The leaves are changing and you’re ready to get out there for a robust, social distancing-friendly hike in the Adirondacks to see the foliage. Many might not think of a ski resort as a hiking hotspot, but we are here to tell you all about Gore Mountain’s extensive hiking trail network that is open through October 11.
Hiking Trails to Explore From The Top of the Mountain to the Bottom
Gore Mountain has seven primary hiking trails (one, Sunway Hiking Trail, is currently closed), labeled as Easier, More Difficult, or Most Difficult. A few trails are shared with mountain bikers, and several connect to other trails for further hiking opportunities. All of them have signage and trail markers to keep you on track, and offer fabulous foliage sights.
If you check out the link to the map below, you’ll see how the trails are laid out. Hikers can access the trails from the top or bottom of the mountain, depending on if they want to hike up Gore or hike down. Many opt to take a scenic skyride to the top (more on that below!) and then hike down.
There is no cost to hike the trails at Gore, unless you do opt to take the gondola or chairlift up. They only ask that you sign in at the hiking registry located near the ticketing windows and pick up a trail map before you head out. There will be a staff member on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Get the Details on Each Hiking Trail
Check out the quick highlights for each trail currently open at Gore:
Easier | .5-mile loop
Goes through the hardwoods of Base Area, can be used as a warm up before you head to other trails
Cloud Hiking Trail
Most Difficult | 2.4 miles round trip
Views of mountains, waterways, and forests
Ruby Run Hiking Trail
More Difficult | .8-mile round trip
Views of the High Peaks and beyond
More Difficult | 6.6 miles round trip
Trail winds through the Northwoods Area, will see streambeds and wildflowers
Most Difficult | 3 miles round trip
Goes through portions of Burnt Ridge Mountain’s glacial erratics and The Cirque (longest ski glades in the Northeast)
More Difficult | 2 miles round trip
Less traveled, goes to Twister Cliffs Outlook
Interpretive Loops for Relaxing Strolls & A Winding Labyrinth to Calm Your Mind
These routes are called Independent Interpretive Hikes and are designed as 30-to-45-minute walks. Keep an eye out for informative signage if you’re interested in some education along the route!
Alpine Sky Loop
Easier | .36-mile loop
Circle the summit of Bear Mountain, check out several vistas
Hardwood Forest Loop
Easier | .68-mile loop
Walk through oaks, maples, and birches
Then there’s the Mountaintop Labyrinth, which is a whole other fun option to explore. Located near the top of the gondola (which by the way, is a fantastic way to view the foliage!), this feature is designed for a relaxing stroll on a spiraling path. Unlike mazes, which are designed to be challenging and confusing, labyrinths are just one route where you exit at the same place you entered. They’ve been known to bring a sense of peace and balance to the mind.
The Alpine Sky Loop and Labyrinth are at the top of the mountain, and you can either hike up or take the scenic skyride.
Look for Add-Ons to Your Fall Hiking Excursion: Scenic Skyrides & More
In addition to hiking there’s also scenic skyrides, mountain biking, and disc golf. The scenic skyrides in particular are excellent to combine with a hiking adventure if you’re interested in riding to the top of the mountain to then hike back down. The skyrides take place on the open-air chairlift and on the Northwoods Gondola.
The scenic skyride costs $22 for adults 13 to 64, and $12 for ages 7 to 12 and seniors; six and under are free.
There are mountain biking trails as well as hiking trails (and a few combo trails). The fee for mountain biking includes access to the trails with your bike – full suspension bikes are recommended, and helmets are required.
Downhill mountain biking costs $30 for the day for adults 13 to 64, and $22 for ages 7 to 12 and seniors; or, you can opt for a single ride ticket for $22 for adults and $12 for juniors and seniors. There is an also an option to buy a Hike & Bike Pass, which is $89, and includes unlimited access to hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and the scenic skyrides.
Disc golf, located on the new Airbender Woods 9-hole disc golf course, goes through the Base Area hardwoods for a scenic and unique game. The cost is only $5 per person for a 9-hole round and includes a scorecard and set of three discs, or you can bring your own. Playing disc golf – now there’s a unique way to enjoy foliage!
What to Know With Regard to COVID-19 Regulations
Bathrooms are available at the Northwoods Lodge or Saddle Lodge, hand sanitizing stations are located near the ticket windows and at the top and bottom of the lifts, and social distancing and face coverings are enforced. The face covering is required while waiting in line at the ticket windows, lift loading areas, throughout the duration of the ride on the Northwoods Gondola, at the food service areas, whenever inside a building, and at any time social distancing cannot be maintained.
Speaking of food, during the fall season the Open Pit Grille is open from 10am to 4:30pm on Saturday and Sunday on the Sundeck.
Hiking trails and related activities are open 10am to 4pm through October 11 on Saturdays and Sundays, so there are only a few weeks left to make the most of fall hiking season at Gore!