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Review of Mount Marcy

Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Keene
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Owner description: Great for hikers, this 5,344 foot mountain has more than 2,000 trails.
Forestville, New York
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013 via mobile

Whoever writes that Marcy is not technical and easy is either lying or a beast. We recently decided to go for it. All of us are in decent physical condition, and it was still grueling. Lots of boulder and rocks made zigzagging up the trail necessary. It was completely cloudy at the top, but still an awesome feeling. The way up was tiring but not too bad, but coming back down was miserable! I don't think I had ever been so happy to see my car in my life! We didn't see any wildlife apart from squirrels, and made a (highly suggested) stop at Indian Falls. Overall, this was an incredible experience! Ask me next week when I'm less sore whether I would do it again! :)

Visited July 2013
8 Thank SMILLER5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Mt. Marcy winter hike”
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Mount Marcy is the highest peak in NY state at 5344ft (1629m). The hike to the peak is not technically challenging though it will take a whole day and can be strenuous if not in shape and done in the winter months. A total of 4 different hiking trails can be taken to reach the summit.
A group of friends and I organized a hiking trip to mt. Marcy in mid February. We drove up from NYC on the I87 and went straight to the Adirondack mountain club. Once there we rented snow shoes and quickly made our way toward the lean-tos next to Heart lake. There are only 16 lean-tos and are on a 1st-come-1st-served basis, so if you are planning a weekend trip make sure you get there early Friday morning.
The lean-to fit the 5 of us and all our gear without being too tight and we also had a fire pit and picnic table. Our stay at the lean-to was great, the lake was only a few feet away and if you needed anything you could always walk to the info center which was about ten minutes away.
Early next day we ate breakfast, strapped on our snow shoes and began the hike. We did not encounter a single tough point and the trail was very well maintained. Having said that, 1 out of the 5 of us did not make it to the peak. He was an ex smoker and was extremely out of shape. He eventually gave up about 1.5 hours before the peak.
We managed to reach the peak and return to our campsite with many long breaks in between in under 10 hours. We had a great hike and enjoyed every minute of it.
I would like to add that the only part of the hike were you might get lost is when you head down from the peak. Many trails lead to the peak and if you are tired and cold you might not notice you have taken the wrong trail back.

Visited February 2013
12 Thank alexios88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean, NJ
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Mount Marcy - Wonderful Day Hike”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Mount Marcy is a timeless classic and a great way to experience the beauty of the Adirondacks. Having done this hike many times in varying weather and seasons, it just gets better each time. The simplest route is via the Van Hoevenberg trail, which goes from the Loj to Marcy Dam (a relatively flat stretch of some 2 miles), and then some 5 miles up from the the dam via Indian Falls to the summit. While you will spend most of your day in the trees, your effort will be rewarded as you climb out into an alpine zone and your view expands endlessly in all directions.
The final approach to the summit requires minor scrambling, but is well worth it the extra work.

The trail is well marked, quite rocky in places, and it can certainly be wet and muddy (and snow covered even in Spring). Wear good hiking footware, be prepared for fast changing weather conditions and be safe. Make sure to call the very friendly staff at Adirondak Loj at 518-523-3441 before you setout; they will gladly advise you of trail and weather conditions and answer any other questions that you may have. Expect to spend a full day hiking in moderate and sometimes strenuous terrain. If you plan to camp out don't miss Avalanche Pass to Avalanche Lake - the trail goes over boulders and ladders, providing the ultimate kids and adult wilderness playground. Avalanche Lake is stunning, carved between cliffs and set between the mountains. While there is no fee for the hike there is a small parking charge at the Loj.

Visited July 2012
18 Thank HikeBikeSkiGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Well worth the long hike”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Be prepared to spend most of the day on the trail. The 15-mile hike up & down the Van Hoevenberg trail is long with boulders & steep sections closer to the summet. While the trails are well maintained, there are really no clear markers. In fact, no where is the name "van hoevenberg trail" posted. There is a map, "Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks Region"; but no routes are listed , only R,B,or Y which stands for Red, Blue & Yellow trail markers. on the map either. There is a guide book, which must be purchased, which does describe the trails. The most direct way to summet Mt. Marcy is to follow the blue medallions, posted on trees along the trail. We got lost twice because we were looking down. But, all in all, it was not a technically difficult hike, just really long. We finished it in 8 hours, which included some time spent at the top & a few breaks along the way. The views at the top are fantastic & well worth the hike. I highly recommend doing it. Just take enough water (2 liters per person at least) & some food.
There is a 9$ fee for parking at the trailhead. However, because we stayed at the Adirondak Loj close by, we parked free in their lot. I also highly recommend this lodge, which has a beautiful lake next to it too.

Visited August 2012
7 Thank MMingus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, NJ
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2012

Took the Van Hoevenberg trail to the summit, made it there in about 4 hours at a moderate pace. Amazing views and very well maintained trails. I was very impressed. Unfortunatey, we decided to descend along the west face of the mountain for a change of scenery and this hike was terrible!!! Very narrow, extremely rocky, and absolutely no views.

If your tempted to go back to the Adirondak Loj a different way, please rethink!! The Van Hoevenberg trail is amazing, just stick to that.

Visited August 2012
5 Thank OliveOil0906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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