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Posted in Summer at Garnet Hill
If you haven’t put on hiking boots in years and your last bike ride was as a kid, you can still get in on these awesome (and beginner-friendly!) Adirondack activities you’ve been hearing about. Here at Garnet Hill Lodge, we have miles of trails on-site and close by, mountain bikes and helmets ready to rent, and plentiful ground to explore.
Don’t think beginner-friendly trails = a boring hiking experience. This is anything but! The Old Hooper Mine hike is one of three hikes that begin right at our Outdoor Center, and you’ll find old cellar holes and equipment at the mine, something you won’t see on most other hiking excursions. Or, you could take the one-mile hike to Thirteenth Lake from the Lodge, which starts downhill and then goes back up on your return hike; just one mile is ideal for those getting their hiking legs.
The Garnet Hill Ski Trails provide an additional 55 km of wide and relatively even walking trails, perfect for those who want to get out there hiking, but would like to avoid climbing or stumbling over uneven ground. Although less challenging, there are certainly no boring hikes here! These trails meander through a variety of terrain, including woods and valleys, and offer scenic sights.
For biking, we have five miles of new, dedicated single-track mountain biking trails in addition to a network of pre-existing trails, cross-country ski trails, and dirt and gravel roads. The new trails were built to the highest standards by the reputable Wilderness Property Management, a local expert in the biking world, and are designed specifically for mountain bikers.
The Balm of Gilead Cliffs hike offers incredible views for little effort, and this hike begins across from our Outdoor Center. The Peaked
Mountain and Peaked Mountain Pond hikes can begin at the state beach minutes from our lodge; or, overnight guests can take a canoe from our beach, paddle across the lake, and then start the hike from the state beach. If you’re also getting your feet wet paddling and/or fishing, this is an optimal hike to combine with those activities.
And, Hour Pond, Puffer Pond, the Sacandaga River, and Siamese Ponds are all accessible from one trailhead in this wilderness area that starts on Old Farm Road just past Garnet Hill Beach Road. All the trails you could desire are on our property or located close by!
We have a fleet of hardtail mountain bikes, children’s bikes, and demo bikes; there are also a limited number of fat tire bikes available to rent. Fat tire biking has picked up in popularity in recent years, and this is an excellent opportunity to “try before you buy!” Helmets are also provided in our Outdoor Center.
If you’ve only experienced biking around your neighborhood, or “on-road” biking, don’t be afraid to venture into the woods with us. Biking through the Adirondack Park on designated biking trails is a whole other experience from road biking. Get out of your comfort zone and leave the day-to-day behind when you come here to get away from it all in the Adirondacks.
In addition to occasional guided hikes, the skilled staff at our Outdoor Center are happy to answer any questions and provide any info. Whether you’re not sure about which bike to choose, or you’d like a suggestion for a hike based on your experience and preferences, our team of outdoor experts and enthusiasts are here for you!
As hiking and recreating in the Adirondacks has skyrocketed in popularity over the years – even before the COVID pandemic – so has the number of people visiting the area. Consequently, trailheads often fill early. The DEC advises hikers and recreationists to have several backup options to fall back on in case the lot at their desired location is full.
The final reasons why beginners to hiking and biking in the ADK should start with us is: you’re guaranteed a parking space, and there’s delicious food on-site. The stress of rushing to the trailhead before the sun is up is eliminated.
Stop by the Bobcat Bar & Grill on the second floor of the Outdoor Center to refuel after your hike or bike ride. Lunch is served daily 11:30 am to 3 pm Monday to Thursday, and 11:30 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday. Starting June 18, 2021, you can enjoy local draft beer specials every Friday through Sunday from 3 pm to 5 pm!
Hiking and biking are excellent introductory outdoor activities to the Adirondacks, and with on-site and nearby trails to explore, we’re the perfect place to start your adventure. When you’re ready for more, check out nearby whitewater rafting. (And, return to us in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!)