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DanWilliams 02-02-2011 05:56 PM

Best Beginner Snowshoe Locals
Hi! I'm going to be taking a group up to the ADK's for snowshoeing, and am looking for some recommendations... many in the group have never showshoed before, and I'm hoping for a good beginner trip that won't scar them for life! I'd like for the hike to culminate in a summit with good views, but low on the intensity level, if that's possible. Anywhere in the Southern, Central, Eastern or High Peaks regions. So far I've been recommended Sleeping Beauty, Goodnow, and Watch Hill (near Snowy Mountain). Any feedback on whether these would be good or other suggestions would be appreciated!

TCD 02-02-2011 06:04 PM

Buck Mountain - easier drive, much better views than Sleeping Beauty. A little more vertical, but about the same mileage.

Thomas and Cat (Bolton Landing).

Roostercomb; Hopkins; The Crows; Pitchoff; Owl Head Lookout; Hurricane...

Dick 02-02-2011 06:43 PM

Are these people also beginner hikers, or is it just snowshoeing? Adults or kids? Of your suggestions, Sleeping Beauty is good, though I'm not sure if vehicle access might be difficult after all of this snow (?). Goodnow is good. I've never been to Watch Hill. Possibly Black Mt. in Lake George area. Also consider Mt. Jo and Mt. Van Hoevenberg in the High Peaks.


DSettahr 02-02-2011 06:52 PM

Is this group novice to hiking in general, or do they have some hiking experience and have just never snowshoed before?

If they are completely novice to the outdoors, I'd recommend taking them to the Newcomb Visitor's Interpretive Center. Easy hiking, flat trails and loops that take you back to the parking lot, so you can easy hike for as long as you want.

Goodnow might be a bit much in winter for a group that has never hiked before. I've never been up Watch Hill or Sleeping Beauty so I don't know about them.

Here's some good destinations if they do have some hiking experience, and are just new to snowshoeing:

Black Mountain and Hadley Mountain are both easy fire tower mountains in the southeastern Adirondacks. I've heard that Black Mountain can be icy sometimes, though.

Fifth Peak isn't too difficult of a hike, and you get some awesome views of Lake George from the summit as well.

For a group of new snowshoers, a flat hike might be good as well... some options: Lapland and Millman Ponds from the Black Mountain Trailhead. I believe this is a snowmobile trail, so while you'll need to keep an eye (and ear!) out for moving snowmobiles, the trail at least will be groomed.

DanWilliams 02-02-2011 07:04 PM

The group I'm taking is made up of college students - most of whom have some hiking experience and are in at least average condition. Though I personally love overlands to lakes and ponds, I get the sense that they'd like to have a view when all is said and done... and I think they're physically up for it. Still, I'm hoping to find something with fairly moderate grades and an overall distance of no more than 2-4 miles. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Wldrns 02-02-2011 07:21 PM

Phil has a recent article in Adirondack Explorer on snowshoeing up Coney Mtn. That should be a good one for this group.

DanWilliams 02-02-2011 08:20 PM

The Coney Mtn. hike actually looks perfect - but almost a 3 hour trip from the Albany area. As to not weary the group with traveling to and from, I'll probably focus in on the Lake George area... some good suggestions have already been made (Buck, Black, Fifth Peak)... everyone's been more than helpful, but any further recommendations are welcomed.

runswithscissors 02-08-2011 06:20 PM

Buck Mt. 2.06.11
I snowshoed Buck Mt. on Sunday, Feb. 6.

Although the parking area was not plowed, parking on the shoulder of Pilot Knob Road didn't seem to be a problem.

The snow conditions were plentiful and excellent albeit a little sluggish in the first mile due to mild temperatures. I had most of the hike and all of the summit to myself.

Buck's terrain is varied and actually quite scenic (especially in winter) which makes the trip interesting and engaging. There is enough vertical to make the 2334' summit feel higher than it is and the views from the rocky top are terrific providing ample reward for the effort.

The RT distance is reported to be 6.2 miles and the elevation gain is 2000'. However the main trail has been rerouted a bit and that might slightly decrease the distance.

My RT time was 4:10.

bluequill 02-08-2011 08:15 PM

Goodenow is about a 4 mile RT. Not too bad hiking it and I think shoes would not make it much more difficult. I would think that the trail has been broken making it easier going. It has great views of the Southern HP and Santas from the FT cab.

THe Newcomb VIC is jiust down the road about half mile so you could always use their level trails through some very nice property.

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