When it was created by the Adirondack Mountain Club in 1922, the Northville-Lake Placid Trail was originally designed to be an alternate way to connect the train stations in two communities, Northville and Lake Placid.
Today, this 133-mile trail provides access to some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the Adirondacks, including designated Wilderness Areas, like Silver Lake, West Canada Lake, Moose River Plains, Blue Ridge, and High Peaks. Backpackers will find forests and lake shores dotted with first-come, first-serve lean-tos and primitive campsites as they hike past mountain views, waterfalls, and mile after mile of rolling forest. Be on the lookout for moose and beaver, and fall asleep to the sound of loons calling as the sun sets!
This southernmost trailhead for this route begins on South Main Street in Northville. From there, the trail heads north as it gradually gains elevation to the high point of 3,008 feet, at the crest of the ridge to the east of Blue Mountain and Tirrell Pond.
Many guidebooks and published accounts of the trail are based on starting at the Northville trailhead and heading north.
If 133 miles sounds like a massive undertaking, that’s because it is! Many people section hike the trail over several outings, a feat that’s made easier by the fact that the Northville-Lake Placid Trail intersects many roads along the way. Thru hikers often mail themselves supplies to the Northville, Piseco, and the Long Lake post offices. Supplies can also be purchased in those communities.
The trail provides access to some of the most beautiful and remote areas which have first-come, first-serve lean-tos and primitive campsites. They are located in designated Wilderness Areas like High Peaks, Blue Ridge, Silver Lake, and West Canada Lake. Backpack and camp among forests and lake shores.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
Ski or snowshoe the Northville-Placid Trail from the Long Lake or Blue Mountain Lake trailheads. It is considering moderately challenging because of the changing elevations. It's a good trail to pack along a pair of snowshoes if the trail gets tricky on skis.
Find out more
There have been changes to the trail in recent years, such as a 2.2 mile spur trail to the village of Long Lake.
Be sure to check the Department of Conservation's Adirondack Trail information before setting out, and always carry a map and compass in case of need.