It’s no secret that we love pets at Hotel North Woods. Our Outward Hound pet-friendly program says it all; your furry friends enjoy signature, custom pet beds and pet dining stations, as well as a complimentary, homemade Nutty Maple Bacon dog treat upon check-in. But the best part about bringing your best friend (either two-legged or four) to Lake Placid are the almost endless opportunities for breathtaking hikes within close proximity to our hotel. We’ve asked Brendan Wiltse – photographer, advocate, educator, and avid explorer of our forever wild Adirondack park – and his side-kick, Khyber, to give us their top five favorite dog-friendly hikes.
1. Owls Head*
1.2 miles round-trip, 460 ft elevation gain
Located on Route 73 between Lake Placid and Keene Valley. This is an often-overlooked little mountain that is an easy hike with a great an outstanding view. This is a good option for beginner hikers, young dogs, or if you are short on time.
Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for around 12-miles, to Owl’s Head Lane on the right. Drive up this road to a fork, park here, the trail is at the fork.
2. Silver Lake Mountain
1.9 miles round-trip, 940 ft elevation gain
Another great short hike with beautiful views. This is a particularly good hike if you are looking to get away from the crowds. The trail is steep but short. The view from the summit looks south toward Taylor Pond, Silver Lake, and Catamount.
Primary Trailhead: From the four-corner intersection in the village of Wilmington head north onto Bonnieview Road. Follow this to its end at Silver Lake Road. Take a left onto Silver Lake Road and continue for just under 6-miles to the trailhead on the right.
3. Connery Pond & Whiteface Landing
6.0 miles round-trip, 333 ft elevation gain
Longer distance but easy terrain. This is great place to go for a leisurely stroll with your dog. A side trip to the shore of Connery Pond offers view of Whiteface and a chance for the pup to swim. Whiteface landing makes a great picnic spot and during the warmer months its worth bringing a swimsuit to take a dip in the lake. This is also a good spot to take in the night sky or look out for the aurora borealis.
Primary Trailhead: From the intersection of state Route 73 and 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Wilmington. Continue for 2.9 miles and turn left onto Connery Pond Road. Drive 1 mile down Connery Pond Road to the trailhead parking for Whiteface Landing and park.
4. Mount Van Hoevenberg*
4.4 miles round-trip, 805 ft elevation gain
Slightly longer and more difficult than Owls Head but there is a stunning view of the High Peaks from the summit. Mount Jo, just down the road, is another option, but this hike avoids the parking fees and is generally less crowded. The view of South Meadows just below the summit is particularly spectacular in the late fall when the tamaracks are a radiant gold color.
Primary Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 86 and Route 73 in Lake Placid, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for 4-miles to the Adirondack Loj Road on the right. Follow here for another four miles to Meadow Lane on the left. Follow here for 0.25 miles to the trailhead on the left.
5. The Brothers & Big Slide*
9.5 miles round-trip, 2,740 ft elevation gain
A great high peak to do with your dog. The views from The Brothers are outstanding, with plenty of places to take a break on your way up. If you descend down to the Johns Brook Valley on your way out, your dog will be able to enjoy a refreshing dip in Johns Brook, perhaps you will want to too! From Memorial Day to Columbus Day you can take a side trip of 0.3 miles to Johns Brook Lodge for coffee, lemonade, and baked goods.
Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue through Keene and into Keene Valley and take the right after the Ausable Inn. Follow here to its end at the Garden Parking Area. ($7 parking fee as of 2013). Also note that parking is limited and the lot fills up early most weekend mornings. Most weekends a shuttle bus runs from the overflow parking at Marcy Field north of Keene Valley.
*dogs are required to be leashed while on these trails.