We finally did it! Since we moved to New York, all I’ve wanted to do is hike a high peak/46er but we just haven’t had the time. This past weekend, we had friends staying an hour from Lake Placid so we took the 1 hour and 45 minute drive to Cascade Mountain (about 10 miles from Lake Placid) to do our first (2- more on that later 46er!)
What is a 46er?
There are 46 mountains in the Adirondacks that are all above 4,000 feet, which is how they got their name the 46er challenge. There are groups related to these hikes, you can even fill out paper work for each mountain and get a patch and an official congratulations you hiked all 46 high peaks. If you wanted one of course. We decided to start by doing Cascade and then walking the ridge to Porter Mountain to get 2 out of the 46 done in one day.
Cascade and Porter
To get to the mountain is really easy. If you’re coming from I-87, you’re going to get off at the Lake Placid exit (I think exit 30) and then continue you on the same road until you hit the sign that says Cascade. There are a few parking lots but mostly you will park on the side of the street. Plenty of parking that way. You will also find a bunch of signs for other mountain trails, a great way to get accustomed to what mountains are up this way and to help plan your next adventure! Also– I have to admit, this park of the Adirondacks is no other just in the sense of driving, I felt like I was in a completely different state, not New York, it was really gorgeous with water and mountains on all sides of the road. I can’t wait to go back in the fall with all the leaves changing! In fact, they had already started to change!
The hike it self was about 6.2 miles round trip, this being because we added Porter, if you don’t add Porter, it would been 4.8 miles round trip. Considered one of the easiest 46er because of accessibility, the views of the mountain ranges make you feel like you’re on top of the world. We all got to the top were speechless with the views and all the mountains. Fun fact, 30 of the 46 high peaks are in this area and you can see at least 10 of them from Cascade. We hiked all the way up Cascade first, we aren’t very experienced hikers but it took us 1 hour and 35 minutes, something we were really proud of. Yes there are some steep sections but I never felt like I truly had to climb (me being all of 5’2, that happens a lot). We stayed up there for awhile enjoying the view and the wind on our backs before we headed down about a half mile and then started the trek up to Porter Mountain.
Porter is another 0.7 miles one way, and while it’s good to check it off the list for hiking a 46er, the view is pretty pathetic to pictures I posted above. One cool thing though is that you can see Cascade’s ridge so essentially you can see where you just were when looking from this trail, and again, you get to cut another 46er off the list! Coming down seemed to take forever but actually only took us about another 20mins (I’m slow down hill hiker) so overall not too bad. We were up there almost the whole day but due to the fact that we lingered for a really long time up top. I would say this is definitely a half day kind of hike if you’re a moderate hiker!
I would love to see this view in the fall and honestly, I think we’ve got the itch, a lot more hiking will be happening in the future and I can’t wait to see what we do next!