a fairly long hike, but the gradually increasing difficulty puts its spectacular fire tower views within reach of most hikers. There are also fantastic views from the peak's open ledges, making this hike a favorite!
Coreys Road
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Seymour Mountain is the stand alone peak of the Seward Range and located on the opposite side of Ouluska Pass and separated from Seward, Donaldson and Emmons by a very deep valley.
Seymour
Floodwood Road
Paul Smiths, NY 12970
Floodwood Mountain is an excellent hike for the entire family. The terrain is moderate with only a short amount of steep sections.
Floodwood Mountain is a fine choice for fall color.
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
At less than a mile long, this pond is a perfect for families and for anyone who wants to stretch their legs.
A view over a small pond of the distance mountains
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
From the parking area on state Route 3 between Saranac Lake and Bloomingdale, this easy hiking trail goes 1.1 miles to the south end of Moose Pond. From the parking area, the trail crosses the Saranac River on a metal bridge before the trail register....
A campfire by the water
Route 30
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Fernow Trail, also known as the Fernow Plantation Loop, was named after Bernhard Fernow. He was one of the fathers of modern forestry and the first chief of the US Forest Service. Look for brochures in the register box for information which...
A metal plaque on a rock for B. Fernow.
Raybrook Road
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Scarface Mountain is just outside of Saranac Lake, on the way to Lake Placid. The hike is 3.8 miles one-way over varied terrain, which at times is quite steep.
A hiker going through a golden-hued forest
Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Not to be confused with the High Peak Mountain Haystack, this one is in Ray Brook and offers a friendlier climb. It features a pleasant woods walk with a final steep climb that leads to an open rock face and ledge.
Blue Mountain Road
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
One of the best fire tower peaks, Azure Mountain has a sweeping view of the Adirondack Mountains and the St. Lawrence Valley, even without climbing the tower. The Friends of Azure Mountain sometimes have a volunteer interpreter in the tower to answer...
Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977
McKenzie Mountain is a 3,822-foot mountain with two distinct peaks that are visible from many places around Saranac Lake. The path begins with a long, pleasant hike through the forest before the serious climbing begins, but when it does it is relentless.
Always an incredible moment to share with someone close.
Route 26
Loon Lake, NY 12989
There is a nice trail that is maintained by the DEC. The trail starts out following an old forest road before it becomes a foot trail beneath you. The grade is never too steep. The fire tower is not open to the cab at this time, but it is being...
Forest Hill Avenue
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Approximately 2.5 miles and able to be started from downtown Saranac Lake, this moderate hike has a series oflookouts providing spectacular views of Saranac Lake, Lake Flower, andmore than 20 of the High Peaks to the east.
Woman in a purple shirt sits on the edge of Baker Mountain and stares out overtop of the green trees below with light cloud cover and other Adirondack mountains in the distance

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

The Adirondack Park provides a haven of pristine wilderness in New York state’s northernmost reaches. It also offers an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities for explorers of all ages and experience levels! While you enjoy your visit, please keep the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace in mind. Set forth by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and championed by many partners within the Adirondack Park, these principles will not only improve your own nature experience, but they help preserve this unparalleled natural wonder for generations to come.

1
Know before you go
 
 
Be prepared! Remember food, water, and clothes to protect you from cold, heat, and rain.     
Use maps to plan where you’re going. Check them along the way so you’ll stay on course and avoid getting lost. Learn about the areas you plan to visit.
2
Stick to trails and camp overnight right
 
 
Walk and ride on designated trails to protect trailside plants. Camp only on existing or designated campsites to avoid damaging vegetation.
3
Trash your trash and pick up poop
 
 
Pack it in, pack it out. Put litter—even crumbs, peels and cores—in garbage bags and carry it home. Use bathrooms or outhouses when available. If they're not available, bury human waste in a small hole 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet or 70 big steps from water and the trail.
4
Leave it as you find it
 
 
Leave plants, rocks, and historical items as you find them so others can enjoy them. Treat living plants with respect. Carving, hacking, or peeling plants may kill them.
5
Be careful with fire
 
 
Use a camp stove for cooking. Stoves are easier to cook on and create less impact than a fire. If you want to have a campfire, be sure it’s permitted and safe to build a fire in the area you’re visiting. Use only existing fire rings to protect the ground from heat. Keep your fire small.
6
Keep wildlife wild
 
 
Observe wildlife from a distance and never approach, feed or follow them. Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them starts bad habits. Protect wildlife and your food by securely storing your meals and trash.
7
Share our trails and manage your pet
 
 
Be considerate when passing others on the trail. Keep your pet under control to protect it, other visitors, and wildlife. Be sure the fun you have outdoors does not bother anyone else. Remember, other visitors are there to enjoy the outdoors too.