Columbus Day Weekend is always a hugely popular time for hiking in the Adirondacks. It also happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving Day Holiday Weekend, so our friends from the north are also celebrating and may be heading down for a hike.
To ensure public safety with the anticipated increased number of hikers the DEC has decided to temporarily relocate certain trailheads and parking.
Trailhead Reroutes & Parking
The trailhead and trailhead parking for Cascade Mountain, Porter Mountain, and Pitchoff Mountain will be relocated during Columbus Day Weekend to the Olympic Regional Development Authority’s Mt. Van Hoevenberg Sports Complex. This complex is 1.3 miles west of the current trailhead, located at 220 Bobsled Lane in Lake Placid.
Beginning at dusk on Thursday, October 5th, through dusk on Monday, October 9th, the pull-offs along State Route 73 near the current trailhead will be closed to parking and roadside parking.
“By offering an easily accessible parking area with connections to current trails, this temporary trailhead relocation will help ensure all interested hikers can safely enjoy the opportunities this area has to offer,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
Hiking Cascade Mountain or Porter Mountain
Hikers planning to climb the summit of Cascade Mountain or Porter Mountain can park in the parking lots at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Sports Complex for free. Volunteers will be directing hikers to a 2-mile marked route on the complex’s cross-country ski trail system.
These trails are smooth and make for an easy hike, linking to the newly constructed 0.4-mile connector trail between the ski trail and the Cascade Mountain Trail. The connector trail joins the Cascade Mountain Trail approximately 0.6 miles from the current trailhead.
A roundtrip hike to the summit of Cascade Mountain will be 8.6 miles long; this is an additional 3.8 miles round trip from the usual trailhead.
Hiking Pitchoff Mountain
Hikers planning to climb the summit of Pitchoff Mountain will start on the same route across the complex’s cross-country ski trail system. After 1.7 miles, the route will leave the ski trail and go across 0.3-miles of a private driveway to State Route 73.
From there, hikers will walk 0.15-miles and cross State Route 73 to the current trailhead for Pitchoff Mountain Trail.
A roundtrip hike to the summit will be 8.4 miles long; this is an additional 4.4 miles round trip from the usual trailhead.
The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex can provide hikers with amenities not available at the current trailhead, namely bathrooms and food and drink. The concession stand at the Cross Country Lodge is open from 11am to 4:30pm every day.
Visitors can also take advantage of a bobsled ride, mountain biking, or a bus tour of the complex.