There are so many outdoor adventure and wilderness trip opportunities for campers over the course of a summer season and kids can choose which trips they want to try each week. Our program offers first-timers and experienced trippers a wide array of fun and challenging options from local micro trips to rigorous multi-summer quests, from forays up mountains, across rivers, and on rocks both in the Adirondack Park and beyond. We also offer five separate Quests that campers can work to complete during their summers at ADK!
The Adirondacks are one of the oldest mountain ranges in America with fascinating geological formations and breathtaking views. With six million acres of AMAZING mountains, lakes, plants, and animals, there are lots of opportunities for adventure!
Offered as local day hikes, these “flat walking trails” coincide very well with our nature walks and often include one of the many trails at the base of Black Mountain, Putnam Pond, Lost Pond, or Glenburnie “forever-wild” Nature Conservancy land. These short trips are excellent for our youngest campers and often set them successfully on their way to participate on other trips as they gain confidence and experience hiking.
The Lake George 5 are five peaks located around the perimeter of Lake George. Five mountains hiked over one session or a camper’s career, it is an introductory quest truly available to ALL of our campers. With moderate mileage and elevation changes, everyone gets the chance to see the wonder and beauty of Lake George from a new perspective. Taking a chance, overcoming difficulty, finding personal strength and determination starts right here. Peaks include Record, Cook, Buck, Cat, and Black Mountains. Hike your hikes, do your Happy Dance, and go home with good stories, greater confidence, and a sweet t-shirt!
There is an opportunity to do them all in one day, which is totally crazy, but very fun, and offered only once a session. Campers start out before 6am and finish close to 11pm, traversing 22 miles in a single day.
No other Quest offers a broader view of the Park as a whole! This quest consists of 23 Fire Towers spread throughout the Adirondack Park. These towers were used in the past to monitor for fires, but now we use them as a way to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenic views of the park. These hikes may be as short as .3 miles and as long as 15 miles, so this is a good way to level up your hiking game. Join a Fire Tower Frenzy ( 3 Firetowers in 3 days!) and get the chance to car camp in one of the Adirondacks amazing campgrounds. Climb multiple towers in each trip, make fires, roast marshmallows, and sleep under the stars, in a tent of course.
Campers can hone their canoe tripping skills to an expert level as they portage from pond to pristine pond. This quest is a canoeing and kayaking extravaganza all over the Adirondacks where campers can experience a quiet only found here on the often beaver-created ponds of the park and enjoy this seldom-traveled wilderness. It includes portions of the recently created Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which begins right here in Adirondack Park and continues 740 miles into Maine! Based upon three levels of difficulty, a camper interested in completing the Wild Waters challenge will select a series of canoe or white-water kayaking trips from each level to claim the t-shirt and bragging rights of having completed this quest. Our Wild Waters trips include remote backcountry adventures as well as introductory trips on the waters of our Native American predecessors.
Listed as one of the best long trails in the northeast and winding through the Adirondacks’ low lying areas, hikers get to experience several stunning lakes, beaver lodges, pristine forests, wide open spaces, and a valley view of several of New York’s High Peaks. The Northville Lake Placid Trail is 133 miles long — a truly EPIC hike from the town of Northville, NY to Lake Placid, it’s the longest walking in the Adirondack State Park. We complete approximately 120 miles of the trail in four separate trips. Most sections are shuttled multi-day backcountry events.
The Adirondack Park has 46 peaks over 4000 ft located in the High Peaks region near Lake Placid. Being an ADK 46r is a nationally recognized distinction. Our campers will earn the Adirondack Camp quest and t-shirt, and also become a registered member of the prestigious Adirondack 46rs. A combination of day hikes and multi-day backcountry adventures, the 46r Quest will test your legs, and your determination!
Hiking in the Adirondacks is a wonderful experience and we rotate all of the peaks (even MacNaughton!) over the course of several years for campers to complete them. Peaks range in height and difficulty and are tailored by age-groups and ability. We even offer multi-day trips to accomplish several peaks in a range and each trip is limited to four campers and two Wilderness Certified trip staff per trip. The 46er Quest is the most time-intensive and only those committed will have a chance of completing this exciting and endurance-based challenge.
A dedicated eight week camper can finish their quest in four summers.
Tripper’s Choice trips are the Wild Cards of our program. These trips change yearly based upon the skills and interests of our trip staff. The leaders assigned to these trips choose the purpose, location, and activities for them. Tripper’s Choice trips are designed to give the staff and campers the freedom to explore a trail, or do an activity that is not necessarily part of our Five Quests. In the past, Trippers have created wilderness hikes based upon geo-caching, sketching, yoga, trail runs, campfire cooking, Indigenous histories, and family picnics. These trips are designed to give opportunities for campers to engage with nature in ways that aren’t necessarily climbing or hiking mountains.
These trips are designed specifically to allow our rock climbing campers the chance to take their developing skills onto an actual rock. With hundreds of routes scattered throughout the Adirondacks, it would take years to max out on possibilities for climbing. We partner with a local outfitter to raise the level of safety and skill development opportunities for our campers.
Sacandaga & Hudson Rivers
Go beyond a kayaking camp and play on the waves as these weekly day trips test your skills beyond the flat water Lake George has to offer. Take a turn down Adirondack’s best training river and experience the rush that is whitewater! Campers must be experienced and pre-cleared before going on these trips that leave before breakfast and return by dinner.
Ottawa River Experience
Three days and two nights of whitewater paddling on the Ottawa River in Canada. This trip is limited to six campers who will be pre-cleared for the trip. Passport and Letter of Intention from parent or guardian will be required to cross the border into Canada.