Algonquin Peak and Wright Peak Hiking Guide
Van Hoevenberg Trail – 1 mile
Algonquin Trail To Algonquin Peak – ~3 miles
Algonquin Trail To Wright Peak – 1 mile
Algonquin Trail – ~2.5 miles
Van Hoevenberg Trail – 1 mile
Note: The information here is just an approximation. This is a hiking guide for Algonquin peak and Wright peak in Adirondack, Lake Placid, New York, 12946.
Note: Parking is competitive. If there is space, you can buy parking at the trail head. However, if you cannot then you will have to park at the road. Depending on the amount of people hiking at that particular time, you may have to hike 1 mile to the trail head. You can also stay at Adirondack Loj, this will allow you to park very near but you may have to buy 2 nights worth.
Start Of The Journey
I write this while sitting on a leather chair, sipping my warm coffee, breathing in the stagnant air the occupies my room, with nothing but three white walls for my company while day dreaming of a time not so long ago. I long for the days to come and for the days of the old. Times of laughter, adventure and of love as I dream of the yesteryear where all of these happened. I will tell you of a day of merriment, the one where I sank into the depths of nature, surrounded with different shades of green as if a sea of lush greens engulfed me into the center of its abyss. I will tell you of how I felt with the warm rays of the morning sun and cool breeze of the wind as I plunge deeper into an ever green forest of this world. I will tell you of how much I smiled as if this day of adventure would last forever.
And so it begins…
I walked along this old beaten path as if it was the road map to my soul. My clean white shirt and my brown convertible pants glistened over the warm rays of the morning sun. I felt a cool breeze touched my skin as I heard the laughter of my friends and fellow hikers as we excitedly embarked on our journey. Inside the forest, the sky vanished almost completely with various streaks of sunlight penetrating through the cracks among the trees. The air was rich with the taste of adventure, excitement and promises of great views of nature on top of the mountain peak. I inhaled different scents of leaves, trees, barks, rocks, rivers and soil. It was amazing. In here, I was just a nobody. Nature did not expect nor want anything from me. I did not have to be kind nor selfish, good nor evil, happy nor sad. I could be who I am, just a guy that loves the Earth.
In here, I have no work, no responsibility, and no obligation. The Earth did not ask for a price when I stepped on its brown footpath. The wind did not ask for anything in return as it cooled my body with its cold breeze. The trees did not ask for water nor nourishment as they sheltered me from the sun. I left all of my work, all of my money scenarios, all emotions about relationships, and all troubles of the city to the universe as I enjoyed my walk into the unknown.
Note: There is a store near the trail head. You can buy water, beverages, maps, lights and other camping/hiking gear.
Van Hoevenberg Trail
The wind passed through the bushes and trees, penetrating through my polyester shirt and cooling my body, washing away the filth from my heart and the stains of everyday life. The branches waved back and forth, dancing to the rhythm of a melody sang by nature. On top, bars of sunlight beamed through the holes of the forest veil shining over the bushes, creating different shades of green. Colorful leaves and barks adorned the trees, hung undisturbed and untouched by men. Beneath me was a brown footpath, in between vivid green hues of nature, as small animals scurried along the trail. It was beautiful and majestic in its own way. The forest swallowed my body with its beauty and I was its willing participant.
My foot pleasantly stepped along the brown soil of the trail, it was a gentle incline that I barely realized it and in that moment I knew that my friends were way ahead of me. A gentle slope meant faster pace for everyone except me. I was always the slowest one, always smelling the roses, enjoying the breeze, taking pictures of everything, and loving my time for my heart’s content. My eyes gazed through the path and found cheerful hikers passing me by, bright shrubs, and the scent of nature filled my lungs with fresh air. I was in heaven. I could not wait to reach the top as my legs tried to catch up to my companions. They were amazing with faster legs and more stamina than I could imagine but I did not mind as I was enjoying every second of my time.
The proud trees stood tall, towering over me while blocking out most of the sun’s rays with their veil of leaves. The Algonquin trail was filled with boulders and rocks of different shapes and sizes, with a steady incline that took a lot of my energy. The land beneath me was becoming more jagged and rough with every step while the incline was getting more demanding ever so slowly. The boulders obscured the path as they deterred the speed of my movement. Sweat dripped out of my forehead as my body felt more sluggish and heavy with each step. I let out a deep breath as I looked at the footpath before me. The path was merciless as if it will never end. I was tired, fatigued, my pants were becoming dirty and I loved every second of it.
As I traveled along the trail, I found one of my companions sitting on big rock along the footpath. I wiped off the dirt on one of the big rocks and sat next to him. He was a good hearted man as he offered me some of his crackers and water because I appeared tired and worn out. He loved nature as well.
Someone once told me that a quiet walk with nature will nurture your mind, body and soul. It is true. It is a place where I can lose myself, lose all the negativity of the world, and a place where I can find my soul again. As I sat on that rock, I felt peace flow through my veins, into my very soul, washing away all of my troubles and cares of the world. The wind sent its freshness to my skin, cooling my body, and refreshing my energy for the journey to come. It was as if the trees, plants, wind, soil and earth fell in love with me that they were keeping me comfortable so that I can fully enjoy that day and events to come.
Algonquin Trail To Peak
The trail branched off into two. One path was going to the Wright mountain peak while the other was going to the Algonquin mountain peak. I chose the latter.
Danger lurked on the steep slope of the trail. The rocks glistened as water dripped down the cold steps on the slippery slope of the Algonquin trail. As I put my feet down the watery steps, I felt an immediate sense of unease within my core. I dropped on all fours hoping to get a sense of certainty that I will be okay in the next few minutes. My fellow hikers of all shapes and sizes were hugging the sides, grabbing on to trees, branches, roots and whatever they can find as if they were begging nature not to let them fall.
“Aieeeeehhhh”, I heard a little girl shriek on top of her lungs.
A man lose his balanced as he slid on the steep slope of the Algonquin trail. He tumbled, and rolled, trying to cling to something to impede his decent. To no avail, he kept sliding until his body slid to the little girl next to me. The little girl shrieked at the top of her lungs, frightened and startled with the whole ordeal. I instinctively reached out my hand to prevent injuries to the girl but the man stopped sliding. The girl was enough of a deterrence that the man was able to get his composure to stop his decent. She was startled but safe. Both stood up as if nothing happened and went on their way back down.
Near The Peak
I took a sip from the bottomless well of the deep blue sky, drunk from all its beauty as I stood still on a flat piece of rock on a bright September afternoon. I looked back and admired an alluring piece of landscape framed before me like a beautiful photograph. Perhaps, a beautiful photograph would not even do it justice as the clouds move in an effervescent manner, the wind brushed off my arm, cooling off my once tired body. The sun dampened its light, giving off different hues of blue to the mountains near the horizon. The small plants swayed back and forth, waltzing to the tune that the wind had sung. I felt a sense of awe looking at the colossal mountains as all of my worries seem to have faded away. The view was magnificent.
I shifted my gaze and saw my friends coming down the mountain. They all had a big smile, joyful attitude and happy demeanor. There was something about nature that makes people become more happy as if it casted a powerful spell on us and we are forever in awe to its wonders and mysteries forever. To me, nature was that little piece of heaven that we have on Earth. I could not help and think of “what a wonderful world I live in, and that I am so glad that I am a part of it.”
The clouds hovered among us, shielding us from the rays of the sun, melting all the color and blanketing the landscape with a soft cold palette. The mountains ahead of me felt cold, distant, uninviting and yet to somehow they were still very beautiful. The summit was flat with a 360 degree view of the surrounding areas. I hopped from one rock to the next, from one flat surface to another, making sure I did not step on any vegetation. Marveling over the views, a sea of trees and mountains every corner I looked. It was art that only nature could have drawn and no man made gallery nor painting would be able to compare to it.
The atmosphere changed as swarms of insects bit my skin. Views, art and beauty were the last thing on my mind as each bite sent a tiny sting into my nerves then into my brain. I took out the jacket from my backpack and flung it around me, covering my whole upper body including my head. I looked around and everyone was in a state of panic except for one man. A park ranger with shorts and a shirt with short sleeves stood tall in the center as if he was immune to the insects. While everyone was annoyed and in a state of dismay, the ranger was happily welcoming people at the top. Perhaps he covered his body with insect repellent, or perhaps he was the mother of all the insects, I was not going to stay there to find out as I hurriedly went down the mountain.
Wright Trail To Peak
The landscape was like a bouquet of roses for a beautiful girl; alluring, sweet, romantic and without any thorns left to inflict injury, only beauty that can touch a person’s heart. The valley overflowed with a plethora of sunshine and warmth, with brilliant and barely obstructed rays coming from the afternoon sun. The plants and trees were decorated with bright aura of happiness as they glowed in cheerful color as far as my eyes could see. The mild scent of fresh vegetation filled the air as I walked along the steep trail with a big smile on my face, clicking my camera at every opportune moment. A renewed sense of energy overflowed into my body as my feet and hands moved through the course hard stones of the trail. I heard the happy chatter of fellow hikers and tasted the sweet cool moisture of the mountain air. It was heaven.
As the afternoon clouds in the sky moved on, the ocean of trees assumed a more happy and brilliant presentation. I could say the same thing for my companions as they were going down the mountain on their way to the parking lot. They wore a bright and cheerful attitude, very charming due to their happiness and smile. It was always nice to hangout with cheerful, and positive people who loves nature as well. I said “see you later” as I hurried along as I wanted to make the most of my time and take as many pictures as I can. The enchanting mountain beckoned me to its summit, calling into my very soul, telling me to hurry before the light is gone.
As my eyes gazed through the immense landscape before me, I felt so small compared to the overall vastness of the world. I was nothing more than a man on top of a beautiful summit looking down upon a world of wonder beneath me. The fresh air of the mountain was a nice change from the stagnant and polluted air of the city. My legs were tired and aching from the hike but I could not care less. I looked around me and not a soul in sight. I was up there, alone and I liked it. This place belonged only to me. The views that I gander were only meant for me as not a soul can be found. I was enjoying every moment of my time from the silence of my solitude, to the breeze that crept onto my skin, to the vast landscape before me, and to the smell of fresh air that I love so much. I felt free, unbound, and liberated from all the troubles of the mundane world.
“This is freedom”, I thought to myself. To be able to do anything, to be permitted to do everything, without judgment, without criticism, and without the cynical eyes of everyone. In here, I could learn to fly above mediocrity, gather my thoughts, be inspired with the beauty of Mother Earth, and be free from everything and anyone. Nature was my home, and in that home, I was safe from any emotional and mental pain. But paradise was only for a moment as I knew I had to go back. I need to eat after all and nothing more delicious than a restaurant cooked meal to my likings. Civilizations has its good points as well.
Heading Back To The Parking Lot
As I was enjoying the scenery and taking pictures of everything I saw, one of my companions showed up. We both took pictures and we happily went down the mountain.
The sun slowly waned on us as it dropped from the limitless blue sky. My friend was fast and before I knew it, I was all alone again. I felt the cold icy breeze of the wind as the temperature decreased as time passed by. I tried to pick up my pace but my body was too tired, my mind was too hazy, and my stomach was too hungry. My mind drifted to the rich aroma of a freshly cooked steak where the smoke rises from its center and into my nostrils. Just the mere thought of putting my teeth into the texture of various foods in a restaurant sent my mind into a frenzy. My stomach growled. It wanted food. It wanted good food and I wanted to sate its appetite. I again tried to pick up my pace but I was too tired. I reached the parking lot after 2 hours and my friends were already there waiting for me. They were hungry as well and we could not wait till we get to the nearest restaurant.
It is strange that after almost a year had gone by, I can still remember this place as if it was yesterday. Perhaps it is because that day was a great day, a perfect day for a hike as if the weather itself loved us on that day and granted us beautiful passage to the mountain summits by illuminating our paths. I miss hiking. One day, I will venture forth again through these mountains, and through these trails and I will love every second of it. But for now, I hope you all get to enjoy this trail as much as I have. It is a beautiful trail, and a little bit strenuous for my physique but the views were amazing.
Optional: Iroquois Summit
The Iroquois summit is around 1 mile after the Algonquin summit. You can go there but you will have to add approximate an extra 2 miles into your hiking (1 mile to go there, 1 mile to go back). You will pass boundary peak as well. The path to the Iroquois summit is not a straight line. It will go down then go up then go down. It will take a lot of your energy. You can also make this trail into a loop by following the Algonquin trail passed the summit and making a turn into the Avalanche pass trail on your way back. It will add another 2 miles into your hiking but if you are very fit and you started early then you can take these alternative routes and see more views.