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10 Best Hikes in Lake Placid; All Levels, Dog-Friendly

Heading to the Lake Placid area and wondering where to hike?! Lake Placid is one of the most popular destinations within the six-million-acre Adirondack Park – the largest park in the contiguous United States.

woman in pink shirt smiling with dog on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
Hike number 10 on our list!🌲 Endless mountain views…
brown dog on top of a mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
🐶 Bruin loved our recent trip to the ADKs & this 2.4-mile trail (Mount Jo)

With over 2,000 miles of marked hiking trails in Adirondack Park (Adirondacks or ADKs for short), it’s no wonder you may be overwhelmed when trying to decide what to hike when staying in or around Lake Placid! 😱

And within those 2,000 miles includes not only the well-known 46 High Peaks (46 summits above 4,000 feet) but also numerous easy, family-friendly, and dog-friendly hikes.

Living in Connecticut and hiking for decades this is one of my favorite areas to go hiking. The expansive forests, numerous lakes, and endless mountain views keep me coming back to visit Lake Placid multiple times a year!

In this post, you’ll find amazing views and super scenic dog-friendly hikes that are perfect when staying in the Lake Placid region.

sunset hike on mount van hoevenberg in the adirondacks
Sunset atop Mt Van Hoevenberg, a moderate hike with big views 🧡

📝 This list contains some of the best dog-friendly trails and mountains in the Lake Placid area.

For each hike in this post you’ll find:

  • details and highlights of each hike 🗺
  • difficulty ratings 💪🏼
  • GPS coordinates and a link to click for directions to trailhead 🚙
  • the Alltrails link in the hike title 🔗

So what are the best dog-friendly hikes in & around Lake Placid?! ⬇️⬇️

Part 1: Easy to Moderate Hikes Around Lake Placid

1. Cobble Lookout, Wilmington Wild Forest

Cobble Lookout is a must-hike for visiting Lake Placid if you’re looking for a short hike with big views. After just 1.2 miles of walking and at a slight uphill, a wide open summit with180-degree views await you.

I suggest walking past the main lookout (where you will see most people congregating) to get a whole other section of views looking further to the east.

woman smiling with dog on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
top of mountain summit in lake placid with green mountains and trees in the distance and a blue sky with fluffy clouds in summer

The Cobble Lookout Trail was built in 2014 and brings hikers to a beautiful lookout to Esther, Whiteface, Giant Mountain, and other High Peaks.

  • Miles: 2.4 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 242 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Easy
  • Parking: Navigate here: 44.40398, -73.8788 Lot along 108/Mountain Rd near Barnes Visitor’s Center and The Lodge at Spruce Peak
  • Special Features: Wide open 180-degree views, numerous ledges for views and photos
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “Great view for light work! A little bit muddy but mostly avoidable.

2. Cobble Hill, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest

Here’s a short hike with views right in downtown Lake Placid starting from Mirror Lake. It was super foggy and a little drizzly on our visit so we didn’t get the best photos here but as the AllTrails reviews say, there are great views from up here.

view from cobble hill top of mountain in summer in lake placid with with foggy sky and green mountains in distance
dog on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with with foggy sky and green mountains in distance

While it’s only 1.5 miles it is a bit steep so prepare for a little workout as you ascend Cobble Hill. Your reward will be views over Lake Placid and the village below.

  • Miles: 1.5 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 465 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Moderate
  • Parking: Navigate here to: 44.29401, -73.97416
  • Special Features: Views of Lake Placid, ski jumps, and High Peaks
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “A fun hike with some steep rocky areas near the top! All manageable and quite a pretty view!“Quick and easy trail with great views. A few steep areas, but nothing that can’t be handled in sneakers.”

3. Moose Pond, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

This is the perfect spot for a flat walk to a secluded and beautiful pond to take the dogs for a dip. A great hike near Lake Placid if you’re looking for a non-crowded swimming spot on a summer day!

Head here to escape the crowds of Lake Placid and the popular trails nearby.

moose pond in the adirondacks in summertime
brown dirt trail running through green forest in summer

Though AllTrails has it labeled as 3.1 miles round trip you only have to walk 1.1 miles in to get to Moose Pond. At the 1.1 mile mark, you’ll come to a fork, take the trail off to the right and head a short way down to the pond.

  • Miles: 3.1 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 219 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Easy
  • Parking: Navigate here to: 44.37548, -74.08709 Small lot but you can also park along Rt 3.
  • Special Features: Short trail leading to swimming & views of Moose Pond
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “Trail ran this with my dog. Mostly flat overall but still some up and down – this is the ADKs, after all! Gorgeous trail and pond!

4. Heaven Hills Trail, Lake Placid

There are big hikes and small hikes, wide open summits that will drop your jaw – but sometimes nothing compares to a peaceful meadow walk with views of all those big mountains.

green meadows trail near lake placid in summer with high peaks in the distance
green meadows with wildflowers trail near lake placid in summer with high peaks in the distance
green meadows trail near lake placid in summer with high peaks in the distance

We did this Heaven Hill Trail loop after an early dinner in Lake Placid. Just 14 minutes away it’s the perfect place to walk when staying in Lake Placid and I think a must-do trail!

Dogs are even allowed off-leash in some areas here which we loved! Come for golden hour before sunset and enjoy a gorgeous and serene walk where you likely won’t see many others.

  • Miles: 3.2 mile loop
  • Elevation: 173 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Easy
  • Parking: Navigate here: 44.24267, -73.99704
  • Special Features: Wildflowers, meadows, and flat farm trails with views of the High Peaks
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “the hills are alive with the sound of musicccc”

5. Baker Mountain, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

A short but steep trail, you’ll begin the ascent almost immediately. The trail is steep but you’ll be rewarding with views along the way that motivate you to keep going.

The summit of Baker offers amazing views over the Village of Saranac Lake, the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area, and the High Peaks Region.

  • Miles: 1.6 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 885 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Moderate
  • Parking: Navigate here to: 44.33154, -74.11578 If you need it there is additional parking at Berkeley Green Park
  • Special Features: Views of Saranac Lake
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “Not too crowded but definitely not secluded, but lots of bugs. Views were great, on the easier side of “moderate” so it’s great for kids and dogs.”

6. Mount Jo, High Peaks Wilderness

Wow, what can I say that these photos don’t communicate already?! Mount Jo is a treat, a special spot on this earth.

woman smiling with dog on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
dog on top of a mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
view from top of mountain summit in lake placid with green mountains and trees in the distance and a blue sky with fluffy clouds in summer

Look for the secret trail near the ladders on your way up to the summit for a more open and unobstructed view of Heart Lake.

  • Miles: 2.4 mile loop
  • Elevation: 708 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Moderate
  • Parking: Navigate here: 44.18318, -73.9645 Lot along 108/Mountain Rd near Barnes Visitor’s Center and The Lodge at Spruce Peak
  • Special Features: Views south of Heart Lake and the high peaks
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “The longer trail was an easier climb, roughly a half mile longer. The shorter trail was definitely more steep and involved a lot of climbing up/down rocks.”

7. McKenzie Pond via McKenzie Pond Rd, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

A great option if you’re looking for a long walk in the woods leading to a huge pond for swimming!

This is a great option if you’re looking for a less crowded trail near Lake Placid. We saw just a couple other friendly people with their dogs here doing the same thing we were – taking the pups for a dip!

mckenzie pond in lake placid in summer
mckenzie pond in lake placid in summer
brown dirt trail running through green forest in summer

The trail is easy to follow and at 1.9 miles in you will see the juncture for the Jackrabbit trail on the right. Bear left here and walk the last tenth of a mile to McKenzie Pond.

  • Miles: 4.1 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 285 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Easy
  • Parking: Navigate here: 44.31454, -74.10209 Lot along 108/Mountain Rd near Barnes Visitor’s Center and The Lodge at Spruce Peak
  • Special Features: Long flat trail leading to views and swimming at McKenzie Pond
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “Peaceful, serene, and easy 4-mile out and back walk to the pond.”

Part 2: Moderate to Hard Hikes Around Lake Placid

8. Mount Van Hoevenberg, High Peaks Wilderness

A gorgeous spot for sunset! Here is a trail near Lake Placid that offers BIG views in exchange for just a moderate hike and workout.

We had the summit all to ourselves on this July night during the 4th of July holiday week. The trail starts long and flat – you’ll be walking for about a mile wondering when the elevation is going to begin. And for the next 1.2 miles you’ll climb almost 900 feet but there are no technical spots or rock scrambles here.

woman and dog on top of a lake placid mountain during sunset with an orange sky and green mountains in distance
sunset view from top of a lake placid mountain during sunset with green mountains in distance
view of the high peaks from top of mountain summit in lake placid with green mountains and trees in the distance and a golden sky at sunset in summer

Mounds and mounds of mountains await you at the top of Mount Van Hoevenberg with Marcy and Algonquin peaks in the distance. Bring snacks and be prepared to spend some time up here admiring the front-row show of the mountains spread out before you.

  • Miles: 4.2 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 885 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Moderate
  • Parking: Navigate here: 44.19388, -73.9508 Lot along 108/Mountain Rd near Barnes Visitor’s Center and The Lodge at Spruce Peak
  • Special Features: Views of High Peaks like Marcy, Algonquin
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “Hike is easy enough for many level of hiker to climb it, not overly steep. Some mud near the lake, some walking on rocks and avoiding mud. Few trees in trail early on to duck climb and go around. Beautiful views at top 10/10 hike.”

9. Ampersand Mountain Trail, High Peaks Wilderness

Did we save one of the best for last?! Perhaps we did!

But these 360-degree views come at a cost, of course. You’ve got about a mile plus of a flat walk before the ascent begins. Workout wise this felt on the more challenging side for sure but you get a couple breaks where the trail levels out after a couple steep pushes.

woman in blue tank top in summer smiling with dog on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
top of mountain summit in lake placid with green mountains, blue lake, and trees in the distance and a blue sky with fluffy clouds in summer
woman's legs and hiking boots on top of mountain summit in lake placid with green mountains and trees in the distance and a blue sky with fluffy clouds in summer

The part that I think makes this trail earn its ‘Hard’ rating on AllTrails is the few scrambles it has where you will use your hands to grab branches, roots, and rock to hoist yourself up.

While it is a dog-friendly trail and we brought our young pup Bruin, I wouldn’t have wanted to bring Captain up this trail with his arthritis because of the few scrambles that would require him to jump high to get up and then jump on the hard ground to get down. So make the call depending on your dog’s age and agility.

  • Miles: 5 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 1,765 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Hard
  • Parking: Navigate here: 44.25151, -74.23955 Lot along 108/Mountain Rd near Barnes Visitor’s Center and The Lodge at Spruce Peak
  • Special Features: 360-degree views of the High Peaks and Saranac Lake
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “The first few miles are very easy, eventually it gets steeper and will be fairly strenuous with few breaks. Near the top you will need to be fit enough to do some light scrambling up some rocks, but it is doable if you are careful.”

10. Noonmark Mountain via Round Pond, Dix Mountain Wilderness

Note: Beginning May 1, and through Oct. 31, DEC and AMR will require reservations for the 70 available parking spots at the AMR parking lot for daily access to trails on AMR property, as well as the Round Mountain and Noonmark Mountain trailheads accessed through AMR lands. Walk-in users without a reservation will not be permitted. Register at hikeamr.org

woman in pink shirt smiling with dog on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky
back of man in red flannel shirt on top of mountain in summer in lake placid with green mountains and blue sky

A wonderful loop hike up a steep mountain for great views towards the Great Range of the High Peaks. While this isn’t a High Peak, Noonmark is popular and known for its spectacular views of the Great Range. The loop is a combination of the Stimson Trail, Felix Adler, and the Old Dix Trail.

This is the hardest hike on our list in terms of elevation gain and length. Bring enough snacks and water as it may take you longer than expected!

  • Miles: 6.2 miles out & back
  • Elevation: 2,060 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Hard
  • Parking: Click here to navigate to 44.13198, -73.73198
  • Special Features: almost 360-degree views of the Great Range/High Peaks
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “Amazing 360 view at the top. The beginning was a bit rugged but it got easier. There were also some scrambles near the top.”

11. Bonus Trail: High Gorge Falls, Wilmington (NOT dog-friendly)

High Gorge Falls, known as “the Adirondacks most breathtaking 30-minute walk” is an adventurous walk for all ages and abilities. We haven’t done this one yet as it’s not dog-friendly and we’ve had the dogs with us for every visit.

With (sturdy!) bridges and steps wrapping around the gorge right above waterfalls and the West Branch Ausable River, this looks like a pretty awesome scene but I imagine it gets very crowded.

You must purchase a ticket to get in and prices are $18 per adult and $14 for children. Purchase tickets online and check for hours on the High Falls Gorge website.

  • Miles: 1 mile loop
  • Elevation: 167 ft elevation gain
  • Level: Easy
  • Parking: Navigate here to: 44.34732, -73.87793
  • Special Features: Bridges and accessible platforms above the West Branch Ausable River and gorge.
  • Helpful AllTrails Review: “It’s a commercialized trail, but worth it. Photographed the waterfalls. Lot of people with families.”

❄️Winter hiking in Lake Placid, what you need to know:

Roads leading to different trailheads are subject to seasonal closure. Click this link to check trail conditions and find out about road closures. And if you need a place to get started with winter hiking gear and knowing what to wear check out my winter essentials post here!

I hope you found this post helpful and have a few favorites picked out for your next Lake Placid hiking trip! I plan to keep adding to this list so come back for updates and comment below with your favorite Lake Placid hike!

Happy hiking…🐾🥾❤️

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