Northville-Placid Trail

Northville, New York 12134

Northville-Placid Trail

Northville-Placid Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Built in 1922 by the Adirondack Mountain Club, this 133-mile- long isolated wilderness route journeys through the rugged splendor of the Adirondacks between Northville and Lake Placid. It takes an average of two to three weeks to hike. The southern two- thirds rolls to obtain a top elevation of 3,008 feet at Central Plateau, south of Long Lake, the largest water body on the trail.

The northern portion twists through valleys parting trailless high peaks to end at Averyville Road near Lake Placid. The trail’s pristine wilds, solitude, picturesque waters, fall foliage, and spur trails to ponds and peaks continually reward."

Northville-Placid Trail Reviews

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I hiked this trail in 11 days with one day off in Long Lake. I hiked it solo and chose this time to year to avoid the bugs. I do not recommend solo hiking this trail. However, it is cold and still could snow, which it did for two days. I prefer to backpack in cooler temperatures. The trail this time of year is wet and muddy. You need a good pair of boots, which can resist water. It also has hundreds of downed trees, which are usually are cleared by volunteers who maintain the trails but not this early. Hats off to those people for the work they do. There was also no one on the trail and I had all the lean-tos to myself. If I chose a warmer time of year, I could have went on a relaxing swim each day. I followed the very good guide I got from the Adirondack Club. It has all the information you need on all the sections of the trail. When I arrived at the finish trailhead in Lake Placid, I tried my Blackberry and it worked. I then used the yellow pages to get a motel reservation and a taxi to come to the trailhead. Way too cool! I enjoyed the West Canada Lakes section the most as it brings the best wilderness remote feeling.
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I hiked it in two successive Junes, taking a week to ten days each time. The black fly bites on my face looked like a severe case of the measles when I looked at my reflection in the mirror afterward. I disliked the many areas of beaver flow where you had to hike around and relocate the trail. My favorite part was the Piseco section, even though my feet were terribly sore by then. Soaking them in cold stream water felt great! I have no desire to walk this one again. I much prefer the more difficult, but nicer Long Trail in Vermont.
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We did this trail in two parts - last year Northville to Wakely Dam, this year Wakely Dam to Lake Placid. Many variations of terrain and flora/fauna. Overall nice lean-tos and tent spots with plenty of water access. One downside was 6 mile walk on road from Wakely to Stevens Pond access, but otherwise not much road hiking. Food drop locations were a little uneven in location (post office at Piseco was really only 2 days from start, Blue Mountain several miles off-trail, Long Lake being the closest drop). Long Lake lean-tos unfortunately were accessible to motorboats and nearly all occupied in the middle of the week. Hike from Plumley Landing to Duck Hole, following the Cold River, was spectacular - Cold River lean-to''s closest to Moose Creek were gorgeous and immaculately clean. Trail from Duck Hole to Waneka Falls was very rough - wet, rocky with lots of downed trees - Moose Pond lean-to nice, but not really on Moose Pond. Waneka Falls lean-to is non-existent (reminants are still there), but hiking further in to larger falls area yields a very nice camping area. Overall, an incredible experience - didn''t run in to many people, but those we did were really nice people!

Northville-Placid Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,000 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
10-15 days
Additional Use
New York State DEC, Region 5, PO Box 1316, 701 South Main Street, Northville, 12134; (518) 863-4545;
Local Contacts
Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), Northville–Placid Trail map and book set (available at traditional and online bookstores or from the ADK online store:
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018