New York Hiking, Nature June 04, 2016
Every Explorer Should Add These 7 New York Hiking Challenges To Their Summer Bucket List
Living in New York is every explorer’s paradise, there are so many amazing places right at our finger tips where we can escape from our busy lives and get back to nature. Any one of our adventurous residents or out-of-town visitors will tell you that there’s nothing quite like the feeling of taking on one of our trails. But, do you want to know an even greater feeling? Being able to say that you’ve completed one of our hiking challenges. Working on any of these challenges will quickly get you reconnected with nature and are meant to help focus on keeping our wilderness preserved. A variety to choose from, some of these challenges will literally bring you to high peaks while others will keep you a bit closer to the ground.
Here are 7 New York Hiking Challenges that every explorer needs to add to their summer bucket list:
1. Fire Tower Challenge
Pictured above you can see the view from the Belfry Mountain fire tower, one of the 23 total fire towers that are a part of this New York challenge. Covering locations in both of our famous mountain regions, 18 of the fire towers reside in the Adirondacks while the other 5 can be found within the Catskills! Not all of these historic fire towers are still open to the public, but the ones that are still functioning will give you unbelievable panoramic views.
If you decide to take on this challenge, make sure you do what is required to earn your official Fire Tower Challenge patch! In order to get your patch you must send in your summit list with all of your completed dates and make note of anything significant you saw along your hike, like certain wildlife you spotted for example.
To view the list of 23 mountains included in this challenge and find out where to send in your completed challenge information,
2. Adirondack 46
Our most famous and certainly most demanding club, this list is made up of 46 high peak mountains in the Adirondack Park. All but a few of these mountains have peaks that are over 4,000 feet in height, giving explorers some of the most incredible views in our state that you can ever achieve. It's hard to grasp exactly how much of New York you're truly exploring when taking on this challenge, but the total combined elevation is
times the elevation of Mount Everest. Yes, you read that right! On the shorter end, there are quite a few hikes on this list that are doable to those who may not be able to fully complete the challenge, only taking roughly 5 hours to finish round trip. On the longer end of things, there are plenty of mountain in this challenge that will take you a full 12 hours to complete.
To see a full list of all 46 mountains that are a part of this challenge,
3. Adirondack 29
Currently feeling overwhelmed at the thought of taking on the Adirondack 46 challenge? Well, this Upstate challenge may be a bit more up your alley! All of the 29 mountains that are apart of the challenge can be completed in one day, making for the perfect adventure that will still have a spectacular view. Spread throughout the Adirondack Park, you can see the largest mountain the Lake George area (Black Mountain) pictured above.
To view the complete list of all 29 mountains that are apart of this challenge,
4. Catskill 3500
Pictured above in the first photo you can see Blackhead, Black Dome, and Thomas Cole, all of which are just three of the 35 peaks apart of the Catskill 3500 Challenge. The most thrilling challenge to tackle in the Catskills region, this list is made up of mountains that will give you beautiful views of New York, but aren't as challenging as most of our Adirondack High Peaks. Created back in the early 1960s, this club was formed for those who were interested in exploring the Catskill Mountains. Part of the challenge requires you to hike several of the mountains during the winter months (December 21st - March 31), and a special patch can also be earned for those who take on all 35 hikes during these months!
To find out more information on this challenge and to view the list of all 35 mountains,
5. Cranberry Lake 50
Physically the easiest challenge you'll find our list, taking on this challenge will get you more familiar with one of our Adirondack park's most large and stunning lakes. The Cranberry Lake 50 is a challenge made up of 50 miles worth of trails that loop around the 3rd largest lake in the Adirondacks. The challenge is made up of roughly 10 different trails and will bring you through some of our most beautiful scenery in New York.
To view the full challenge and list of trails that are a part of the Cranberry Lake 50,
6. Saranac 6
Don't let the fire towers you'll find among this list confuse you, the Saranac 6 is its entirely own New York challenge! A challenge that is often completed in one weekend by our explorers, this challenge is made up of 6 mountains that surround the stunning Saranac Lake. McKenzie, Ampersand, Scarface, Haystack, St. Regis mountains along with Mount Baker are the 6 mountains you'll need to hike to complete this challenge. Looking to spice things up a bit? To become an Ultra 6er you can complete the challenge in 24 hours, or you can become a Winter 6er and complete the challenge during the winter months.
The hikes on this challenge range from 1.8 miles to 10 miles roundtrip, pictured above you can see Saint Regis Mountain.
To find out more information on the Saranac 6 Challenge,
7. Waterfalls Hiking Challenge
Pictured above you can see both Auger Falls and Tenant Creek Falls, just two of the nineteen waterfalls that make up this New York challenge. Ranging in difficulty, these waterfalls vary from rapid-like waters to towering falls that will take your breath away. Based on their difficulty, each waterfall is worth a certain amount of points, difficult hikes being worth 4 points while easy hikes are worth 1. If you manage to rack up a total of 12 points, you can send in your challenge form to receive an official Hamilton County Waterfall patch!
To see the full list of waterfalls that are a part of this challenge,
Have you ever earned the bragging rights to one of these New York hiking challenges? Tell us which challenge you’ll be adding to your bucket list!
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