Currently Listening to: Outlander Season 1 Soundtrack
It finally became spring the end of April! I couldn’t wait any longer, I needed to go hiking. A goal this year is to hike a lot more than in the past and the Adirondacks in Upstate New York is the perfect excuse for it. The state park is the largest in the United States so to say there are mountains to climb is an understatement.
Since it was our first time out, we did two very short hikes which were probably a total of 4.2 miles roundtrip, but the views were gorgeous and just getting back out there felt so good! They are also right next to each other so it won’t be out of your way to do both in one day. They were Shelving Rock Summit and Shelving Rock Falls.
Shelving Rock Summit
I’ve never actually heard of Shelving Rock Summit before, luckily because of the falls it showed up on Google. It’s also one I can add to the list of being accomplished. My boyfriend nick named this hike the twisty turn hike. It did seem that every three steps you end up having to go around a corner but I guess that’s what made it more interesting. It wasn’t just an uphill battle the whole way which I liked a lot. The hike itself is 3.4 miles roundtrip so it’s a perfect hike to start with if you haven’t been out there yet. There were some uphill parts that seemed a little more uphill then you might have thought for such a short hike but there was no climbing involved. I’m only 5’2 so to not have to use my hands to hike a mountain is a really big deal. While it is Spring here, when we hiked the trees were just starting to turn green and the leaves on the ground were still very brown. The picture to the right is of the summit. The lake, is of course Lake George, there were some other outlets for viewing but they were all obstructed by trees, this is by far the best. Note to self, when you think you’re at the summit you aren’t. We climbed uphill and then realized to see this view we had to take a little path DOWN. It wasn’t a big deal but if you do hike this, remember that, otherwise you will be disappointed with the view. I think this one would be gorgeous in the fall with all the leaves changed. After we hiked back down this trail, it was a short drive to the entry to Shelving Rock Falls.
Shelving Rock Falls
Nestled in Lake George, New York, Shelving Rock Falls is a little known secret of Upstate New Yorkers. I bring a lot of my friends here. There are two separate ways to get here, one that involves walking alongside Lake George and over a bridge and then the one we took this time, which was only a parking lot away from the entrance to the Shelving Rock Mountain trail (word to the wise, I would drive from point A to point B). This trail is about an eighth of a mile roundtrip so it’s really great if you have someone who doesn’t hike much but you still want to give them a gorgeous view. You definitely get that coming to Shelving Rock Falls. You walk next to the little river for almost the entire trip. In the beginning this can be a little dangerous because you have to walk over a bunch of large rocks that might be wet and might be loose so be sure to take that into account. After that though it’s pretty smooth sailing until you get to the waterfall. I think if you walk further down the trail you will be able to find a slight slope to the lower level. We were too inpatient so this would be the only time between the two hikes where you will have to use your hands to climb down and back up onto the trail but trust me it’s worth it, as you can see from below.
Let me just say one thing, this picture was taken with my Samsung Galaxy and has no filter, enough said on how gorgeous the day was and waterfall is. Luckily for us it was still early in the hiking season so there weren’t a lot of people visiting which is why I was able to get such a good shot. There’s usually a bunch of people at this spot, some in their bathing suits standing in the water (it’s pretty shallow) or sunning themselves on the rocks. While there were a few people there when we went, everyone wanted the picture so I was lucky to get some lovely shots.
I would recommend hiking in the order that we did. This way you get the harder and longer hike out of the way first. You were also notice that the road these two trails are on have hikes to other mountains so you can always come back. Overall, I would rate these hikes as easy– we saw a bunch of families while we were on the trails and Shelving Rock is a must if you’re visiting Lake George or the Adirondack area for a weekend.