This week, Gregory Reynolds shares with us his trip to the Adirondacks: I don’t begin shedding the layers until I reach the Taconic State Parkway. Winding and sylvan with no shoulder, the road often climbs over a hill to offer a spacious view of the Catskills. I am traveling north to meet my sister and 14-year-old niece to take them backpacking for five days in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park. I rent some bear canisters at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley and happily meet them in Lake Placid.
The following morning we begin our trek. The park has had unprecedented volumes of traffic this summer so we choose a more obscure trailhead and head in to pitch our tents at the confluence of two noisy brooks. Over the next five days, we climb five spectacular peaks, swim in deliciously freezing mountain brooks and become immersed in the primeval qualities of this amazing place. There is enough room to pass by other hikers at a safe distance, but we adopt the command “Deploy!” when others are sighted and bring our buffs up over our faces as masks. We weren’t entirely removed from all of the weighty anxieties of 2020, but the overall experience was profoundly therapeutic for all.
Getting there: The Adirondacks are an easy four-hour drive from New York City.
The gear: You can rent from places like Gear to Go Outfitters and Outdoors Geek.
The prep: Read up on the different hikes before planning your trip. These are good for beginners.