Looking for a new way to enjoy the vibrant colors of the Adirondacks in the fall and avoid having to worry about parking at trailheads? Then head for the new, FREE hiker shuttle running from Main Street in Lake Placid to Wilmington with six stops along the way. The stops offered on the shuttle route give hikers access to trails that range in difficulty from easy, level terrain to more challenging climbs. Even if you’re not up for climbing a mountain you’ll get to explore some great autumn views along this route.
The shuttle will run 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday through Sunday from September 13 through October 6, and from Friday through Monday, Columbus Day Weekend. The last trip out of Lake Placid is at 2:47 p.m. from Mirror Lake Park. The free shuttle will stop at the trail heads for Whiteface Landing, Copperas Pond, Bear Den Mountain and Whiteface Mountain ski lodge. It will pick people up in Lake Placid at Mirror Lake Park and at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort – just a 3 minute walk from the front door of Hotel North Woods. Here’s a quick overview of the hikes available along this shuttle route.
From the Whiteface Landing trail head you can hike to Whiteface Landing and then turn around and head back to the trail head. With only 200 feet of elevation gain to the lake, this 5 mile out-and-back trip is suitable for all levels of hikers. Plan on spending 4 hours or more completing this hike.
For a more difficult challenge, you can continue on to Whiteface Mountain from Whiteface Landing. This is a 6.0 mile hike, one way, to the summit of Whiteface. From Whiteface Landing be sure to take that sharp right toward Whiteface Mountain and Whiteface Brook Lean-to. Left will bring you to Lake Placid (the lake) and a faint herd-path straight will bring you around the lake. The trail is fairly flat most of the way to the lean-to, but starts a very demanding climb, almost right up the fall line of the mountain. Eventually you will come to a very rocky section where footing is very tough and time is needed to safely pass. The summit follows soon after. This full hike is 12 miles RT, depending on route, challenging climb for experienced hikers. Click here for a trail map for these two great hikes.
From the Copperas Pond Trailhead you can enjoy a 1 mile out and back trail that features a lake and is good for all skill levels or enjoy two other loop options. Both loops include Copperas Pond with the second loop incorporating in Winch Pond. The full loop is a 3.5 mile hike along a well-traveled trail with mostly moderate conditions. Click here for a trail map for these hikes.
Bear Den Mountain is one of those hidden peaks that gets very little attention, but should be high on everyone’s list to check out. It’s located above the Ausable River and is part of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area. This is a moderate 4.5 mile hike, round-trip. Elevation: 2,650 feet. Click here for a trail map for this hike.
This trailhead also gives you access to the Wilmington Wild Forest Trail System (locally known as the Flume Trails). The Flume Trail System is comprised of 10.5 miles of trails open to mountain biking and hiking. Enjoy vistas across wetlands and interesting brook crossings along the Ausable River. Click here for a trail map for the Flume Trails.
Hike the ski trails of Whiteface Mountain from this stop that include a trip to Base Lodge (1,200 feet), Little Whiteface Peak (3,676 feet) or Top Station (4,416 feet ). Click here for more information and a trail map of these hikes.
If you’re not up for a big hike but want great fall views, take a Cloudsplitter Gondola Ride and experience all the majesty of the Adirondack High Peaks from the comfort of an eight-passenger, high-speed gondola cabin. Or fly through the sky (on your own or race your friends) at speeds of up to 21 mph on their brand new 300-foot-long zipline at the base of Whiteface! Fees apply for these activities at Whiteface Mountain. Check whiteface.com for times, pricing and availability.
For our Outward Hound guests, note that only service dogs are allowed on the hiker shuttle.