But what if you don’t want to spend an entire day on the trail? What about out-of-shape, scared of heights and non-morning people? We deserve stunning beauty too!
I’ll tell it to you straight: there are no “easy” trails here in the Keene Valley. It is, after all, a valley – meaning that everything goes UP from here! That said, I’ve collected a few favorite hikes that will give you a lot of visual reward without requiring TOO much sweating!
Baxter Mountain – This is our “go to” for guests who want a quick, hike with good views. Just a 10 minute drive from the B&B, this trail offers a series of switchbacks which keep it on the easier side until the steeper last 1/3 mile. The 2.6 mile round-trip has four lookout points so you don’t even have to reach the summit to be awed by the beauty. Baxter makes a great half-day hike, leaving you with time to explore other features of the area. Our favorite time of day to hike Baxter is the late afternoon when “golden hour” bathes the valley. A burger and beer at the Baxter Mountain Tavern makes for a great dinner when you come back down.
Roaring Brook Falls – Your biggest challenge will be landing a parking spot, but since this trail is only 1.5 miles from our front door, you can easily walk or bike to the trailhead. You have two choices: an easy, almost flat, five minute hike to the base of the 300 foot falls or a half-mile hike to the top of the falls. Both spots provide great photo opportunities, but please be careful as the rocks at the top of the falls can be slippery. If you’re still feeling great, you can continue up the trail to the Giant Nubble – which offers a striking view of the Giant mountain slides
Moose Mountain Pond — Located near North Hudson, NY, this hike is 7 miles round trip and generally flat. You’ll pass through beautiful forest and by several small waterfalls. When you reach the pond, you’ll find a leanto, privy, and cliffs with a great view over the pond. From the same parking lot, you can also hike to Hammond Pond – a much shorter, but pretty hike.
Another option (my personal favorite), is to forget the destination and enjoy the journey! Hike until you feel like sitting down, find a lovely rock or log, take off your shoes and sink your toes into a mountain stream or the rich Adirondack earth. Breathe in the peace as the healing power of nature soothes your soul. Happy hiking!