Your ADKTrailMap.com Adventure will be an experience to treasure!
Whether you have hiking experience across the world or just in your backyard, there are an abundance of foot trails in the Adirondacks that will fit your interests and skill levels. To make the most out of your Adirondacks experience, we here at ADKTrailMap.com have assembled a guide to help you experience a safe and enjoyable journey while in the Adirondack Mountains. With content specific to the hiking trails in the Adirondacks, this guide provides info for hikers of all levels of availability. Whether you plan to summit a high peak or take a leisurely stroll around Gull Lake, remember to review this guide as you pack for your trip and before you begin your hike out on the trails.
Although the vast majority of hikes go off without a hitch, preparation is critical to know what to do and have the supplies you need when something doesn't go as planned. Don't think anything will happen to you? The fact is that over 300 people require DEC Forest Ranger assistance every year. ( http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/43084.html ) Be Prepared.
The first stop for planning any hiking trip to New York's Adirondack Mountains should be to ADKTrailMap.com. From here you can plan your route by browsing the map; seeing where to park; searching trails by trail type, level of difficulty, distance, and/or name; and exploring an array of other outdoor recreation activities.
ADKTrailMap.com is also available on mobile devices with limited features. For full functionality on smartphones, download our free 'Adirondack Trails' app from the either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Before You Start Hiking
Tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.
Check the weather.
If planning to summit a high peak, visit the NWS Burlington 'Mountain Forecast.' Weather at peaks is often quite different from lower ground: colder, windier, and rapidly changing.
Know what to do in the event of hazardous weather, particularly lightning
Check latest DEC updates for info about the trails.
In case of any emergency know the DEC Forest Ranger Adirondacks Emergency Phone Line: 518-891-0235
If you have cell service in the Adirondacks, dialing 911 may direct you to a 911 Dispatcher in a neighboring county or potentially even Vermont. If for any reason a 911 Dispatcher can not assist you, dial the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Phone Line. DEC Forest Rangers are highly trained emergency responders knowledgeable of the geography and subtleties of the Adirondack Mountains.
Stay on the trail
Follow your Adirondack Trails app with GPS enabled, however defer to the marked trail. DEC-maintained trails are indicated which are indicated by colored disk blazes, such as the yellow blaze at right
Walk through, not around mud and puddles
Walking off trail or around puddles erodes the land and damages vegetation
Do not create switchbacks, as these can further contribute to erosion
When you reach a summit, stay along marked trails if symbolized by cairns (usually a pile of stones)
Several summits in the Adirondacks are not naturally “bald” and are only this way because of human disturbance.
Alpine vegetation is extremely fragile, and much of the vegetation you see at high peaks summits is regrowth thanks to the efforts of ecologists and alpine stewards. Please do not disrupt the progress of regrowth by staying on marked trails and not walking on alpine vegetation.
Yield to oncoming hikers
Be mindful of hikers behind you and allow them to pass
When it comes to anything you bring with you on the trails, remember: “Pack-in, pack-out,” even if the items are biodegradable
If there are no privies available, dispose of human waste by digging a 6” – 8” hole at least 150 feet from water or campsites.
Although it may seem unorthodox, consider packing out human waste as well if you have the proper equipment.
Please Do Not Solely Rely on Electronic Technology.
When doing anything out on the trails, we urge you take a map, a compass, and know how to use
them. We offer an online interactive map that allows you to zoom in print your own map. We also
offer a wealth of downloadable PDFs about hiking, fishing, camping, birding, and more.
For smartphones, our Adirondack Trails app is GPS-enabled. Once downloaded to your
smartphone, the app provides a happy marriage of old technology (maps and compasses) and new.
It does not require cell phone service. Unlike a paper map, the app will show you exactly where you
are: on or off the trail. Both maps and apps have their limitations. Use together, with common
sense, and enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks with confidence.