Somehow, even though it's at the top of just about everyone's list of best short hikes, we had never gotten around to hiking Mount Jo, the small (2,876') peak with a panoramic, close-up view of the High Peaks. With near-peak foliage and the season's first coating of snow, our hike on Monday lived up to Mount Jo's reputation.
High Peaks Information Center at the Adirondack Mountain Club's Heart Lake property, just outside of Lake Placid. Though steeper, the Short Trail is generally considered to be better maintained, and is the route we took. With lots of exploring by our kids, it took us around an hour to cover the 700' vertical climb to the summit; experienced adult hikers will probably do it in around 40 minutes.
snowliage – produces some of the most dramatic scenery the Adirondacks have to offer.
Mount Jo was named by Henry VanHoevenberg in 1877 for Josephine Schofield, his fiance. Van Hoevenberg was the orignal owner and developer of the Heart Lake property. Although it's unclear what became of Josephine (according to some accounts she became sick and died), the two never married.
Mount Jo is a popular hike, so you’re not likely to have the trail or the summit all to yourself. Keep in mind that Adirondack Loj is the most popular and heavily used trailhead in the High Peaks region, sometimes filling to capacity on weekends and holidays. In fact, although we had no trouble getting a parking spot on Monday, the attendant at the HPIC told me that the lot was full as of 8am the day before.
The hike is short enough that we were done by 1pm. That left plenty of time for an afternoon of rock climbing with the kids at one of my favorite beginner crags a few miles away. I’ll post a report from that in the next couple of days.