Wilmington, N.Y. - With the onset of warmer weather and a snow-free landscape, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism encourages outdoor enthusiasts to explore the Whiteface region of the Adirondacks' multitude of hiking trails. In addition to it's namesake, the 5th highest mountain in New York State, the Whiteface region offers a variety of hiking experiences; from casual, family-friendly trails to high peak-bagging expert terrain.
Adirondack High Peaks in the region are suitable for more experienced hikers. For those so inclined, a hike to the summit of Whiteface Mountain is a treat, as the trail merges at the top with the walking trail from the end of the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway. For "peak baggers", a hike up Esther Mountain, the 28th highest peak, is often combined with a hike to the top of Whiteface.
Intermediate hikes include a newly-developed trail up Jay Mountain. Now available for public use, the 2.5 mile trail to the western end of the Jay Mountain Ridge is complete. The trail bypasses the steep and eroded sections of an existing "herd path" that had been the primary access to mountain's summit.
At the end of the new trail, a short spur trail to the north leads to an overlook that provides a spectacular 360 degree scenic view. The High Peaks, Whiteface Mountain, Ausable River Valley, Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont can all be seen. Hikers can continue along the ridgeline, following rock cairns, for approximately 1.5 miles to the summit of Jay Mountain. The ridgeline itself is largely open and provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the surrounding scenery along the way.
For those who prefer a casual walk in the woods to a steep, day-long hike, the region boasts a number of shorter, lower impact trails that are perfect for hiking with children.
Popular for mountain biking during warmer weather and snowshoeing and skiing in winter, the Wilmington Wild Forest Flume Trail is also a perfect family-friendly hiking destination. Beginners will also enjoy the 4-mile easy hike to the Owen, Copperas and Winch Ponds.
Of course, it's nice to return the comfort of one of the region's hotels, B&B's or lodges. Visitors are encouraged to check out the many vacation packages available, for a convenient and affordable way to stay close to the trails!
For more information about hiking and all of the other activities available where the mountain and Ausable River meet, visit www.whitefaceregion.com.