Discover the Adirondacks and surrounding upstate New York in this perfect introduction to the outdoors, specifically designed for our youngest students. Our Adirondack Discovery trip offers a variety of daytime hikes and paddles in the Empire State’s most beautiful settings.
Our programs offer a wide variety of activity options. Explore the activities specific to this program below.
You will arrive in Albany, meeting all of your fellow adventurers, each of whom will be just as excited as you are to get the adventure underway. With your group, you’ll travel to your first campground at Luzerne State Park. You’ll learn how to set up camp, enjoy your first group meal, play games, and get to know each other. The next day, you’ll explore the area by bike, weaving along the gorgeous community bike paths of the Lake George area.
From here, you’re off to the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain area. To get your feet moving and your legs warmed up, you’ll go on a day hike in the Adirondacks and stay at one of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s most pristine campsites. It’ll be a wilderness haven.
The Adirondack LOJ is will be your base camp for the next several days as you explore the Adirondack mountains. The lodge was built in 1927 and sits on the shores of the beautiful Heart Lake. The views will be incredible!
For two full days, you’ll learn to rock climb with the best guides in the area and hit the rocky crags for a full day of top-roping, traversing, and rappelling. Alongside your trip mates, you’ll learn to belay each other and you’ll help push the entire group to whole new heights.
After a few days getting to know the area and hiking up a storm, you’ll be ready to conquer your first real summit experience of the Adirondacks – Cascade Mountain! Cascade sits at 4,098 feet of elevation and is just under 5 miles round trip. It will be an incredible experience! You’ll practice map reading skills, leave no trace principles, and trail etiquette as you and your group make your way up to the summit of Cascade Mountain. The views from the summit and sense of accomplishment will be unforgettable.
The next day, you will give your legs a rest and explore the Wild Center, previously known as the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks. The Wild Center has indoor and outdoor exhibits and a huge campus filled with trails and interactive activities. It will be a blast! In the afternoon, you’ll hit the lake and learn to Stand Up Paddle Board on Mirror Lake! With some professional local guides, you’ll work on paddle technique and play a ton of water games like tag and SUP dodge ball!
You will then take on Whiteface Mountain, the fifth highest mountain in the state of New York. Whiteface Mountain sits at 4,867 feet of elevation – even taller than Cascade. It will be yet another incredible summit experience with your group. Waiting for you at the top will be the Whiteface Castle and a feeling of accomplishment unlike any other.
Following Whiteface Mountain, you will switch it up once more by hitting the water for the next two days. Your next activity: canoeing Follensby Clear Loop for two days and 1 night in the backcountry! The loop is about 10-12 miles with 3 or 4 portages. After learning the basics of your canoe equipment, you and your group will follow your guides on a route through a variety of ponds and short portages, keeping your eyes open to hopefully catch sight of the abundance of wildlife (including beaver and maybe even moose or black bears!). You will pack everything you need, from tents, stoves, group gear, food, and more into your canoes with dry bags. It will be so fun to stay a night out, away from the hustle and bustle of the Adirondack Loj. You will practice your Leave No Trace Principles and really dive into backcountry living. It will be an unforgettable trip!
There’s more water to come! You’ll conquer the class II and III rapids of the Hudson River Gorge! Alongside your professional guides at Wildwater, you and your group will split up into teams, pile into your rafts and hit the river! The Hudson River Gorge is a majestic river gorge in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake George. The section you will take on is about 17 miles of stunning scenery and adventurous whitewater.
The next day, you will take on a railbiking adventure! You and your group will take a tour from the North Creek Railroad Station, through the Adirondack’s forest canopy along the Hudson River, all by your own pedal power!
For your final full day of this incredible adventure, you’ll hit the famous Battenkill River in an inflatable kayak, aka “a ducky”. From there, you’ll cross state lines into Vermont and experience the adaptable farming and forest programs at the local favorite Merck Forest and Farmland Center. That night, you’ll gather for a magnificent feast at your group’s final banquet. The following morning, it is time to bid farewell from the Albany airport. And although it’s always hard to say goodbye, at least you’ll never have to let go of your wonderful memories and all of the new friends you’ve made.
The trip was perfect and an amazing way to be in the wilderness.
Emery, 2019 Adirondack Discovery Student
Trip Price Includes
- Group gear
- Personal gear and clothing
- Airfare to and from the trip start and end