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What to Do in the Adirondacks in Spring: Outdoor Adventures & Fun Activities

Wondering what to do in the Adirondacks in spring? Looking forward to planning some fun adventures as the weather warms up?

From hiking and paddling to railbiking and ziplining, spring has something for everyone. See our picks for the top things to do this season!

Make the Most of Spring Hiking Season

blue waterway near forest

When hiking in the Adirondacks in April, May, and early June, it’s best to stick to the lower elevation trails to reduce damage and erosion to the vegetation and trails while we wait for the higher regions to dry out.

Here are a few trails that spring adventurers can try instead:

view of mountains from a summit
  • Panther Mountain - A lower elevation mountain (2,236 ft. peak) suited to beginners, with less mud and a round trip of just 1.2 miles. Trailhead begins in Tupper Lake, intersection of Routes 3 and 30.
  • Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain - Has two trail options: Ranger Trail and Observer's Trail. Trail lengths one-way are approximately 1.2 miles and 2 miles, with Ranger Trail the steeper of the two, and Observer's Trail with easier footing.
  • Pharaoh Mountain - Located in Essex County, this is a longer hike, extending 14 miles round trip, with spectacular views of Pharaoh Lake. There are shorter hikes nearby, such as Crab Pond, Glidden Marsh, and Treadway Mountain Trail.

As summer approaches and the mud dries up, consider some of the more challenging Adirondack High Peaks.

view of a mountain from another peak

Fascinating Facts About the High Peaks:

  • The Adirondack Park has nearly four dozen peaks topping – or close to - 4,000 ft. elevation.
  • Mount Marcy is the highest, at 5,344 ft.
  • The High Peaks trails are known for being “rugged” so be sure to have the right equipment.
  • Hikers who complete all 46 High Peaks are called Adirondack 46ers.

Thrills, Chills…and Spills - Go Whitewater Rafting

six people whitewater rafting

If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, spring, summer, and fall in the Adirondacks offer a “raft” of other activities. One of the most exciting options is whitewater rafting.

Always look for certified river outfitters with skilled rafters and kayakers on staff. Here are a few of our favorites in the region.

See more whitewater rafting companies >>

Did You Know?

people in a blue raft on a raging river

The Hudson River is rated among the top 10 rivers for whitewater rafting in the United States. Early spring is the most thrilling time for riding the rapids, with peak levels of difficulty reaching Class IV and Class V. Prepare to get wet!

For those looking for a more mellow ride, late summer and early autumn are the best times to be on the water.

Plan the Perfect Spring Paddling Trip

people canoeing on a lake

If paddling on a pond or lake is more your speed, many Adirondack outfitters open for business during spring, with both canoe and kayak rentals available.

Up in beautiful Saranac Lake, St. Regis Canoe Outfitters offers equipment, guided trips, overnight camping (and ‘Glamping’) excursions, and “meetup” canoeing and kayaking trips for all skill levels.

The Grand Canyon Ain’t Got Nothin’ on the ADK

The Adirondacks are home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the Northeast. Plan a trip to some of these major attractions when they reopen in spring.

High Falls Gorge

walkway and bridge along a large river and waterfall

High Falls Gorge in Wilmington is a 22-acre nature park with multiple trails designed to accommodate visitors of all ages and activity levels. You’ll experience the wonders of sheer granite walls, with four amazing waterfalls, surrounded by one of the last remaining virgin forests in the Adirondacks.

The gift shop and visitors center are open year-round, with the entire park fully open in May.

Ausable Chasm

people rafting on river below large cliffs

Ausable Chasm is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.” It is one of our nation’s first organized tourist attractions - for good reason!

Featuring guided trail tours across ancient geologic expanses, floating tours, rock climbing, and more, Ausable Chasm is a must-see destination.

Natural Stone Bridge & Caves

large stone cave cliff with trees above

Natural Stone Bridge & Caves in Pottersville is home to the largest marble cave entrance in the U.S. It offers day-long adventures, including a self-guided cave trail featuring the Stone Bridge, surface caves and grottos, waterfalls, and more.

This is a popular spot, so book your spring and summer trip early!

Climb High for Treetop Adventures

man ziplining through a forest

Want to get extreme this spring? Sign up for another favorite Adirondack activity - zipline and treetop obstacle courses!

These heart-pounding aerial adventures are available at several locations, including:

Ride the Rails Through the Adirondacks

railbiking along tracks with tall grass nearby

For those seeking a unique and leisurely way to explore the natural beauty of the Adirondack region, railbiking offers an unforgettable adventure.

Railbiking involves pedaling specially designed bikes along inactive railroad tracks, allowing riders to glide through picturesque landscapes while enjoying the fresh mountain air and stunning scenery.

The Adirondack Park provides the perfect backdrop for a railbiking excursion in spring, summer, or fall!

Where Do I Sign Up?

  • Revolution Rail Co. - North Creek, Hadley, and Thurman
  • Adirondack Railbike Adventures - Tupper Lake and Thendara

Local Museums and History Abound

aerial view of Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain

If American history is your thing, Fort Ticonderoga, open May - October, is the place for you. Experience live re-enactments of the American Revolution, browse one of the most extensive collections of 18th-century artifacts, and enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Champlain too!

Or, soak up the history, culture, and traditions of the region at the Adirondack Experience - a 121-acre indoor/outdoor museum overlooking the scenic vistas of Blue Mountain Lake.

Feeling the Olympic Spirit?

a museum room with Olympic sport memorabilia on the walls and in cases

While the 2024 Summer Games may be happening across the ocean, the Lake Placid Olympic Museum is open year-round. Located in the village that has played host to the Winter Games not once but twice, immerse yourself in the history and stories that continue to inspire people today.

Your Adirondack spring adventures await! Collect your gear, pack your bags, and get ready for a fun-filled trip to the region.

Check out the top spring events in the ADK >>

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