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Old 02-18-2015, 01:53 PM   #3
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,300
I agree with TCD. At best, even if you don't encounter much snow or ice, you'll still likely find that the trails are quite muddy. At worst, it could still be full on winter conditions, with deep snows necessitating the use of snowshoes. It would be a good idea to solicit information about the conditions about a week or so in advance of your trip so you can make a final decision.

Your best bet for snow-free conditions would probably be someplace in the southeastern Adirondacks, near Lake George. There is a nice network of trails on the east shore of Lake George in the Lake George Wild Forest. Scenery in the area includes multiple beautiful small ponds, and several small peaks with outstanding views from the summits. There are enough trails here that you'd be able to pick out an itinerary to suit your needs without too much difficulty. In particular, Black Mountain, Sleeping Beauty, and Buck Mountain are all worthwhile peaks to climb, while Bumps Pond, Fishbrook Pond, Millman Pond, Lapland Pond, and Black Mountain Ponds are nice bodies of water worth visiting. If you luck out and get a warm spring day when you go, though, it may be hard to find solitude in this area.

Make sure that everyone in your groups familiarizes themselves with the 10 Essentials, and can be prepared accordingly. You might also want to read up on layering, in case you encounter colder weather.

You'll definitely want a map, and probably a guidebook. The National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #743 covers this area, as does the ADK Guidebook for the Eastern Region. (Both can be bought together as a package. Another guidebook option would be Discover the Eastern Adirondacks. The ADK Guidebooks tend to be succinct in their descriptions, while the Discover books go into a lot more historical and cultural detail.

In planning your itinerary, remember that most hikers will move at a 2 mph pace on average. This includes short breaks to drink water/grab a handful of trailmix, but excludes longer breaks for things like lunch, stopping at a summit to take photos, etc. Also, every 1,000 feet of elevation gain is equivalent to 1 mile hiked over flat terrain in terms of time taken. Steep descents will also slow you down somewhat.

I hope this helps!
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