Van Hoevenberg Trail

Lake Placid, New York 12946

Van Hoevenberg Trail

Van Hoevenberg Trail Professional Review and Guide

"In the High Peaks Region, this demanding all-day or overnight hike arriving from the north offers the shortest approach to Mount Marcy—at 5,344 feet, the highest point in New York State. The first recorded ascent came in 1837, and a continuous stream of feet has followed.

To the Indians the mountain was known as Tahawus, or “Cloud Splitter,” an apt name. If you enlist for the challenge, you’ll reap a sweeping High Peaks panorama. Rare arctic-alpine habitat, wildlife, and scenic brooks step up the reward."

Van Hoevenberg Trail Reviews

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icon15 Total
A great trail. While not technically challenging to climb, it's a long steady way up. The Dam is nice & for a while your always in earshot of phelps steam so you hear it in the background. I found the trail a bit tight due to the narrow blocked in trail. It does not get open till you get up pretty high. All in all it was fun though. My friend and I did have a hard time finding designated camping areas (I think you have to take one of the side trails) so good to figure that out at the info center if your going to stay overnight but most seemed to do it all in a day. I have a video & picks of my experience on my website
My first high peak, did it with my 18 yr old daughter. One of the best days of my life.
very crowded. Trail was soggy and trampled. Beautiful views on summit
What an intense hike especially since climbing vertically 3,224 ft in 6.7 miles. Well marked but oh so muddy because it has been a wet summer in the Adirondacks. A fair amount of rock scrambling that needs to be done in order to reach the summit and sometimes quite slick. The views from the summit are amazing. Finished the hike in 7hrs 10 minutes.
After a night celebrating in Stowe after hiking Mount Mansfield, we drove due west to the ferry across Lake Champlain. Our destination was Mount Marcy, the NY high point. We arrived early enough to set up camp at Marcy Dam. The night was interesting as a friendly bear tuged at our tent. Needless to say I was a bit juiced once daylight broke! This trail is long, wet, and arduous. There are multiple vantage stops that are well timed, actually. Indian Falls is probably the last place to filter water, though the climb from there was pretty overcast. We ran out of water as we approached the final ascent. Not knowing for difficult the climb would be ahead of us, we chose to press on, knowing we needed to hike another 2 miles before getting back to Indian Falls. The rocks were very slippery upon approaching the first summit, and the howling winds were about us all the way to the true summit. The nasty weather prevented us from taking a picture at the summit, and I have since bought a waterproof case for my ancient camera. There were few visitors that time of day with us, but we saw more folk on our way down.
this was a fun hike, very difficult due to the amount of snow, i would recommend doing this during the summer after the snow has cleared, but otherwise was a great adventure!
i did the trail all 14.8 miles in 5 hours. i only took 4 breaks. It was a pretty sweet hike!
Long great hike ! To go to the top of Mt Marcy, the hike is long (it took us 8 hours with breaks) and 2 parts are quite steep. But it is worth it. The whole hike is beautiful with different interesting point: the dam, Indian falls and of course the amazing view at the top of the Mt Marcy. Try to start before 8 am to avoid haziness at the top. It is an easy-to-follow, well-marked trail. You won't be alone on this trail but we did it during the memorial day week-end and it wasn't too crowded. Be careful go up with good shoes because it was still very wet, mucky with the snow melting and some parts were still snowy at the end of may.
Overall I am pleased with the trail but it was cut short. Starting off, we walked about a mile to the base of the Mount Van Hoevenberg and we came upon one of the most breathtaking beaver dam I had ever seen. Although it was a wet go around it was well worth it. We then hiked up to the first summit and were rewarded with a great view of the Adirondacks. However, this is the point were we couldnt find the trail marker to keep going. After many attempts in various directions we gave up. We were hoping for a longer hike.
This was an easy-to-follow, well-marked trail thru beautiful though fairly challenging terrain. Some tougher scrambling thru various sections and it's a really long hike but the views at the top are absolutely spectacular and make all the efforts worthwhile. We enjoyed a perfect hiking day with clear skies and moderate temps - the only downside: since it was Labor Day w/e there was a fair amount of traffic on the trail. Just be sure to get an early start as it is a long trek and you'll want to be back out of the woods before dark.

Van Hoevenberg Trail Photos

Trail Information

Lake Placid
Nearby City
3,200 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
9-11 hours
Best for hiking summer through fall
New York State DEC, Region 5, P.O. Box 296, 1115 Highway 86, Ray Brook 12977; (518) 897-1200;
Local Contacts
Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), Adirondack High Peaks Region map (available at traditional and online bookstores or from the ADK online store: or National Geographic, Adirondack Park Lake Placid/High Peaks map (available at traditional and online bookstores)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018