The Adirondack Mountains have been on my list since I started hiking. However, it’s too far for a day trip. NY state’s size still surprises me and I’ve lived here for 15 years. From Manhattan, it takes me 4 hours to reach Washington, DC by train. 4 hours upstate and I’m not even in the Adirondacks yet. Vacations require time and money. I’ve been lacking in both. I don’t get paid time off.
However, my mental health has been in the toilet for a while now. It’s improving but my stress levels are still a bit too high. Sacrifices had to be made. I had 4 days off recently, still unpaid, but it was the perfect time since my birthday is August 12. I worked on my budget and made room for a trip upstate to Lake George, NY as a present to myself. This would be my first vacation in years. The first one I actually planned. All other times, I’d been going along with someone else.
Side note, I always misspell Adirondack. Usually, I’ll type it into Google, let it autocorrect and just copy and paste.
Traveling by Amtrak to Lake George
Most people recommend driving to Lake George. It seems to be the fastest way. To reach upstate, I’d have to drive through all of Manhattan which would be super not fun. You can take an Amtrak to Fort Edward station and then pick up a rental car near the station, take an Uber, or hop on the trolly to Lake George.
I wanted to rent a car but the rental place is closed on the weekend. Don’t really know why. Maybe because the station is so remote.
I got an Uber from Fort Edward station to our hotel. Fortunately, Lake George is walkable. You don’t need a car to get around if you plan on staying in town. I wanted to hike Shelving Rock Falls but that’s on the other side of the lake, around a 45 minutes drive. Too far to walk.
Hiking the Adirondack Mountains
Instead, I hiked up to Prospect Mountain. It’s walking distance from town. I started early to get most of the trail to myself since this is a popular destination.
@thehikingauthor Always nice to start a hike with 3 flights of stairs. Trail didn't get any better. . First hike in the Adirondacks. It's been a dream for years. I definitely plan to explore more of those mountains. . Prospect Mountain is a short trail, walking distance from Lake George. It's not an easy hike. It's all uphill and rocky. Killed my legs for days after. Not for casual hikers. The view at the top is nice. . . . . . . . #hiking #hikingadventures #hikingtok #adirondacks #adirondacksny #adirondackpark #upstateny #upstatenewyork #prospectmountain #naturevibes #natureathome #blackhiker #blackhikersoftiktok #outdoorlife #womenoutdoors #hikergirl #naturetiktok #hikewithme #hikingtrail #traveltiktok #travelbucketlist #travellife #outdoorsygals #outdoorspace ♬ To The End – Divide Music
It’s not a loop. Just a straight path, about 2-3 miles, to the summit. Certain parts of the trail were better marked than others. It’s far too easy to walk in the wrong direction if you aren’t paying attention. The Garmin eTrex 22x Handheld GPS helped. I also bought a National Geographic map and studied that before I left.
It’s a strenuous trail. As someone who hikes a lot, even I thought of giving up toward the end. Fortunately, I hit my limit about 5 minutes from the summit. Also, the end is a paved road and the easiest part of the hike.
I dipped my toe into Adirondack hiking and plan to return to photograph different parts during the fall and winter. Yes, I will be braving upstate winter to get those snowy mountain landscape shots. Apparently, it gets so cold up there, the lake freezes enough to drive over.
Sunrise Landscapes Over Lake George
Lake George is a peaceful town in upstate, NY that sits on a lake by the same name. It seems to be a popular vacation spot for New Yorkers and tourists. Surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is one of the most photographic places I’ve visited.
It almost feels like it’s not in NY. I made sure to photograph the mountain view at sunrise.
Absolutely perfect conditions. Even with no clouds in the sky, I got stunning colors. I had the view all to myself because it was so early in the morning. Nothing but peace, quiet and a serene view.
The landscape gave me a wonderful surprise on the last day. Fog is kinda like the white whale of photography, at least for me. It’s an amazing condition that’s hard to predict and doesn’t come around often. Imagine my joy when I walked to the waterfront and saw this scene:
For my gear, the Rangers 8pcs ND Filter kit came in handy. I couldn’t take these photos without them. They don’t seem to be available on Amazon anymore. Shame. They were super affordable. A tripod is another must. I don’t carry a special camera hiking backpack. I own the Osprey Tempest 20 for walking to the waterfront, or to my local park, with my gear. My Osprey Tempest 34 is for hiking in the mountains.
Visit my gallery for more photos.
Some of these photos are available for sale as prints and merch on my print store.
A Mental Health Boost
I didn’t plan on filling every moment of my day with activity. This trip was for resting and recharging. Sometimes, I sat on the hotel balcony, soaking in the sun and the view. I broke out my journal and jotted down my thoughts as the sun rose other the Adirondack mountains. Visiting Lake George brought clarity to certain things. I highly recommend a visit if you’re looking for a chill place with great food and a beautiful view.