Old Forge, New York

Hike around Nick's Lake

6.2 Miles Total - 475 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Sara Sheehy

Nick's Lake is a scenic, family-friendly hike in the central Adirondacks.

The hike around Nick's Lake is a gentle, beautiful hike near the resort town of Old Forge, New York. Park for free at the Bisby Road Trailhead, or cut two miles off the route and pay to park at Nick's Lake Campground ($10 per car).

If you start from Bisby Road, sign in at the trail register then hike on the rocky trail toward the lake. At one mile in, you'll see a trail junction with big signs that say "Trail Around Nick's Lake." I chose to do the loop counterclockwise, so continued straight at this junction.

The trail is relatively flat, with small climbs and descents as it makes its way around the lake. You won't see the lake much in the first 2.5 miles of the hike...though you'll catch glimpses of water off to your left every now and again.

Around mile three you'll cross a bridge over an inlet stream, and for the next two miles you'll be either right on the lakeshore or close to it. If it has been rainy, keep an eye out for mushrooms (there are plenty!).

The route will pop out at Nick's Lake Campground, and there's 1/2 mile of walking on paved roads to get out the other side and continue on the trail. Take a break here to eat a picnic lunch and use the bathrooms. Once you hit the trail again, keep an eye out for the junction of the Nick's Lake Trail and the spur that returns to Bisby Road Trailhead. Take a right and hike the mile back to your car. 

 If you decide to park (or camp) at Nick's Lake Campground, the round-trip distance around the lake is 4.2 miles. At Nick's Lake Campground there is a beach, kayak rentals, bathrooms, and nicely shaded camp spots.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


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