People often ask me, “What’s a good hike in the Adirondacks if you’re a beginner, but want really nice views?” I could answer this question in many different ways, but my favorite way to answer is Mt. Jo, or what I personally dub, “my little big peak.” This is due to its relatively small elevation (2,876 feet), but it’s big views.
Following my finish of the Lake Placid Half Marathon on Sunday (ok…OUR finished – my husband ran too), my sore muscles were telling me, “You need a rest!” I laughed in their face and decided that hiking was a fantastic idea for Monday (this would turn out to be a bad idea later). At least I was semi-not-crazy and decided Mt. Jo would get me great views and help work out the lactic acid building in every…single…leg muscle. I mean, my toe nails hurt. How is that possible?
Mt. Jo was named in 1877 by Henry Van Hoevenberg in honor of his fiancée, Josephine Schofield. I guess men made much grander gestures back then. I mean he cut a trail in the Adirondacks for his fiancée. I’m lucky if I can get my husband to cut the grass in our back yard.
The trail starts from the parking lot at the High Peaks Information Center (at the end of Adirondack Loj Road).
The beginning of the trail follows a flat, well-maintained path to Heart Lake. This is part of the Adirondack Loj Nature Museum. Turn to your right, and in about 30 yards you will see the sign for Mt. Jo and the trail registry.
After signing the registry, we followed the trail approximately 0.3 miles to the junction of the Long Trail and the Short Trail. Following much confusion, we decided to take the Short Trail up to the summit and the Long Trail back down.
After 0.7 miles, the Short Trail joins with the Long Trail. Turn right to reach the summit at 0.9 miles. Now you get to enjoy your lunch (may I recommend Crepes Deli in Lake Placid – yum!), black flies and all.
We decided to take the Long Trail back for a loop, making the total mileage for the day 2.6 miles.
So there you go. My little big hike. Do any of you have suggestions for easier hikes with amazing views at the end? Comment below.