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Northern Adirondacks – Early Fall Foliage

August 27th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Adirondack Life

No shortage of inquiries about Adirondack Fall foliage lately. Here’s another list like last year’s, this time with inexpensive and family-friendly places worth visiting in the Northern Adirondacks.

Last night hit 34 degrees in Saranac Lake and we still have days to go in August. Most people aren’t into “foliage-mode” until October, but here in the Northern Adirondacks things happen early. This means we get leaf change as early as mid-September. For sure at the higher elevations.

So if you’re looking for Autumn leaves early, here are some places I recommend. Bring the entire gang, because the only big cost is getting there. Here’s the list:

  1. Saranac New Land Trust
    Preservation, Recreation, Education. 287-acres and over 15 miles of trails. Located at the foot of Lyon Mt, the NLT’s trail system is a favorite of Winter skiers and snowshoers. Look for views of Lyon Mt and another awesome view South from the top of The Meadow.
  2. Silver Lake Bog Preserve
    The 0.5 mile Boardwalk is so cool. There is a little trail section at the beginning, but the rest of The Boardwalk ideal for wheelchair access. When you reach the end, it’s another short 0.6 mile climb to the top of The Bluffs overlooking Silver Lake. This is great for really small kids too. If you have energy left-over, head down the road and climb Silver Lake Mt.
  3. ADK Park Visitors Interpretive Center – Paul Smiths
    An under-appreciated resource. That’s what I always say whenever the subject of our VICs come up. There are 6 miles of interpretive trails and about 8 miles of backcountry trails on 2,885-acres. If you want to experience and learn about the Adirondack Forest Preserve, then must visit a VIC. The 0.8 mile Barnum Brook Trail is wheelchair accessible.
  4. Adirondack Fish Hatchery
    Salmon-action! For sure, because this is where the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is rearing landlocked Atlantic salmon. While it’s not really a place to specifically see foliage, you’re bound to see some just getting here. Actually, you’re more likely on your way to a Fall paddle in the Saint Regis Canoe Area which is right next door.
  5. John Brown Farm State Historic Site
    Sure it’s also John Brown’s gravesite, but it’s location features trails and impressive views of the Adirondack High Peaks and Olympic Ski-jump. Learn about a most interesting part of American history too.
  6. International Paper John Dillon Park
    “Both John Dillon and International Paper have roots here in the Adirondacks, and share a passion for reaching out to the community. Because of that, we felt this was the perfect place to realize our vision for the first accessible Adirondack wilderness trail and facility in his honor” – Nuff said.
  7. ADK Park Visitors Interpretive Center – Newcomb
    Less than a 10th of the size of the Paul Smiths VIC, but no less of a gem. Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, just getting here is an epic journey (unless you live in Long Lake). And location is everything. There are 3.6 miles of interpretive trails for enjoyment. If you want more, you can climb nearby Goodnow Mountain or hike/bike to the Great Camp Santanoni. For me, this area represents everything I consider Adirondack.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • dave

    Nice post. Hard to believe fall is right around the corner. I’ve got to try hard to get out to the St. Regis Canoe Area before winter hits.

    We tried to come up with a list of our favorite North East fall hikes:

    It is always hard to narrow something like that down to just a few!

  • Small Pines

    I must check out the VIC this year – since I’m right around the corner and all. Make a weekend of it maybe – our traditional leaf drive is in Vermontville. Norman Ridge Road is stunning!

  • teacher

    Thanks for a really useful post! I’m currently planning a trip over there, so this really came in handy.

  • ForestWander

    Wow! this is a nice comprehensive guide.

    This makes it easy to know where the best sites are.

    Thanks a lot, I will share my pictures!

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