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New York Highpoint - Mount Marcy - 5344 ft
19 June 2005, 11:30 am.
Back to 2005 Northeast Highpoint Expedition
After spending a day in Lake Placid, NY, waiting for the weather to clear (and my stuff to dry out), I drove to the Adirondak Loj, paid the parking fee, and set out on the Van Hoevenberg trail towards Mount Marcy at 7:20 am, following the round blue markers. At the trailhead, there was a pile of rocks that hikers were requested to carry to the summit. These would be used to protect the fragile vegetated areas from abuse. I am sad to say that I did not bring any of the rocks with me, and I was 'showed up' by plenty of other parties who did.
The moderately steep trail was muddy in spots, but there were usually either rocks to hop along, logs in the trail to hold you up, or else wooden planks as walkways. Although the weather forecast was 'mostly sunny', conditions stayed completely gray and cloudy at first. Just after 4.5 miles in, after crossing Marcy Brook, I made the very short side trip to Indian Falls, where the brook cascades over a rock drop-off. This area made a nice rest stop, but the sky was still obscured by clouds. Continuing on, at about 6.5 miles I finally got a look towards the summit, as some of the clouds were dissipating. From this point on, the trail was steeper and mostly over solid rock. This was the most fun part of the hike, and fortunately the rock here was dry. By 11:30 am, I reached the top, and was greeted by a couple of Summit Stewards, who were there to remind everybody not to trample the vulnerable tundra.
Mount Marcy summit.
Little Marcy, from the Big Marcy summit.
Although it was not completely clear, I did have nice views in half the directions. The views here definitely were the best on this trip, too many others were obscured by haze or fog. There were plenty of other hikers, some of whom were working on their Adirondack 4000 list, and several of whom brought up rocks. (Unlike wimpy me.) After a nice hour spent on the top, I headed back the way I came, as the weather generally cleared up. Two hours later, I came back to Indian Falls for an even nicer rest break. The sky was a lot clearer than earlier, plus I need the rest break more this time! I took a good 45 minute break, taking advantage of the stream to soothe my feet and refill my water bottles. Eventually, I had to leave, and just more than two hours later, at 5:26 pm, I returned to my car.
Indian Falls, in the afternoon.
View from Marcy Dam, in the afternoon.
There were some nice views from Lake Placid in the evening, since the sky was finally clear. New York also came through in the topical beer department. The Great Adirondack Brewing Company is in Lake Placid, and several times I found six-packs with a sampler of several of their brews, labeled as 'Adirondack Trail Mix'.
Evening view generally towards the Loj.
Highpoint Adventures, Charlie and Diane
Winger, Colorado Mountain Club Press, 2002.
Highpoints of the United States, Don W. Holmes, University of Utah Press, 2000.