Some days are meant for overcoming challenges and tackling giants. Other days, like this one, are set before us with no agenda, no plan…just spontaneous fun!
Cascade and Porter Mountains are typically the first two suggested when you aspire to become a 46er because they are said to be the “easiest.” Which in hindsight, I suppose I would agree.
The hike took place on a beautiful, clear Sunday in October. The temperature was around 48 degrees to begin the morning. The trail registered was signed in at 10:35 a.m. This would be shorter out and back hike, making it ideal for a half day journey.
The trail from Cascade Lakes up to the summit is very atypical, in that, you begin the ascent immediately from the trailhead. It does, however, become much gentler after the initial climb.
The forest was alive with activity. The tunes of various birds sing to you on your climb up the mountain. Crunching of fallen leaves, rustling of brush low between the trees, and soft blowing breezes all around you…the meaning of “being one with nature.”
Again, as I mentioned in my last blog Giant and His Wife: High Peak Heaven, I was fairly new at hiking, so I neglected to take enough pictures along the way. But maybe sometimes, it is better that way. It’s just you and Mother Nature. It allows you to remain much more present in your journey as well.
There are remarkable views from the first ledge after about 1.8 miles. There were also so many hikers resting here, that if you didn’t know any better, you may have thought you arrived at the summit. (Of course, I almost knew better, lol)
At 12:15 p.m., I reached my 3rd High Peak! The sky was painted ocean blue for hikers today. This incredible summit was just begging for some silly pictures and fun!
And there was an easier way…a ladder! A few of them, actually. The summit of Cascade is still, by far, one of my favorites! Its multi-tiered, 360 viewed creation makes it the perfect vista to spend hours on, if you had the time to just kick back and relax. I think this little guy had that exact idea as well!
Cascade Mountain is number 36 on the list of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. It stands at 4098 feet tall. So far, I’ve hiked only 2.4 miles. No matter where you looked, the views were spectacular. Truly.
Big, beautifully stacked cairns could be seen in all directions, on every level of the enormous summit. Despite the wind, I had some lunch and wrote in my journal: loved this summit, so many ladders, levels, boulders and cairns. Silly pictures are a must.
Getting “lost in the mountains” is a good way to find yourself. Or you could just follow the cairns…;)
After spending a half hour relaxing on the summit of Cascade, it was time to check out Porter Mountain.
The path to Porter was extremely muddy…and it wasn’t even mud season! I was thankful for the footbridges in the clearings between the pines. Most of the .7 mile walk to Porter is through many, many pines.
The temperature was around 55 degrees at this point, perfect for hiking! There weren’t many trail markers or signs. After about 30 minutes, at 1:34 p.m., I arrived at my 4th high peak!
Even though the summit is mostly treed, there was a clearing. Porter Mountain is number 38 on the list and stands at 4060 feet tall. You could make this journey a hike-through as well if you have 2 cars. Today was just an out and back trek. I love this picture of me with the Great Range in the background. In my journal, it says: no cairns, no signs, no marker, just simple.
A simple summit with its own story to tell too, I suppose. I loved this little mountain just the same. Simplicity at its best.
I would be driving back home after this hike, so it was time to begin the descent.
I signed out of the trail register at 3:30 p.m.
Total distance: 6.5 miles and a few steps
Total time: 5 hours with breaks
Cascade is definitely a hike I will come back to in the winter. I imagine the winter scenery will be breathtaking and peaceful. I promise to snap more photographs along the way as well.
Until then…keep rising,