Cobble’s most redeeming feature is that it is a quick hike with a great view, right in downtown Lake Placid. This makes it a great hike for families, or those without a ton of time looking for something close by. It is a perfect hike to start the kiddos on before bringing them on something more challenging and it also makes a great lookout from which to watch night fall over the village of Lake Placid, as long as you have headlamps for the hike back down!
Distance: 1.6 or 3.2 miles round-trip (depending on which route you take)
Elevation: 2,332 ft
Ascent: 450 ft
Begin the hike up Cobble from the trailhead parking area just past the entrance into Northwood School. There are many different trails crisscrossing the lower terrain, but the trails up Cobble are well marked. Follow signs for Cobble through the somewhat boggy (and often muddy!) section of woods until you reach a clearing with signs pointing you to either the long or the short trail to the summit. If you follow the short trail, it will be steeper, but shorter (0.8 miles one way) and if you follow the long trail, it will be more gradual, but approximately twice as long (1.5 miles one way).
The shorter trail is steeper and involves some rock scrambling in some places, so if you’re hiking with children or the elderly it might make more sense to take the longer trail around. The longer trail takes you by Echo Pond – keep your eyes open for signs pointing you up Cobble, as for parts of the hike you will be skirting private roads and private property. If you are taking the short trail, the steepest section of rock scrambling will have a rope to help you up a particularly steep and root-covered section, and then you will climb across the rock face with a good view of Mirror Lake and the town of Lake Placid.
Both trails merge shortly before the summit, and you will follow them through a slightly wooded area until you break out into an open rocky area with mixed vegetation. Follow across the rocks to some of the best views of downtown Lake Placid.
If you are coming from downtown Lake Placid, beginning at the skating oval, take Mirror Lake Drive past the Town Hall. Continue past the Hampton Inn and begin to drive around the lake – you will pass Northwood Road on your right and immediately after, also on the right, there is the entrance to Northwood School. Follow this road approximately 200 yards to the small parking area and trailhead on your left.
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