OverviewOn the map of the Adirondack High Peaks there is simply an area that says Adirondack LOJ (pronounced lodge), near a lake with many trails leading from it. This simple representation is not enough for such a versatile area and the most popular trialhead in the entire range.
In 1890 a man named Henry Van Hoevenberg opened the original Adirondack LOJ. He built trails leading from the LOJ to the surrounding high peaks. This would be 19 years before the Long Trail was concieved and 31 years before the Appalachian Trail.
Mr. Van Hoevenberg influenced many of the earliest recreational hikers in this area, teaching them about the land, spending time around campfires telling stories and creating a backwoods charm that helped allow this place to become what it is today, a multiple use area with many types of accomodation and an information center that can be used year round by families or backcountry enthusiasts launching a trip into the mountains.
The main trail that leads from this area to the top of Mt. Marcy (New York's Highest) bears mr. Van Hoevenbergs name.
The LOJ itself is only one type of accomodation here. There are also campsites, lean-to's, and a cabin available year round.
There are many activities available. In summer there is swimming, boating, and fishing in Heart Lake.
There are educational programs, guided walks, slide shows, campfires, and a nature museum.
In winter there are many trails designated for cross country skiing that surround the LOJ and enter the backcountry, as well as limitless snowshoeing.
The Adirondack Mountain Club Provides these programs and many others. To learn more about the ADK see the section below.
This is also the closest trailhead to Mt. Marcy. The hiking and backcountry camping are excellent. In fact this is the most popular trailhead in the entire Adirondack range.
This is a busy area on holiday summer weekends so plan ahead. Otherwise for most of the year it is an open gateway to the center of the Adirondacks.
The High Peaks Information CenterThis building, located directly next to the Van Hoevenberg Trail parking area, is a great asset to all visitors.
There are very knowelegeable staff and rangers that are more than happy to provide any info about the LOJ or the backcountry.
Inside the information center is a small but ample mountain shop that sells a great deal of supplies from snacks, tent stakes, layers, and jackets to maps, compases, guidebooks and many things in between. This makes a great stop for last minute necessities. Otherwise, I would Highly recommend The Mountianeer, an excellent mountain shop located in Keene Valley on the north side of Rt. 73.
Bear canisters (when in stock) can be bought or rented here as well.
These are required from April 1 to November 30 if staying in the backcountry.
Showers are available to the public for 25 cents per minute.
there are restrooms here also.
The High Peaks Information Center is open year round but not 24/7. The hours vary and calling the info center is reccomended at 518-523-3441 or E-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE RESTROOM / SHOWERS ARE AVAILABLE 24/7 BY ACCESING THE RIGHT REAR DOOR OF THE INFO CENTER BUILDING.
Accomodations and campingADK LOJ:
This LOJ was built in 1927 replacing the original. This is a guest only facility open year round. There is space for 40 guests in a combination of private rooms, family bunk rooms and a co-ed loft. There is a dining room where food is cooked on premises and a stone fireplace living room.
There are 34 campsites, 16 lean-to's and three canvas tents all with campfire rings & picnick tables. Some of the lean-to's are located on the shore of Heart Lake. The campground is available year round but the campground wash house (showers) is closed in winter. Campers during this time can use the showers and toilets at the High Peaks Information Center.
This cabin has heat, shower and a stovetop with room for 4 people. It is available year round and this is the only one of it's kind here. Reservations are neccesary.
Current rates and all other info can be found at the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) website.
ADK members recieve a 10% discount on all standard rates.
Reservations are always reccomended as this is a popular area.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK)The ADK owns all of the land surrouinding the LOJ, Information Center, campsites and Heart Lake. This is a non profit membership organization dedicated to preservation and responsible recreation of the great Adirondacks. The ADK maintains this area and provides many programs based on outdoor recreation and nature.
Visit the ADK website
Mountains closely accesable from this area-Marcy 5344
-Gray Peak 4840
-Mt. Redfield 4606
-Table top 4427
-Mt. Marshall 4360
-Street Mt. 4166
-Mt. Nye 3895
-Mt. Van Hoevenberg 2940
Getting There and ParkingTake exit 30 on the Northway (I-87). this is route 73.
Travel nortwest on 73 towards Lake Placid for 26.4 miles
Take a left onto Adirondack LOJ Road
Travel for 4.6 miles to the end. (Fee, see parking info below)
The LOJ Road is maintained year round but may still be a tricky drive in winter for cars that are bad in poor weather.
At the time I visited it was $9 a day to park. Sometimes there is an attendant there, other times it is a self service payment. Be sure to make your parking tag visible for inspection.Visit the ADK website for current rates.
AVOID PARKING FEE:
For those who do not want to pay the parking fee or if there are more than one car in your party you may want to consider parking along Meadows Lane. It is completely legal to park anywhere along the side of this road but it is not as well maintained in winter so do not leave cars here in the winter if they are not good in winter weather.
This road is located on the east side of Adirondack LOJ Road exactly one mile north of the parking fee kiosk.
Also consider the South Meadows Trailhead.
Red TapeBackcountry Camping:
-Anyone staying overnight in the High Peaks area must fill out a self issuing trip permit available at all trail registers. One copy must be kept for rangers inspection at any time. Without this ticket a ranger can and will send you home.
-Bear canisters are a requirement from april 1 to November 30 and you may be turned back by a ranger if you do not have one. for more info see the ADK Mountain Club Website.
-No camping above 4000 feet.
-Any camping above 3500 feet at approved sites only. (currently Sno-Bird & Lake Arnold)
-No camping within 150 feet of any stream or water source.
-No soap or washing within 150 feet of water.
-Pack it in, Pack it out.
-Camping groups are limited to a party of 8