New York

Choose Your Pace: Hiking the Adirondacks

Learn about garnet mines, railroads, wildlife and more as you explore the Adirondacks on foot and by canoe, choosing from multiple activity levels each day.
Rating (4.91)
Program No. 23151RJ
6 days
Starts at
6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5B 4L 5D
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At a Glance

The rugged peaks of the Adirondack Mountains and the lakes that dot its foothills were carefully carved by glaciers and faults. The result is a fascinating ecosystem of forests and wetlands in the Adirondack Park. Explore this beautiful region of New York as you choose from varied hiking options each day, from gentle walks to an epic hiking excursion of one of the Adirondack's High Peaks. Learn about logging, railroads and garnet mines during expert lectures and discover the wildlife and natural beauty of the Adirondacks as you explore it on foot and by canoe.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Choose Your Pace
Choose from hiking options each day based on your desired level of challenge, up to 8 miles and 1200-foot elevation gain. Some options include paddling of kayaks.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn about the garnet mines from a local expert before exploring them in person, or venture out to conquer one of the region's High Peaks.
  • Visit Adirondack museums to learn about local history, art, culture and the important role that railroads played in developing the region.
  • Take comfort in knowing that you can choose from multiple hiking options depending on your desired challenge each day.

General Notes

Airport transfer available at added cost.
Featured Expert
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Christine Campeau
Christine Campeau is the School Programs Manager and Educator at the Adirondack Experience Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Participants will have an opportunity to visit the museum during their Road Scholar program and explore its fascinating interactive exhibit on logging in the area, a field trip that complements Christine’s fascinating presentation.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Christine Campeau
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Adirondack Trails with Tales: History Hikes through the Adirondack Park and the Lake George, Lake Champlain and Mohawk Valley Regions
by Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney
Bike, paddle, bike, or cross-country ski along beautiful trails through sites made famous by Adirondack guides, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, colonial settlers, and combatants in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. Visit abandoned iron mines and the ruins of tanneries, famous Adirondack great camps and old resorts, lost villages, Native American battlegrounds, and the homestead of John Brown, catalyst for the Civil War. Visit the scene of America s first naval battle and marvel at geological wonders like Indian Pass, Canajoharie Gorge, Chimney Mountain, and the tufa caves of Van Hornesville. Includes detailed directions, maps, photographs, and vintage postcards. Foreword by Joe Martens, President, Open Space Institute. Hikes include: Valcour Island, Coon Mountain, Crown Point: Fort St. Frederic & His Majesty s Fort of Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga, Ironville & Penfield Homestead, Rock Pond, Rogers Rock, Shelving Rock Mountain & Shelving Rock Falls, Prospect Mountain, Fort George and Bloody Pond, Cooper s Cave & Betar Byway, John Brown s Farm, Mt. Jo & Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Adirondac & Indian Pass, East Branch of the Ausable River & Adirondack Mountain Reserve, Santanoni, The Sagamore, Paul Smiths, Hooper Garnet Mine, Chimney Mountain, Kunjamuk Cave, Griffin, Griffin Falls, & Auger Falls, Moss Island, Tufa Caves & Waterfalls of Van Hornesville, Canajoharie Gorge, and Wolf Hollow.
The Adirondacks: A History of America's First Wilderness
by Paul Schneider
Paul Schneider's book is a romance, a story of first love between Americans and a thing they call "wilderness." For it was in the Adirondacks that masses of non-Native Americans first learned to cherish the wilderness as a place of recreation and solace. In this lyrical narrative history, the author reveals that the affair between Americans and the Adirondacks was by no means one of love at first sight. And even now, Schneider shows that Americans' relationship with the glorious mountains and rivers of the Adirondacks continues to change. As in every good romance, nothing is as simple as it appears.
High Peaks: A History of Hiking the Adirondacks from Noah to Neoprene
by Tim Rowland
The unique geological history of the Adirondacks can be found in a pebble. So discovers humorist and outdoorsman Tim Rowland as he chronicles the evolution of hiking in the howling wilderness of the High Peaks. From nineteenth-century guides’ “random scoots” to Melville Dewey’s “Adirondaks Loj” to today’s technologically enhanced weekenders, Rowland, who has climbed the forty-six himself, incorporates personal anecdotes and laugh-out-loud wit to capture the appeal and beauty of this beloved region, all the while reminding us of the importance of keeping these stunning mountains, and their attendant “neat rocks,” “Forever Wild.”
The Adirondack Reader
by Adirondack Mountain Club
Writers of the past 400 years reflect the changing attitudes toward wilderness and the development of wild lands in the Adirondack Mountains.
Adirondack Wildlife: A Field Guide
by James M. Ryan
The breathtaking six-million-acre Adirondack Park in upstate New York is comprised of a multiplicity of habitats, including over 2,800 lakes and ponds, more than 30,000 miles of running water, and 46 major mountain peaks. Adirondack Wildlife: A Field Guide is, astonishingly, the first authoritative handbook devoted to the natural history and ecology of the Adirondacks and the Park’s invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The book leads the reader on an intimate journey through the Adirondack Park, beginning with the alpine communities above timberline and descending through the conifer and hardwood forests to the wetlands, streams, and lakes. Ryan’s crisp and authoritative species-by-species accounts of the park’s fauna are fabulously illustrated in color and in black and white. The book is portable and geared towards use in the field. Each chapter concludes with “sources and additional readings;” back matter includes a glossary and species checklists. The park’s hundreds of thousands of residents and millions of visitors will profit immeasurably by having the indispensable Adirondack Wildlife at hand.

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