The trails that make up CATS provide different vistas than other areas of the Adirondacks, namely in that many of the trails look out over and meander alongside the shores of Lake Champlain, something uncommon in the rest of the Adirondacks.
If you’re trying to escape the crowds flocking to the more frequented Adirondack hikes, Cooper Kiln is a wonderful trail to explore. Outside of Wilmington, NY, it meanders easily through the valley between two small mountains and ends at a beautiful pond with a lean-to and space to tent camp at the pond.
A gradual hike up to an open summit, Goodman Mountain is a nice, gradual hike for families and dogs, or those looking to get in a moderate hike with a good view from the top. While the view is well worth the trip up, the trail up Goodman is also beautiful, weaving through hardwood forests and opening up to a couple of vistas along the way.
A shorter hike in the Tupper area, Coney boasts an expansive view (especially during fall foliage!), and is a great quick hike to take the kids on – for a fall lunchtime picnic on top, or as a morning hike in the summer before spending the hotter part of the day on the water.
A shorter and easier (though no less steep) hike than its neighbor, Black Bear Mountain, Rocky Mountain is a great hike for families and hikers with dogs. Even though it’s a quick hike, you still get a good view from the top of Fourth Lake, as well as nearby Inlet and Eagle Bay.
Rising up from Inlet, Black Bear Mountain begins from the same trailhead as Rocky Mountain, a slightly smaller neighboring peak. Black Bear Mountain has great views of the lakes below, and while steep in some parts, it can be hiked in a nice loop.
More southernly than the better-known peaks of the Adirondacks, Crane Mountain is a great family hike with a steep trail up to the summit, but one that is short enough to be enjoyed by the whole family.
The Flume trails have a special place in my heart because, as a native “Wilmingtoner”, it was my dad who cut the first trails there – Flume Knob and Bear Den. The story of him bushwhacking in that area and getting chased down a small waterfall he named Waterspout Falls by an angry momma bear is family lore, and where the Bear Den trail gets its name.
The beauty of Boreas Pond is truly hard to beat in an “untouched pristine wilderness” kind of way, but one thing to keep in mind is that Boreas Pond is not the destination if you’re looking for mountaintop views, as it is mostly encompassed by low wetlands.
If you’re looking for an easy walk, a chance to take in some of the more unique nature the Adirondacks have to offer, with a good view thrown in to boot – the Silver Lake Bog Trail is a perfect find.
Often overlooked and less frequently climbed than many other peaks in the area, Silver Lake Mountain is a quick and easy hike with a great but not often seen view of Whiteface from its summit.
A perfect hike for families, Catamount boasts great views and a really fun trail to the summit. There is one section called the “chimney” that kids love – it is brief but steep! Catamount is not near many other peaks, so the view from its summit is unique and not one you see from other, better known hikes in the area.