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11 Adirondack Hikes Perfect for Beginners

You don't have to be an expert hiker to enjoy panaroamic views in the Adirondack region! We've rounded up 11 hikes in and close to the Adirondack Park that are excellent for beginners - and that still offer scenic sights at the summit.

Keep in mind a hike's difficulty will still vary from trail to trail and mountain to mountain, and personal experiences may vary. The time of year you embark on your hike also plays a factor. Trails can be more muddy and harder to traverse in the spring, for instance.

Even if you're a veteran hiker, it's nice to switch it up once in awhile! You don't always have to scale Mount Marcy. Check out our recommendations for beginner hikers below.

map of beginner adirondack hikes

1) Stewart's Ledge

view of lake and trees

At just 1.4 miles and 20 to 30 minutes of hiking, Stewart's Ledge near Lake George is super easy. There is a few minutes of uphill climbing with a gentle incline, so this hike is great for a beginner hiker to condition their body for steepter trails. The trail begins at the Buck Mountain trailhead. This one is also considered kid-friendly, so bring the whole family!

2) Roaring Brook Falls

falls on rocksPhoto credit: kezee, licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

While this hike has rock walls for more adventurous climbers, Roaring Brook Falls also offers a short, wide, and flat path for a quick hike near Keene Valley. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes from the parking area! When you're feeling more adventerous, you can continue on another trail that takes you farther up Giant Mountain.

3) Shelving Rock Falls


Shelving Rock Falls on the eastern side of Lake George is a 3.4-mile roundtrip hike that includes a waterfall - it doesn't get better than that when it comes to beginner hikes! The zig-zagging trail prevents hikers from needing to go straight up, so it's not too steep. The trail is oan old carriage road, so it's wide.

When you get to the top, the trail markers end, so keep aware of your surroundings and make sure to descened back down the mountain safely.

4: Pilot Knob

view from pavilion on summit

Pilot Knob in Fort Ann is another easy hike situated on the eastern side of Lake George. And, if you're willing to hike another 30 minutes or so, you can be rewarded with a waterfall as well as the summit. If you stick to the summit, it's a 3.4-mile hike, and you'll find a picturesque gazebo at the top where you can rest for a moment as you enjoy the view.

5: Hadley Mountain

hikers on a mountainPhoto credit: Alan Nudi

Hadley Mountain in Hadley is a 3.4-mile hike that can get steep in some parts, but is still excellent for beginners. When you reach the top you'll find a restored fire tower which you can climb for even more great views.

The area around the mountain has been affected by forest fires in the past, hence the fire tower, and you'll notice patches of bare rock and thin soils. However, the mountain is slowly recovering and is maintained.

6: Buck Mountain

summit from  mountainPhoto credit: John Marino, licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Buck Mountain on the eastern side of Lake George (this is the place to go for the easy hikes!) features unparalled views of the lake and mountains. The climb is about three miles one way with some rocky sections. Although it's good for a beginners hike it's not recommended for children.

7: Cobble Lookout

view of fall foliage from summitPhoto credit: Alan Nudi

8: Sleeping Beauty Mountain

view from summit

Close to Lake George and one of our recommendations for great hikes for kids, this hike loops by a lovely pond where you can take a break, picnic, and take in the view.

9: Black Mountain

hiker with dog on summitPhoto credit: Logan Ingalls, licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Black Mountain is located close to Huletts Landing and has a few challenging spots. However, it's worth the climb to see the fire tower at the summit.

10: Cat Mountain

view from summitPhoto credit: Alan Nudi

This trail is best for beginners who are ready to move up in difficulty. The hike offers many different kinds of terrain and a few tough spots, so when you're ready, try it out!

11: Cascade Mountain

view from summitPhoto credit: Laurie Tewksbury, licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Once you've had some hiking experience, challenge yourself and try Cascade Mountain - the 36th High Peak of the Adirondacks. This hike is very popular because of its awesome view of the surrounding High Peaks Region.

Why not celebrate completing a beginner hike with a meal at a local restaurant »

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