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Old 02-18-2015, 11:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Easter Weekend Suggestions?

I've driven through the Adirondacks many times and always wanted to hike/camp. So finally I've got about 5 friends to tag along with me this Easter weekend (April 3rd - 5th). None of us are master hikers but we are all in very good physical shape (marathon runners and soccer players).

I was looking for suggestions on where we should hike: preferably day hikes - 3-6 hrs of moderate intensity. Expect the conditions won't be ideal this early in the season, but definitely want to avoid any dangerous conditions. Half the group is coming from NYC, the other half from Montreal so ideally looking to find an area equi-distant from both places (which it appears most spots are). Anybody have ideas? Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:01 PM   #2
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I'm not sure of your equipment or experience, so it's hard to recommend anything specific. April is possibly the most variable of months in the Adirondacks. There have been a few years when early April featured summer-like conditions. There have also been a few years where early April was full winter conditions. Usually it looks more like winter than summer. It's impossible to guess this far out what this year will bring.

Certaintly: No bugs; no leaves on trees; not many people.

Probably: High water so avoid unbridged water crossings; very deep snow at higher elevations and on north faces; "snow spines" developing on popular trails.

Maybe: dry and warm conditions in lower elevation, south facing areas.

Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:53 PM   #3
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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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Old 02-19-2015, 09:01 AM   #4
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This has been a heavy snow year in the LG area, (snowing again as I type this) so depending on the weather in March you can expect either snow or extremely wet and muddy conditions.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:21 PM   #5
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A trip to Santanoni could work well, whether you had snowshoes or X-C skis.
5 miles in to a remote Great Camp, along an old road.
If it so happens that the snowpack is gone (not likely) you can 1/4 marathon your way in on foot.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:56 PM   #6
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The Crane Mt loop, just outside or North Creek, is always an early season favorite of mine. (Town of Thurman... I think. Off of Garnet Lake Road)
An adventure in the mountains is truly the poor man's therapy...
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:46 PM   #7
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I second the Lake George area, as it appears to be about equidistant from NYC & Montreal, with plenty of options for hiking, camping, and/or lodging.
The Pharoah Lake Wilderness might work also, just a few exits north, with good options for hiking & camping, or lodging in the Schroon Lake area. Both areas have lots of trails to choose from, and should keep you busy for a few days. I would definitely count on a decent snow cover in early April still, and it would be wise to plan accordingly. Good luck and welcome to Adkforum.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:12 AM   #8
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Yeah, easter is 1st wkend of april, that's still winter. The ponds'll be frozen still and the snow'll be deep with the way this year is goin'. Gonna take a crazy warmup to get rid of this winter by then!
"Ahh! The old fishing hole... so peaceful and relaxing. Doesn't even matter if I catch a single fish -- ah! Come on you stupid fish, take the bait! Don't make me come down there!" -Homer Simpson
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:26 AM   #9
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Thanks! Appreciate it!
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