Dog Friendly Hikes in the Adirondacks

December 12, 2022/Destination

EDITOR’S NOTE: Before you set out on a hike in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York, it’s important to do your research to find dog friendly trails. Hiking in the Appalachians and the mountains in the eastern United States is much different than in the western United States. In the east, you’ll find that the elevation is lower, but full of bare rock faces and ladders that may not be as suitable for large dogs. If you’re planning a trip to the eastern US with your four-legged friend, you’ve got to read this blog post first! Keep reading to learn the best dog friendly hikes in the Adirondacks. My personal favorite is Avalanche Lake, located in the High Peaks Wilderness near Lake Placid. This blog was originally published on New York Upstate.

When hitting the trails in the Adirondacks, it may be tempting to bring man’s best friend. There are plenty of dog friendly hikes to choose from. Before you load your four-legged fur baby into the car, there are a few things to consider in this part of Upstate New York.

First of all, think about the terrain and whether your dog is cut out for it. Not all dogs are created equal, and some don’t relish the rocky climb over steep inclines that come with scaling the 46 High Peaks. In addition, dogs are required to be on leashes in the High Peaks Wilderness Area and other parts of the Adirondack Park. This can create some awkward situations. Especially when you have to stop to let other hikers by, trying to carry a pack, scramble over rocks or manage your dog.

With all that in mind, there are an infinite number of flat trails offering beauty and solace. Keeping with the peak-bagging theme, here are a few suggestions for lesser-traveled dog friendly hikes. They are awe-inspiring smaller mountains, some of which are off the beaten trail and provide great views without the crowds.

Related Post: Dog Friendly Guide to Stowe Vermont

Azure Mountain (Saranac Lake/Paul Smith’s)

Located outside of Paul Smith’s College, (off Route 458 toward St. Regis Falls) this small mountain boasts beautiful views of the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley. It also includes a restored fire tower on top. About a mile hike up to the 2,500-foot summit, makes for a fun day trip from Saranac Lake.

Trailhead coordinates: 44.537749°N, 74.484563°W

Black Bear Mountain (Inlet)

Found just off Route 28 between Inlet and Eagle Bay, north of Old Forge.  This at-times steep trail is 1.9 miles up, with about 700 feet of elevation gain. Rocky part best suited for energetic dogs that don’t mind climbing. Vista at the summit includes overview of the chain of lakes.

Trailhead coordinates: 43.7656°N, 74.7613°W

Buck Mountain (Lake George)

The longest hike on this list, with 3 miles one way up to a bald summit includes views of the surrounding area. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the High Peaks. In fact, Barbara McMartin’s “50 Hikes in the Adirondacks” describes Buck Mountain as “a perfect introduction to the Adirondacks.” Trailhead outside of Lake George is close to other popular hikes, like Sleeping Beauty.

Trailhead coordinates: 43.509238°N, 73.631144°W

Castle Rock (Blue Mountain Lake)

With an elevation gain of 700 feet, this small climb has big rewards, with views of Blue Mountain Lake. Fun to do at sunrise or sunset, and especially scenic during fall foliage season. Trail located just past the Adirondack Experience on Maple Lodge Road. Follow this road to the designated hiker parking.

Trailhead coordinates: 43.87305°N, 74.452572°W

Chimney Mountain (Indian Lake)

A 2.5-mile round-trip hike with almost 1,000 feet of elevation, this family-friendly hike has a lot to offer. Perhaps most notable are the caves and red rock cliffs. Pro tip: The parking lot is private property, and owners request users pay a small fee to use it. When visiting make sure you have a couple of dollars with you. Located at the end of Big Brook Road off Route 30 south of Indian Lake.

Trail coordinates: 43.6928408°N, 74.4905726°W

Goodman Mountain (Tupper Lake)

Recently redeveloped by the DEC, this trail off Route 39 between Tupper Lake and Long Lake is dedicated in honor and memory of civil rights activist Andrew Goodman. Starting off with wheelchair-accessible trail for the first .25-mile, the trail follows a foot trail to the 2,176-foot summit. This trail includes scenic views of Tupper Lake.

Trailhead coordinates: 44.1157°N, 74.5358°W

Owl’s Head Lookout (Elizabethtown)

Not to be confused with all the other “Owl’s Heads” out there, this one is located on Route 9N near Elizabethtown. One of the longer hikes here, with 2.5 miles and 1,110 feet from the trailhead on State Route 9N to the 2,530-feet lookout point. You’ll see scenic views of Hurricane Mountain, Champlain Valley, the Green Mountains of Vermont and nearby Giant Mountain.

Trailhead coordinates: 44.2119°N, 73.6788°W

Poke-O-Moonshine (Keeseville)

Located just a few miles from exit 33 on I-87, this trail has been given a new parking area and a new ascent up the mountain. These updates allow an easier grade, making it more family-friendly and dog-compatible. The almost 2-mile trip up to the 2,162-foot summit, rewards hikers with 360-degree views of the Champlain Valley and a historic fire tower.

Trailhead coordinates: 44.4019°N, 73.5029°W

Silver Lake Mountain (Au Sable Forks)

Found outside of Au Sable Forks in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest is this short and sweet jaunt. It provides spectacular views of the northern Adirondacks, including Silver Lake, Taylor Pond, Catamount Mountain, Whiteface Mountain and the Wilmington Range. Only a .9-mile and 900-foot ascent, easy to do in a couple of hours on the way through to Lake Placid or other destinations.

Trailhead coordinates: 44.5110°N, 73.8483°W

Originally published on New York Upstate. 

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