A Guide to Hiking in the Adirondacks

Trail Maps

A view of Whiteface Mountain in the fall.
A view of Whiteface Mountain in the fall.
Bob Pool/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Aside from the natural beauty of the surroundings and the incredible views offered by the many peaks and valleys of the Adirondacks, the region offers quite a bit of history. In fact, some of the trails themselves were important for travel, especially for Native Americans -- the Iroquois and Algonquin nations, for instance, often fought over the Lake George-Lake Champlain water route, which provided the easiest passage through the Adirondack Mountains. And for those interested in military history and architecture, there are several routes leading to important battlefronts and forts, including Fort William Henry, Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga.

Today, there are dozens of hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty for the outdoor enthusiast. It's easier than ever to plan a trip to one of the many falls or mountains, as Adirondack.net has plenty of information regarding trails, difficulty levels and attractions.

Of course, there's nothing quite like holding the map in your hand and plotting your route with a simple compass (especially since cell phone reception is unreliable throughout the region). There are several maps and trail guides available in the local New York region, and they're usually free or affordable. If you're looking for topographical information on the mountains and trails, seek out "The Adirondacks: The Lake George Region." Other helpful sources and organizations include the Adirondack Mountain Club Headquarters and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.