It’s been a while since I drove through the Adirondacks in New York. In fact, I decided it had been too long, and asked my friend if I could crash on her couch in Lake Placid for a weekend.
We decided to conquer Cascade Mountain early Saturday morning. Join me on this journey, won’t you?
My alarm was set for 6:00 am, but I think I finally rolled off the couch a few minutes later. I layered up and we set off for the trailhead. It was a beautiful time of day. The sun had barely touched the sky, giving all the distant mountain peaks a soft yellow glow.
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes as we started our hike. Like any other hike, I had my backpack with my first aid kit, headlamp, chapstick, camera, an extra hat, and extra water.
A bit of background about Cascade Mountain. It’s one of 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks. It’s become a hiking challenge, for if you hike all 46, you can call yourself a “46er” and even get a little patch. Cascade Mountain is 4,098 feet above sea level, and its buddy Porter Mountain is just a bit shorter at 4,059 feet. You can find more details about all 46 peaks here.
My mom was the first one who told me about the 46ers. It felt like such an elite group. I mean, climbing 46 mountains? That’s an incredible achievement! I would definitely bring it up as my fun fact during icebreakers…if I ever complete it.
It seemed so out of reach for me, but the more I read up on these hikes, the more I realized it was something I could do. When my friend suggested hiking Cascade, I was excited to start my own journey toward being a 46er.
As per usual, the hike was tough. There was an elevation gain of nearly 2,000 feet. It took us about an hour and a half to hike the trail. But once we reached the top, the views made up for the treacherous hike.
The summit was very windy…but it is the top of a mountain…so it wasn’t a shock. I quickly switched out my baseball cap for my knit hat to stay warm. Then, we took in the views. It was incredible. When we started our hike, the sun had just started to rise. When we reached the summit, you could see the sunlight touch almost every tree for miles. It was such a clear morning and the sky was a vibrant blue. Some fall colors were still among the trees, spots of yellow and orange popping up miles away.
The summit of Porter was just under a mile away, so we took a little detour to visit that peak. From there, we could see other hikers reaching the top of Cascade. From where I was standing, I was able to see just how high up Cascade is. It rocked my fear of heights a bit before we started making our way down back to the car.
I felt a sense of pride looking out from the top of Cascade. Hiking one of the 46 High Peaks was not something I thought I could do just a few years ago. I’m thankful I fell in love with hiking because it’s shown me I’m a lot stronger than I tend to give myself credit for, physically and mentally.
If you find yourself in the Lake Placid area and want a hike with breathtaking views, I highly recommend Cascade. Let me know in the comments, have you hiked one of the 46 peaks?