Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain
Cascade, perched up in my favorite region of New York, the beautiful Adirondacks, was the first of the "46 High Peaks" that I climbed. It's a great hike for those who want to take a first stab at a High Peak in the ADKs and one that doesn't take too much time.
Located about 8.4 miles south of Lake Placid on Route 73, Cascade, number 36 out of 46 in terms of elevation, stands at 4098 feet and is a probably one of the more popular hikes in the area for visitors. Not too tough of a climb, but long enough at 4.8 miles round trip, this hike will provide a challenging work out with great rewards at the top. To reach the summit, it will take roughly 2 hours or so depending on your skill level and urge to stop and take in the views at certain points. A big selling point to many hikers who want to knock out two 46ers in 1 day is the ability to also scale Porter, which is basically attached to Cascade, using the main trail of Cascade and veering off at the 2.1 mile point. I didn't personally do Porter as well on the same day, but from what I've heard it is much less crowded at the summit.
Cascade can be busy, so getting there early is ideal. The roadside can be quite full of hikers as well, often requiring a group to park a half a mile away from the hike, adding to the overall trek. But of course, a little road walk is worth the spectacular views at the top.
10/20/18 UPDATE - PORTER COMPLETED - I figured I needed to knock out Porter at one point, so took a trip up with the family dog Mac to complete. It was a beautiful day. Porter is interesting because when you turn off for it on the Cascade Trail (clear signs right on the path) you actually climb down for about .2 miles or so before working back to an ascent. The path was seriously muddy on this day, I’m assuming because of how the trail is situated it gets a lot of runoff and certain areas fill up pretty significantly with water. Either way, Porter has one two or three main lookout spots, including a great, almost secret lookout which you can see below with that nice picture of Mac looking out into the skyline like he’s hypnotized by its beauty. I’d say it takes about an hour to do a back and forth if you don’t really stop much from the Porter trailhead juts off the Cascade trail. Make sure to bring extra socks for the water/mud if you’re going around fall/winter in the ADKs.
My advice - knock them both out on the same day.