Cascade Mountain

Even though Cascade is typically regarded as the "easiest" of the 46 High Peaks, it is still a struggle. It takes about 2,000 feet of ascent to get the expansive vistas. Cascade's parking lot frequently becomes full rapidly, especially during the summer. Think about picking a less travelled and congested track. Cascade Mountain is a very short trek with excellent panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, despite some steep sections.

Getting there

Follow Route 73 east approximately 8.4 miles from the Lake Placid crossroads of Routes 86 and 73. Right before Upper Cascade Lake, there is a trailhead and parking lot. Keep in mind that the main parking lot is frequently crowded, especially on good days, and that parking in one of the overflow spaces is essential due to the busy road. Be cautious when strolling along the busy highway's shoulder, or think about tackling one of the many other stunning — and less well-known — walks nearby.

Hiking

Before arriving to the trail registration, the Cascade Mountain route detours off the road over a flight of stairs and a bridge. Immediately after that, it starts to ascent at a moderate gradient while snaking through huge rocks. At 0.6 miles, there is a lovely cascading waterfall and the trail levels off and crosses a brook. The track swings left after crossing the creek over some boulders and starts to climb steeper until it reaches Cascade's crest at 1.4 kilometres. Swinging to the right, the path continues up the ridge at easy to moderate gradients until, after 1.8 kilometres, it comes to a steep area of open rock. The best is still to come, but the superb views near the summit tempt you to take a well-earned respite.

Back in the trees, the path continues its easy to moderate rise until it reaches a fork with the Porter Mountain track at 2 miles (0.8 mile to the summit, elevation 4,058 feet). This climb may be extended by taking that detour, which would allow you to see two High Peaks in one day.

The stunted spruce and balsam fir foliage quickly gives way to the exposed boulders of Cascade's peak as you continue straight. From here, the path is marked by paint blazes on the rocks as it soon approaches the top at 2.4 kilometres. As you make your way to the summit's amazing, 360-degree panoramic vistas, be careful not to walk on the area's delicate vegetation.

Winter cascade

After you've tried out a few of the region's lesser mountains, Cascade is a great snowshoe adventure. On the typically well-packed track, snowshoes will normally be sufficient, although microspikes or trail crampons may be necessary on some of the steeper portions, particularly along the ridge and close to the summit.

As height is achieved, anticipate a dramatic drop in temperature, and be ready for severe winds on the open top. Always pack additional clothing, particularly at higher altitudes, and don't be afraid to turn back if the weather starts to change.

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