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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CONDITIONS: Check weather at Lake Placid, NY (12946).
INFO: For more information about the region, check out Visit Adirondacks.
CONTACT: Adirondack Mountain Club, Member Services Center, 814 Goggins Road, Lake George, NY 12845; (518) 668-4447; firstname.lastname@example.org
1866 Nys Route 73
Keene Valley, NY 12943
Jones Outfitters Ltd
2733 Main St # 2
Lake Placid, NY 12946-3318
Eastern Mountain Sports
3066 New York 50
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Lake Placid Pub & Brewery
813 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
2439 Main St # 1
Lake Placid, NY 12946-3366
45 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-3211
TO TRAILHEAD: From Main St. in Lake Placid, head southeast on NY 73/Cascade Rd. for 7.5 miles to the trailhead (on right). Note: It's the second of 3 small parking areas just before Cascade Lake.