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5 Easy Day Hikes in Upstate NY

Ski season has come and gone, but that’s no reason to keep you off the hills, mountains, and trails of beautiful Upstate New York!
This week we’ve put together a quick guide to some of our favorite easy to moderate hikes, and tips to get you out there and enjoying the sun and fun this spring.

Vroman’s Nose

Middleburgh, New York
Difficulty – Easy
Elevation Gain – 533 feet

This distinct landmark located in New York’s Schoharie Valley is a great family friendly, or beginner hike. The 1.5-mile loop features multiple trail options, but if you’re looking for the more leisurely, you’ll want to stick to the green trail.  This easy path will take you along stretches of gentle sloping incline, with spots of steeper grades along the way as you ascend to the summit.
Photo opportunities await you at the peak, known as the “Dance Floor,” which showcases a blanket of fertile farmland in the valley below, as well as peaks of the Catskills in the distance.

9 Corner Lake

Caroga, New York
Difficulty – Easy
Elevation Gain – 282 feet

A comfortable 2 mile out-and-back trail that features wooden bridges, streams, waterfalls, and glimpses of Adirondack wildlife (one review mentioned otters playing in the snow!). 9 Corners is a fantastic all-purpose trail that is popular with leisurely hikers and runners during the warm months, and cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and snowmobilers in the less warm ones. Some spots on the trail can be a little muddy, especially in spring, so be sure to wear your waterproof hiking boots, and keep an eye on the ground for roots and rocks that might trip you up. About a mile in, you’ll reach 9 Corner Lake, which, if you’ve chosen a quiet time of day/week, is the very definition of peaceful.

Hadley Mountain

Hadley, New York
Difficulty – Moderate
Elevation Gain – 1,508 feet

If you’re looking for moderate hike with a big payoff, look no further than Hadley Mountain! This 1.75-mile out-and-back hike will lead you through sections of steep climbs and gentle slopes, on the way up it’s 1,500-foot ascent. You can expect a particularly steep mile or so, where you’ll find yourself navigating up slippery slabs of rockface, so take caution here and take your time, because once you get past this strenuous section, the grade eases up and you’ll get to enjoy a preview of the view that awaits you at the top.
Once you’ve finally reached the summit you’re still not done climbing because you’ll want to traverse the 6 flights of stairs (and go up through the trap door), to the top of the historic fire observation tower. From the top of the tower, you’ll be able to spot some Adirondack High Peaks, the Great Sacandaga Lake, and even the Green Mountains of Vermont on a clear day!

Ausable Chasm

Ausable Chasm, New York
Difficulty – Easy
Elevation Gain – 690 feet

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks” The Chasm opened in 1870 and is the oldest continuously operating national attraction in the United States! Ausable Chasm is famous for being an easy 2-mile loop that’s great for families and beginners, and only takes about an hour to finish. There are several trails, but a highlight is the Inner-Sanctum, a one-mile path that cuts straight through the chasm along the river and features some of the best views around, as well as some picnic tables and Adirondack chairs so you can sit down and take them all in.
Packages are also available for biking, rock climbing, rafting, and tubing if you’re feeling more adventurous!

Taughannock Falls

Trumansburg, New York
Difficulty – Easy
Elevation Gain – 82 feet

This short 1.9-mile out-and-back trail will take you straight through the heart of the gorge, along the Taughannock Creek, and lead you to one of the most impressive waterfalls you’ll find anywhere. Did you know that the Taughannock Falls are 30 feet higher than Niagara Falls? In fact, it’s 215 drop earns it the title of the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies!
The easy, canyon lined path and abundance of stone steps are always well maintained and accessible for all ages. Taughannock is also a perfect destination for those looking to challenge themselves and level up their hiking game, as the park features four total trails of varying difficulty.

Did you know that Alpin Haus now carries hiking gear and apparel from Patagonia, LEKI, Darn Tough, and The North Face?  Stop by our Amsterdam or Clifton Park locations, where our friendly team of Outdoor Fun Experts are always available for any questions you may have, or gear you may need, then lace up your boots and hit the road because It’s time to get outside and play!

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