Monday, July 27, 2015

Our First High Peaks Adventure - Porter and Cascade Mountains

This past weekend Mike and I had our first real adventure in the Adirondacks! We have been in the Adirondack region before, namely Lake George and Hague (and Mike has been to Lake Placid as a kid), but we have never gone hiking in the Adirondacks. It was time!

Some of our friends were attempting the Great Range Traverse (and some completed it, amazing beasts!) and we were going to join another friend who was doing a similar hike with less miles, but where we board the Bern was booked! I had already planned on not working the Friday and Monday so I did some internet magic and found our first airbnb rental that was pet-friendly.

 Our cabin in the woods for the weekend

Our cabin was perfect (even without running water). The one negative, for us, is that it was located near Oneida Lake which is still 3.5 hours away from where we would be hiking. As Mike said, though, no matter where we stay we still have to drive the 5+ hours (total) anyway. Staying at this cabin made it so we didn't wake up at 3am from Rochester and instead we got to "sleep in" until 4:30am on Saturday.

After making a stop at The Mountaineer for some trail maps we drove the rest of the way to the Cascade Trail-head on Route 73 in Keene Valley. While turning around to get to a closer parking spot, we saw a triathlete friend from Rochester. He was there for Ironman Lake Placid (spectating, not racing). Crazy coincidence!

 Ironman and the ADKs collide!

After parking, we got all of our stuff ready. We had our hydration vests and enough food, water, etc. for us and Bernie. Right before we got going I saw a co-worker who was there with her family to spectate the Ironman the next day. So crazy!

 Cascade Mountain it is!

For our first High Peak hike we decided on the Porter and Cascade hike. After Christine (an ADK 46er) suggested doing Porter first and then Cascade (because of the differences in views) that's what we decided on. Right around 9:33am we got started, we had a brief stop at the trail head while I registered us and then we got going.


The trail was in pretty good shape. It had rained the night before so there were some muddy spots, but nothing too bad - yet. We had 2.1ish miles to get to the junction of the trail to go to Cascade Mountain and the trail to go to Porter Mountain. We stopped a few times to check out the views and to give the Bern some water.

 Which way first??

I love the ADKs!
At the junction, we went right to hike the .7 miles to get to Porter Mountain. This trail was really wet! At one point we sunk down into the mud, luckily we are used to mud because of trail running! We got to an overlook and decided to go up the rock to take in the views. We had about a tenth of a mile to go to the summit.

Bern's first High Peak!

On top of Porter with Cascade in the background

We made it to the summit about 2 hours and 10 minutes into our hike at 11:40am. Once at the summit (luckily, other people were there because it is unmarked) we took some photos, ate a snack and the Bern made some friends. His new friends gave him their beef jerky, we gave him some but not all of it.

Porter Mountain is 4,059 feet in elevation and is the 38th highest peak of the 46 High Peaks.

 Making his way to the top!

We left the summit and went back down the way we came to get to the trail junction. This time we went up the .3 miles to get to the summit of Cascade Mountain. The views were amazing!! We were greeted by the Summit Steward, who thanked us for leashing Bern and staying off of the vegetation. We reached the summit at 12:40pm and stopped for about a half an hour for lunch. I didn't want to leave the summit!

The views and our tired adventure dog!

My little family! High Peak #2
Cascade Mountain is 4,098 feet in elevation and 36th highest of the 46 High Peaks.

 This photo makes me laugh!

We went back down the 2.4 miles that we came up in the beginning and after 5 hours and 30 minutes (total time for the hike including stops at the summits) we finished our first two High Peaks! I checked us out at the register and we got in our car to make the drive back to our cabin.

 All done!

I cannot wait to hike in the Adirondacks some more! We are hopefully going to go back in the fall when I start to taper for my 50 miler. I am going to try to find a fall hike with great views that is dog-friendly. If you have any suggestions let me know!

2/46 done, 44 to go!


  1. How fun! I love that you're doing this. What a great adventure. I definitely want to do this more in my neck of the woods. We have some great hikes to explore in Oregon.

  2. Sounds like a great time! That pic of your feet and Bern's paws made me chuckle too! I hope Bern gets a feature on the Rei IG site!!

  3. That looks like a ton of fun! The next time I go to Placid, I'd love to go for a few hikes ... in addition to doing some rides and swims. :)

  4. Great views. I am impressed Bern can keep up with all the hikes. Fit pup.

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