Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Mt. Van Hoevenberg: 10/05/2014
Years ago, when I was young and single, I was all about the High Peaks. When I finished my first round of the 46, I re-hiked many of my favorites, often via slides or bushwhack routes. If a hike was less than 10 miles and 2,000 vertical feet, I didn’t have much interest. I still love the High Peaks (and in fact am currently suffering from High Peaks Deficiency Syndrome), but hiking with my family in recent years has allowed me to discover some of the gems I missed. Like Mount Van Hoevenberg.
Lake Placid may seem like a long way to drive from Saratoga for a half day hike, but we really wanted to get back up there before foliage season was done. Even though the Lake Placid area is past peak (some trees are already bare), there was still lots of color.
The trailhead is on South Meadow Road, just a couple miles from Adirondack Loj and Heart Lake. On a beautiful day like Sunday, I suspect the lot at Adirondack Loj may have been full, yet there was plenty of easy parking right at the Mount Van Hoevenberg trailhead.
Mount Van Hoevenberg is sometimes described as a less crowded version of neighboring Mount Jo, but the two small peaks share more than just a similar view. Mount Van Hoevenberg is named for Henry Van Hoevenberg, who built Adirondack Loj as well as trails to Marcy, Algonquin and other peaks in the late 1800s. Henry was engaged to Josephine Schofield, and he renamed Mount Bear to Mount Jo in her honor. Tragically, Josephine died before the two were married. You can read the full story of Henry and Josephine here.
It’s amazing how quickly the fall foliage season comes and goes. By next weekend, I suspect most of the trees in the Lake Placid area will be bare although parts of the southern Adirondacks should still show plenty of color. With a little luck we may still get in another hike or two before we transition to ski season and winter.