The weekends from July 4th to Labor Day are jam-packed with special occasions and events to take advantage of our most fair-weather months. And with weekdays when children and grandchildren are home from school, July and August are also the months when so many finally get away for vacation with their families.
Our family is not an exception – and for years now we have planned a week away in the Adirondacks where there is something for everyone – remote for quiet but central to amenities. Always a great view with a nearby beach for sunbathing or reading; a river or lake for fishing; trails to hike and mountains to climb.
This year the destination was Chestertown, NY, in Warren County, and the spot checked all the boxes.
Part of the adventure at this location was satisfied with the discovery of a hiking challenge for the whole family.
Called the Chester Challenge, the quest for a patch (or pin) and bragging rights involves completing six of eight hikes or climbs which were selected by the founders as family-friendly. We picked three mountains and three level trails.
Not everyone finished, but everyone agreed the mountains with their great lookouts were the most enjoyable.
Kipp Mountain, Stewart Mountain and Meade/Beckman Mountain all offered views of Loon Lake.
The Meade/Beckman combination proved the most strenuous since almost all of the elevation gain to the summit occurred at once!
Stewart Mountain was the most ‘family-friendly’ mountain.
Our two-year-old grandson was able to do almost the entire climb under his own power – his very first mountain – and it was such a joy to hear him say with excitement, “I’m hiking!”
Among the options of level trails are loops of different length making it possible for hikers of most ages to participate. Kiosks at each trailhead give you a quick layout of the land.
For example, The Cougar Nature Trail has three loops – the Cub, the Eagle, and the Cougar. The completion of any one loop still counts toward satisfying the requirements of the Challenge.
The mountain hikes of this quest reminded me of the Tupper Lake Triad in Franklin County and the recently established Fulton Chain Trifecta in Hamilton County.
Both offer modest hikes with nice views if travel to those regions meet more of your other vacation needs.
I am glad there are so many ‘family-friendly’ challenges being created throughout the Park. Whether or not a quest is completed, each hike offers great opportunities to teach children about the natural world including appreciation and respect for the landscape and its wildlife. They all involve physical exercise and for a while participants might even forget about using their electronic and digital devices, except perhaps to take some photographs!
Question: Do you have a favorite family-friendly Adirondack hike?
The Chester Challenge pdf: http://www.townofchesterny.org/uploads/2/6/1/3/26133319/chester_brochure_final_7-29.pdf
Tupper Lake Triad:
The Fulton Chain Trifecta:
It is always fun to revisit the places that inspired some story ideas. There is a different chicken on duty in Chestertown today than there was in 2005 when one of our characters had a foul run-in with the bird! The scene takes place in The Adirondack Kids® #5 – Islands in the Sky. The award-winning story is largely set in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks.
© 2018 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.