How to Thru-Hike the 133-Mile Northville-Placid Trail

The Adirondacks are a wilderness area as bottomless as any other on the East Coast, filled with untainted pockets of forest located miles away from any sense of civilization. Here, trails twist like tunnels through old growth and virgin forests alike, packed dense enough that it’s generally only bears and moose who tend to navigate them.

Among the most revered of these trails that tunnel their way through northern New York’s wild expanses of undulating terrain and rocky alpine tundra is the Northville-Placid Trail, a long-distance artery plunging deep into the heart of the region’s original backwoods and into the quietest reaches of Adirondack Park. For 133 miles, the Northville-Placid Trail weaves between ponds, lakes, and rivers, climbs over mountains and hills, and slogs through swamps and bogs as it skips from wilderness areas to quintessential Adirondack villages and back again.

The first ground was broken for the route between the constructions of Vermont’s famous Long Trail and the mighty Appalachian Trail, at a time when the Adirondacks were little more than a massive tract of wilderness dotted with lumber camps, fur traders, and mining operations. It was an obvious matter of logistics that the newly-formed Adirondack Mountain Club’s long distance route would run from Northville to Lake Placid, as they were the two hubs of railroad traffic in the area.

Here’s a look at how to prepare for a 12-day thru-hike of the NPT…


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