The Loj in Pictures & Descriptions
At the end of Adirondack Loj Road which connects Rte. 73 to Adirondack Loj, you will come to the toll booth
Adirondack Loj on the lake.
Adirondack Loj and Heart Lake itself are to the right after going through the toll booth.
Adirondack Loj itself lies down the road, beyond the toll booth.
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The Adirondack Loj at Heart Lake gives you access to Phelps, Tabletop, Marcy, Colden, Cliff, Redfield , Skylight , Iroquois, Street, Nye, Marshall and the MacIntyre Range
Trail between The Loj and Marcy Dam.
Heart Lake with the MacIntyres in the background.
This sign-in shack is in the parking lot near the toll booth.
Adirondack Loj (Heart Lake)
Because it provides the closest and easiest access to the highest of the High Peaks and some of the loveliest of Adirondack lakes, Heart Lake is the most heavily used trailhead in the Adirondacks. Just 2.3 miles into the interior from Adirondack Loj, connected to it by a section of the best known and most trodden of Adirondack trails, the BLUE Van Hoevenberg Trail, (ADK #61, McM #133), is Marcy Dam, another hub from which trails fan out and penetrate deeper into the High Peaks. The majority of hikers departing Adirondack Loj are destined for Marcy Dam from whence they may head to Phelps, Tabletop, Marcy, Colden, Cliff, Redfield, Skylight, Marshall, and the MacIntyre Range. Or they may rent a lean-to or pitch a tent at Marcy Dam.
On a given day there may be well over a hundred cars in the huge parking area. The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), owns the parking, the Loj, Heart Lake and some thousands of acres of the surrounding forest so be aware that you are on private property. There is a substantial charge for parking. See below.
To Get to Adirondack Loj From Lake Placid:
Drive 1.3 miles south on Rte. 73 from the Olympic Ski Jump site on the outskirts of Lake Placid. If you are coming from the Town of Keene, head out of Keene as for Lake Placid on Rte. 73, and drive 11.2 miles. There you will see Adirondack Loj Road (photo to the left) bordering a very large field. The open views of the MacIntyre Range and Mt. Colden seen here are only available from this spot on Rte. 73. Having turned onto Adirondak Loj Road, drive 4.6 miles to the road's end at the toll booth and parking lot for both the Heart Lake trailhead and the adjacent lodge.
The parking and trailhead for Marcy Dam, the MacIntyre Range, Marcy, Phelps, and other peaks in that general direction is at the furthest end of the parking lot that lies to your left in front of you as you go through the toll booth. You'll see a brown, single-story wooden building about 40' x 40' at 10 o'clock in front of you and you should aim for it (figuratively speaking). That's the High Peaks Information Center. This puts you in the parking lot where the trailhead sign-in log is located.
Trails for Mt Jo, Indian Pass, and the unmarked trail to Street and Nye are sharply to your right and plainly visible over your right shoulder as you sit stunned in your car at the toll booth struck dumb by the amount charged for daily parking for non-ADK members. If you plan to park here more than a couple of times during the season, you ought to get an ADK membership for one of your party (or invite a member to hike with you). When your head stops spinning, you can see the sign not more than 50 feet from your car. The sign-in for this trail is about a half-mile after the start of the trail.
Although the Loj is sometimes fully booked, you may want to stay there or rent a lean-to on the lake. Membership in ADK is not necessary. The Loj has mainly communal bunkrooms that hold twenty or so people. Very rustic. Expect to find people coming and going in the middle of the night. If you are not a very sound sleeper you would be well advised to seek peace and quiet elsewhere, although they do have some smaller rooms available that afford privacy at a higher price. When I was a teenager communal bunkrooms were okay. Now that I'm more stodgy, my preference is to avoid communal bunkrooms because there is always a man or woman snoring, and it seems that whomever is in the same bunk as you, whether above or below, he/she will be climbing in or out of the creaking bunk 20 times per night and will step on your face at least once.
Trailed peaks accessible from Heart Lake:
Marcy, Phelps, Colden, the MacIntyre Range.
Trailed, but unmarked, peaks accessible from Heart Lake:
Iroquois, Boundary, Skylight, Marshall, Gray, Tabletop, Street, Nye, Redfield,
Cliff, and MacNaughton. Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden, and Flowed Lands are also easily accessible, although if these are your destination, Upper Works would serve you better as a trailhead due to the smaller elevation difference and shorter distance.
Distances from Adirondack Loj at Heart Lake:
Marcy Dam, 2.3 miles
Indian Pass, 5.0 miles
Algonquin Peak, 4.1 miles
Avalanche Camp, 3.2 miles
Lake Arnold via Avalanche Camp, 4.7