Adirondack Adventure: Mount Van Hoevenberg Trail Review

Mount Van Hoevenberg near Lake Placid New York is a versatile location with a lot of different recreation opportunities including cross country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hiking, a mountain coaster, and more. Most of this is located at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area right off Route 73. However, this post is about the hiking trail that approaches the summit from the south side of the mountain. 

About The Location
Mount Van Hoevenberg is located near Lake Placid, NY in the Adirondacks. It is situated in the High Peaks Region offering stunning views of the high peaks in the distance from it’s shorter peak. The trail is approximately 5 miles long, out and back. You can find the trail on AllTrails

Trailhead Parking
The trailhead for this hike is located on the Adirondack Loj Road, off of Route 73. The parking lot is called South Meadow Trailhead as it’s technically on a seasonal dirt road called South Meadow Rd. The trailhead is fairly small and often serves as overflow parking for the High Peak hikes accessible from the Adirondack Loj Parking a little futher up the road – so be sure to get here early to secure a parking spot! 

About The Trail
The hike starts out on South Meadow Road for a little ways until you reach the actual trail. It’s a dirt road in the woods so although it’s a road it’s still a pleasant walk. We were here in April and there was still some snow on the ground and it even snowed a bunch the day we were hiking. 

After you turn left to start on the trail, you’ll come to an opening in the trees where there is a privy. It’s an easy spot to take a break if needed, but it’s still early in the trail. However, I must say, it is one of the most beautiful locations for a bathroom that I’ve seen!

The next section of trail is incredibly flat and very easy. You’ll spend quite a bit of time on this part of the trail, walking through a pine forest. At some point you will leave the pine forest and begin walking through a deciduous forest and that’s how you’ll know the flat part is almost done. Right before you approach any kind of elevation gain, you’ll come across a bog area which is kind of cool and kind of creepy. There’s just something about bogs that give me the creeps. 

Despite the snow and cold, it was spring when we were here so a lot of the ice had melted and in this area it left things pretty muddy which made it a little hard to find and follow the trail. There was water running everywhere, flowing out of the bog, puddling up in places. We managed to come out unscathed and not too wet at all. 

Once you get past the bog you start to climb some elevation. The elevation stays fairly moderate and steady until you get to the first col. My 9 year old daughter was able to do it even if she was complaining the whole time. You’ll climb through the col, head slightly downhill, then head back uphill for the last stretch before the summit. 

Along the ridge to the summit you’ll find plenty of ledges with plenty of space to spread out if you find yourself amongst other people. The view looks southward toward the High Peaks in the distance. The peak itself stands at about 2,936 feet but you’ll only hike about 900 feet of that elevation gain. 

Any questions? Or if you’ve done this trail, let me know what you think in the comments! 

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