One of our main goals during our trip to the Adirondacks was hiking at least one High Peak. Adirondack Park features 46 High Peaks, or mountains 4,000+ feet above sea level. People who hike all 46 peaks are called 46ers. It’s a pretty amazing club to be a part of. My stepdad is a 46er and we’re hoping to get there one day. For an extra level of “damn”, there are also “Winter 46ers”- people who hike all 46 peaks during the winter. I want to be a 46er, but I’m content with hiking them all during the summer, thankyouverymuch.
We did a lot of research as to which of the 46 High Peaks to start with and settled on Cascade Mountain. And while it’s the “easiest” of the High Peaks, it’s not necessarily easy. It can also be combined with Porter Mountain for a 2-for-1 High Peaks hike, but we started too late in the day to risk the extra 1.4 miles over to Porter from the trail split. I still have regrets over that.
When guide books aren’t lying when they say this is a very popular trail. The parking area at the trailhead was full and cars overflowed onto both sides of the street for a good half mile. If you want a less crowded hike, either go early in the morning or late the in the afternoon like we did.
There were plenty of children and dogs on this hike as well, just keep in mind you may need to carry your kids during certain parts and it is a long hike. Be prepared to take lots of breaks and give yourself plenty of time as to not risk hiking back down past sunset.
There’s a great ledge about 3/4 of the way up that’s perfect for a water/snack break. I could have sat there all day, especially on our descent. The sun was shining and it was just perfect.
Again, this may be considered the “easiest” of the High Peaks hikes, but it’s not easy. It was a workout. We started at 12:55 and returned to our car at 5:55. We took lots of breaks and enjoyed our time at the summit.
Also, bring a light windbreaker or jacket if you’re hiking on a warm day, and heavier clothes (including gloves) if you’re hiking on cooler days. The temperature changes suddenly near the summit and it is very windy. VERY windy. We were sweaty (it was near 80 at the base) and it just made it feel even cooler at the summit.
But the views? Totally worth it.
1 down, 45 High Peaks to go…