The 135 mile Northville Lake Placid Trail (NPT) runs from Northville in the southern Adirondacks to Averyville in the northern High Peaks Wilderness region, just outside Lake Placid.
For five days of our trip, we will be hiking the first 70 miles of the NPT heading south from Lake Placid. We will be backpacking through one of the most remote but scenic sections of the trail. For most of this time, we will be “out in the wild”, many miles from the nearest trailhead and carrying with us all we need for the five-day backpacking trip. Either end of our trip we will be staying at Garnet Hill Lodge, a comfortable mountain lodge situated in the heart of the Adirondacks.
Located 200 miles north of New York City, the Adirondack Park is larger than several states in the northeastern US, bigger even than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and the Great Smokies National Parks combined. At 6 million acres the Adirondack Park is larger than Wales and nearly half is constitutionally protected state land.
The Adirondack Park is a wild place full of towering mountains, boreal forests and pristine waterways. There are over 50 species of mammals that live in the mountains of the Adirondacks, including moose, deer, bobcat, black bear and beaver. With more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails, 3,000 lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, the Park offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Hiking and trekking within the Adirondack Park is world-class, catering to every skill level.
Bus Pick Up at Airport and transportation to Garnet Hill Lodge where participants will meet the guides for the week.
Today will be an Orientation and Day Hike on one of the local mountains, Peaked Mountain. Peaked Mountain is a local favorite. The trail to Peaked Mountain Pond that sits below the mountain’s rocky cone provides a pleasant, steady climb. The pond is an ideal place to stop and have refreshment before ascending the cone. Once at the top there are marvelous views down to the pond and across to the area’s mountains. The round trip distance is 8.2 miles (6.4 miles if you start by canoeing across Thirteenth Lake) with a vertical rise of 1245 feet. After returning from the hike, the guides will distribute equipment and help participants pack and prepare for departure the following morning on the backpack trip on the NPT.
Participants will be taken by van to the NPT Trailhead in Lake Placid. After signing in they will set off for the first night's destination at Duck Hole, a 12-mile hike. At 6.5 miles a quarter mile side trail leads to beautiful Wanika Falls. The Falls area with a series of cascades with clear water, and a pool to take a dip in, weather permitting. At approximately 8 miles the trail reaches Moose Pond and the Moose Pond Lean To, the first on the trail. Duck Hole was at one time a lake created by a dam on the Cold River. The landscape at Duck Hole changed forever in 2011 as the old dam was destroyed during a Tropical Storm. After the flood waters receded, the water that was once at Duck Hole disappeared and the forest is now taking back the land. Two Lean-Tos at Duck Hole are where participants will spend the first night on the NPT.
Our destination on day four will be the Cold River Lean Tos 3 and 4, a distance of 11.3 miles from Duck Hole. As we were yesterday, we will be hiking in a remote area with no stores, no supplies, nothing but wilderness. Much of the day’s hike will be along the Cold River, one of the most scenic (and remote) sections of the whole NPT trail. On the way we will pass through the clearing where the Hermitage of Noah John Rondeau was once located. Rondeau was a famous Adirondack Hermit who lived in this isolated place in the forest from 1929 to 1950. The Lean Tos that are the destination for the day are located near a suspension footbridge that crosses the Cold River. We will fall asleep to the sound of the water running over this rocky section of the River.
Today we are continuing our hike in this remote area but heading to Caitlin Bay on Long Lake, a 14 mile long body of water. Our hike to Caitlin Bay is 11.4 miles. On our way we will pass through Shattuck Clearing, the site of a former ranger station where there is a fine view of the Seward Range, the highest peak of which reaches 4,350 feet. This is also where we wish a fond farewell to the Cold River that has been our companion for the past two days. As we get nearer Caitlin Bay we will be hiking along the Eastern Shore of Long Lake. At Caitlin Bay civilization beckons, this scenic site by the lake where we will be staying the night is just 3 miles from the town of Long Lake.
Our designation today is the Tirrell Pond Lean To, a distance of 11.9 miles. Just over a mile after leaving our campsite for the previous night we will encounter a brief road section as we go through the town of Long Lake that will present an opportunity for ice cream, sweets, coffee and more! A likely welcome interlude after three days in the wilderness. Shortly, however, we will leave the road following the NPT back towards the forest. Today we will be going over the highest point on the NPT at 3008 feet and on this section we have a 1300 foot ascent, the hardest ascent of our backpacking trip, followed by a 1200 foot descent before arriving at Tirrell Pond. Tirrell Pond is an excellent destination, the quintessential secluded Adirondack Lake. It comes complete with two mountains for backdrops, Tirrell and Blue Mountain.
The last day of our backpacking trip takes us from Tirrell Pond to the Cedar River Road, a distance of 10.6 miles . On the way we we will pass Lake Durant and the state campground and beach there, taking in views of Blue Mountain in the distance. Our hike also takes us past Stevens Pond, another quintessential, remote Adirondack Lake. At Cedar River Road we will be picked up by van and taken back to Garnet Hill Lodge where hot showers, comfortable rooms and dinner will be waiting. Not to mention the bar where we can recap the best moments of the backpack trip over drinks.
This will be our rest and recuperation day where we can relax at Garnet Hill Lodge and take advantage of the facilities there. Participants can take advantage of all that Garnet Hill has to offer that include: hiking trails, biking trails, the beach on 13th Lake, canoeing or kayaking on the Lake, or just relaxing on the front lawn and taking in the views of the lake and mountains beyond.
Today we will be White Water Rafting on the Hudson River. The Hudson River rafting excursion is a 17 mile wilderness rafting trip beginning on the Indian River and
continuing through the Hudson River Gorge, with great whitewater and spectacular Adirondack scenery. it is the longest stretch of whitewater in New York State and is considered the "Grand Daddy" of N.Y. rivers. Spring is "Big Water" season but in Summer, water levels and weather conditions mellow a bit. The river becomes a perfect trip for anyone with an adventurous spirit. In the Fall the gorge is turned into an aurora of scenic splendor not to be missed.
After breakfast at Garnet Hill Lodge a Bus will return participants to the Airport
The price includes 8 full days guiding fees & expenses, 5 nights in Garnet Hill Lodge accommodation & 4 nights in the wilderness during the trek; local transfers & airport transfers.
Note: tents, cooking equipment and food will be supplied locally and are included in the cost of the trip on full board basis.
The price does not include flights, uplift costs.
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This list contains our recommended clothing and equipment for the Adirondack National Park trek, one of the finest multi-day treks. Key for a successful and enjoyable trek is to bring the correct clothing and footwear. In the summer months, the days generally start cold and warm up during the morning to become hot in the afternoon. It is therefore essential you have 2-3 thin layers which you are able to put on/take off as the conditions change. Thin layers also allow better movement as opposed to one layer of bulky clothing.
NOTEBecause of the presence of wild animals please make sure that guides are aware of any additional food you are carrying with you.
If you are uncertain or need further information, please contact us.
Essential Kit List
Tents/tarps, cooking equipment, dehydrated food and snacks will be provided and are included in the cost of the trip.
Guides will be carrying a water filter, so in case you wish to bring your own please make sure that will filter bacteria and viruses.
Provided equipment will be split between all participants for the duration of the trip.
Any toiletries should be biodegradable - leave no trace!
200 miles north of New York City, the Adirondack Park is the United States’ largest protected area, larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Parks combined. At 6 million acres the Adirondack Park is larger than Wales, but with a full time population of only 132,000 people. The park is a unique blend of public and private land: conservation and civilization, with more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails, 3,000 lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.
The 135 mile Northville Lake Placid Trail (NPT) runs from Northville in the southern Adirondacks to Averyville in the northern High Peaks Wilderness region, just outside Lake Placid. The trail passes through what many consider to be the wildest and most remote parts of the Adirondack Park, notably the high plateau that encompasses the Spruce, West Canada, and Cedar Lakes area, along with that of the Cold River. The trail travels through lake country and mostly avoids mountains during the whole stretch of the trail. The single highest point of the trail is at 3008 feet, just south of Long Lake, which features a 1200 foot ascent and descent over a ridge. The trail was completed by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) in 1924. In 1927, it was donated to the State of New York, with the Conservation Department (DEC) becoming responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. Today the DEC has oversight of the trail as part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The trail looks easy on a map, but there are many that have failed a thru hike attempt of the NPT. Most hikers don't realize how remote some of the sections are and how difficult it can be to get supplies.
For five days of our trip we will be hiking the first 70 miles of the NPT heading south from Lake Placid. We will be backpacking through one of the most remote but scenic sections of the trail. For most of this time we will be “out in the wild”, many miles from the nearest trailhead and carrying with us all we need for the five day backpacking trip. Either end of our trip we will be staying at Garnet Hill Lodge, a comfortable mountain lodge situated in the heart of the Adirondacks.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
Local transfers and airport shared transfers are included in the trip's cost.
We will organise an airport transfer from Montreal Airport at 5.30PM on arrival day. Please make sure that you will be ready at the airport at 5 PM.
I have little or no alpine experience but I enjoy hill walking and trekking. I am competent trekking on rough, rocky footpaths. I would like to use crampons, understand basic rope work and glacial travel. Any snow patches encountered are crossed without too much fuss. Carrying a 30 litre rucksack with my daily equipment is no problem.
I am an experienced trekker, used to walking between 6-8 hours per day, carrying a reasonably heavy rucksack (8-10 kg) with all I need in it for the trip. I am confident in my foot placement on all terrain, particularly on rocky exposed paths. I enjoy the challenge of more technical treks and don't mind some sections of scrambling on steeper ground.
On our Wild Blue Trek in Sardinia, we require participants to be at at least this level with a good head for heights, sure-footedness and happy to "climb" and abseil in exposed situations.
I have excellent cardiovascular fitness and plenty of endurance to cope with several demanding days in a row. I can climb 5-6 hours most days, and on summit days up to 10-12 hours. I have enough upper body strength to pull myself up short sections of fixed rope or ladders. Endurance fitness is gained through longer training periods of walking, running, cycling and swimming. These climbs can be strenuous with the need for upper body strength gained through, gym sessions, scrambling or in/outdoor rock climbing.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.