DAKS During Mud Season
The Department of Environmental Conservation urges hikers to avoid higher elevations (3,000 feet an up!) between May and Mid-June due to ‘Mud Season’. This request is to prevent further trail erosion from hikers avoiding mud puddles, or icy rock slabs and veering off the trial. Despite my love for nature and appreciation for the DEC, I spent a weekend in Lake Placid and hiked a high elevation trail. I chose a trail that’s known for its good conditions during mud season, and made sure I carried all of the appropriate equipment!
With that being said, we spent a weekend in Lake Placid. We stayed at the Lake Placid Summit Hotel Resort and Suites. The hotel was adequate for our needs and currently under renovation. The rooms were clean and the staff was very friendly, however, there were some upgrades to the building in general that could certainly be made and it looks like they were working on it. We stayed in a double room overlooking Mirror Lake; the sunrise view alone was worth the price of our stay. Typically, we spend our nights in the DAKS between two trees, nestled in our hammock under the stars so for us, this was a lap of luxury.
We arrived late Friday night and ate at Players Sports Bar. Our waitstaff was friendly, our drinks cold and our food was delicious. If you’d like to see what other menus Lake Placid has to offer, visit Lake Placid Restaurants. We got an early start after a stop at High Peaks Cyclery, where you can find all of your outdoor needs (biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, etc.). We took route 73 from Lake Placid through Keene and into Keene Valley. Just past St Huberts the trail head for Giant Mountain can be found on your left. There are two approaches to this mountain within a short distance from each other; the other being past just Chapel Pond and on the left.
We ascended using one trail and decided to descend the other; there are two trails at lower elevation connecting the two. Our summit was long, and tough considering we are not in our best mountain hiking shape quite yet but the view was totally worth it!
We spent about an hour on top of Giant enjoying the view, chowing down, and making new friends (my favorite new friend had 4 legs and gave great kisses). At the summit we met and later descended with Tony Goodwin, the creator of the topographic Trails of the High Peaks Map from Adirondack Mountain Club; we highly recommend this map for any and all High Peaks explorers! Our decent down the trail for route 73 past Chapel Pond had many breathtaking views from open rock faces and was not at all icy or muddy. We crossed back over to our trail at the Washbowl, however, we could have chosen the Nubble trail which would provide us with an additional, bare rock view of Keene Valley.
We enjoyed our dinner at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. We love this grub stop for its laid-back, mountain town atmosphere and it’s delicious menu for both liquids and solids. There is often a wait but there is always a cozy fire or deck to enjoy a beverage by, and some yard games to keep you busy. After downing a plate of supreme nachos -DELICIOUS- we dug into our meals: a BBQ combo platter of ribs and brisket for the man and mahi-mahi tacos for the lady. We dined on the third floor thankfully because it’s the quietest of the three and provides the best views. Our server, Evan, was friendly, attentive, and down to earth. We highly suggest requesting him if you get the chance!
We topped our night off with a sweet treat at Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery where we both enjoyed ice cream sundaes of various flavors, although we hear they’re known for their milkshakes. All of these places can be found within walking distance of the hotel and each other on Mirror Lake Drive. Lake Placid is such a great town and I can’t wait to return to its cozy feel again soon! If you have any additional questions about our stay or hiking in the Adirondacks I would love to answer them! Also, check out other mountainous adventures on my page devoted to the DAKS. Happy Hiking Everyone!