On a New York state map, there is a big park called Adirondack Park north of Albany. It is huge, bigger than Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley National Park combined; but I have never heard of it. I knew one place in it, Lake Placid which hosted 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. As nature lovers, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit it.
The park is different than most of the parks we have grown accustomed to; more than half of the land within is privately owned. There are a lot of mountains and lakes, a great place for outdoor activities. We camped a night at Heart Lake near Lake Placid and hiked up to the Mt. Jo. The hike was about 2.5 miles loop with 700 feet of elevation change. We took the short loop up to the summit because, although steep, it would mean we would have a gentle climb, better for our knees, coming down the the Long Trail. It would have been an easy trail except the trail was filled with big boulders, which could be used as stepping stones for normal adults, presented a great challenge for Kadia. A lot of rocks were at waist or shoulder high for her. She didn’t complain much and tackled each big rock with a purpose and determination. I know sometimes I asked a lot of her at her young age, made her hiked a lot of trails on her own. Although she complained sometimes, she was a great sport.
Toward the top, the trail was steep. In many places, I had to pick up Kadia to pass her up to the top of rocks. Finally, we arrived at the summit. It was beautiful. We had a great view of the surrounding High Peaks Wilderness Area. And there was the Heart Lake beneath us. It didn’t appear like a heart shape to me. We thought we would have an easy way going down the Long Trail as it appeared to be twice as long as the short trail but we were wrong. It was as steep if not steeper on the 1st segment of the trail going down. It was too dangerous for Kadia to hike down all the boulders so I carried her down. It was definitely hard for the knees with the extra weight on our back. Luckily again we brought along our hiking poles. Our knees thanked them. Although I had a GPS with topo maps but it didn’t have the trail on it so I couldn’t see that both routes were about the same steepness until after I completed the hike. The GPS data confirmed that (see below, soon to come).