A popular destination with Lake Placid dayhikers, Cascade Mountain packs in big, 4,000-foot views in 4.3 miles. (Tip: Go early to nab a parking spot in one of the three turnouts near the trailhead.) From the trailhead, descend a log-framed staircase to the sign-in box and follow the red trail markers. The route begins climbing a rocky and root-strewn path over occasional waterbars and stone steps. Gaining 2,000 feet in roughly 2 miles, the trail climbs at a grade through a mix of birch, beech, and striped maple; on two occasions, the climb levels (once to cross a stream and again to traverse a mud hole).
About a mile in, the trail swings northeast and continues ascending rock slabs through a gradually thinning forest. After climbing a steep slab at mile 1.7, the trail breaks out into its first overlook—look west to Mount Marcy and north to spy Lake Placid’s ski jumps. Just ahead, the trail forks with the route to Porter Mountain: stay left here to continue on toward the Cascade summit. In its final half-mile, the trail levels in a grassy clearing before encountering a cairn-spotting scramble to the summit. Atop Cascade’s bald ridge, enjoy views south to peaks in the Great Range, look north to Whiteface, and east to Hurricane Mountain, Lake Champlain and Vermont’s Green Mountains. Enjoy a summit lunch before backtracking to the trailhead.
Note: Cascade is considered a beginner hike by seasoned Adirondack peak-baggers, but it is still an exposed summit. Be prepared year-round for wind, cold conditions, and sudden weather changes.
-Mapped by Lisa Densmore, DensmoreDesigns.com
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CONTACT: Adirondack Mountain Club, Member Services Center, 814 Goggins Road, Lake George, NY 12845; (518) 668-4447; firstname.lastname@example.org
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Keene Valley, NY 12943
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Lake Placid, NY 12946-3318
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Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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Lake Placid, NY 12946
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Lake Placid, NY 12946-3366
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