Feeling fresh, friendly, and fly
Every season in the Adirondacks is special, but the irrepressible joy that summer brings is something special. Whether you're bounding up a mountain trail or cooling off in a glacial pond, the warm sunshine of long summer days is like an invitation from nature to make the most of every moment. The Whiteface Region, full of stunning mountains, a legendary river, and unique natural attractions, is a surefire summer hit. Make this a summer for the ages, full of boisterous adventure, deliriously happy family memories, and a few scoops of ice cream. It's summer, after all!
The hiking here is all about natural beauty: towering pine trees, miniscule lichen, burly boulders, and of course, sweet, crisp, fresh air. Add in birdsong, the gurgle of streams, and the “oooh”s you’ll let out at the views, and you’ve got adventures that are truly fresh.
And when we say hiking, we mean everything from long hauls up Whiteface, the fifth highest peak in the state to gentle ambles on flat forest trails. This is an area where you can find a quiet, short trail that will take you to cool ponds like Winch and Copperas for a quick dip, or a rugged trek to beautiful Eagle Eyrie on paths less traveled. Whatever your speed or taste for adventure, fresh flavors are all right here. Choose your own adventure and enjoy the trail.
The fresh air of a gorgeous hike is just part of the picture. Imagine the shade of ancient pine trees, the warmth of a sleeping bag on a brisk morning, the tinkling bell of the ice cream truck, and that magical, unforgettable scent of a campfire. That’s right, we’re camping. A camper’s dream, the Whiteface Region offers all kinds of options, from quiet, remote backcountry spaces to glamping, where you don’t even need to bring a tent!
This is the place to fall asleep to the sound of bubbling streams and wake up to the call of birds. Throughout the region, you’ll find spots for tent and RV camping, camping cabins, and cabin-sized tents with plenty of amenities and homey comforts that put the glam in glamping. The range of options means you can be as close to civilization as you want, and your stay under the stars can be just what you’ve always dreamed of.
Soaring into the sky, traveling in time, gazing at incredible wildlife. The Whiteface Region is home to attractions and activities that aren’t just super cool and totally unique, they’re also perfect for getting close to nature and enjoying memorable, family-friendly activities together.
Whiteface, site of Olympic alpine skiing, isn’t just fun in winter. Drive the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway, a winding, five-mile trip up the backside of Whiteface. In summer 2020, the summit itself is closed and amenities are limited, but the views from the parking area just below the summit are incredible! Bask in the Adirondack sunshine and take in views that reach for hundreds of miles. Bring a picnic!
High Falls Gorge is a splendid series of falls of the West Branch of the Ausable River, flowing between rock walls that were carved by glaciers and continue to be worn away by the awesome power of the Ausable. Walkways, bridges, and overlooks provide cool views of the falls from inside the gorge itself. It’s a trip back in time.
The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge is located on the East Branch of the Ausable River and is home to a wide array of animals that most humans will rarely get to see so closely. Among the animals receiving care here are black bears, wolves, a bobcat, a fox, and much more. Get close, listen to the wolves howl, and take plenty of photos! A visit here means education and fun!
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the only things to do in the Whiteface Region are sporty, outdoorsy activities. There are, after all, all those looming mountains. But the area also features opportunities to eat and drink where quality food meets fun, and people feed you like you’re family. From an original A&W Restaurant and a cute-as-a-button lavender-painted ice cream stand serving up cold classics, to spots where fireside dining has been a way of life for generations, dining here is all about originality, flavor, and enjoying food together. Here, local owners and chefs meld local produce with classic recipes and modern twists in restaurants that are bursting with personality and friendly faces who want you to eat, and eat well.
Before a hike, after a trip through the gorge, dig in and enjoy, whether it’s the best French toast ever, rustic flatbreads, or fresh trout eaten overlooking the river, your taste buds will love the dining experience here.
For a dining bonus that is literally cool, we’ve got craft beer ready for you. You might think, beer is beer, right? The answer is a resounding, mountain-sized NO. Craft beer means that it’s been created by a small, independent brewer, with a lot of attention paid to innovative flavor to make something special. For craft beer lovers or those looking to try something new and delicious, the Whiteface Region offers plenty of options.
Whether you’re staying in the area or simply traveling through, a stop at the North Pole General Store in Wilmington is a must. The selection here is sublime, with a great variety of flavors and styles. Maybe you’re an IPA fan, or perhaps a stout. You’ll find plenty to try here, including many beers crafted in New York state. Put together a mix and match six-pack to try a variety of brews that will probably all become new favorites.
For a crisp, cold draft, settle in for a treat at Pourman’s Tap House. As you might have guessed from the name, beer is a serious thing here. Pourman’s features craft beers on tap and they pair brilliantly with the restaurant’s flavorful, hearty menu of pub food and flatbread. The flatbreads are famous and people love sampling the ever-changing array of craft beer on tap. One visit and you’ll be hooked.
Apologies to bait fishermen, but for beauty and challenge, there’s fishing and then there’s fly fishing. Fly fishing, a great sport for quiet contemplation and immersion in nature, requires specialized technique but once begun, is an art that is beautifully addicting. As a destination for fly fishing, the Whiteface Region is a trout-filled paradise.
Whether you’re already an avid fly fisherman or a beginner who hasn’t gotten their feet wet yet, this is the place to be. The West Branch of the Ausable River, which winds through Wilmington Notch past Whiteface Mountain, is deservedly famous for its beautiful rapids, chutes, and pockets, surrounded by thick forest and mountain views. Local guides provide excellent advice, opportunities to learn, and great fish stories. The Hungry Trout Fly Shop is a local mecca for gear and guides. Even if you think you have all the gear you’ll ever need, the Hungry Trout is an angler’s can’t miss stop.
With Whiteface Mountain peeking at you from every turn and miles and miles of trails to explore throughout the area, mountain biking is an increasingly popular and exhilarating form of adventure in the Whiteface Region. The region is bursting with trails and adventures that offer great technical climbs, flowy single-track, and even a pump track and jump park.
Bring your own bikes or rent your gear at a local shop and hit the dirt for fun for the whole family with trails ranging from easy to difficult, all with gorgeous, pine-scented scenery. The many miles of trails, ranging from smooth to sporty, are home to a great community of riders of all ages and abilities, and adventurous visitors are always welcome.
Whether in the water or on the trail, you’ll be flying through summer fun.
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