Planning the Northville Placid Trail

Planning to hike The Northville Placid Trail (NPT)? Find out what you need to prepare you for this 120 – 140 miles of thru-hiking!

Planning the Northville Placid Trail

Food | Yoga | Destination | Reviews

The Northville Placid Trail Thru-hike (NPT)

Planning the Northville Placid Trail

The Northville Placid Trail (NPT), 120 – 140 miles, lightly trafficked foot-trail through the Adirondack Park in northern New York State. The Adirondack Mountain Club created it in 1922 and 1923 and it is now maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Northville Placid Trail Map

About Us

Big slide mountain

John and I hike often, but we have never actually backpacked. We were supposed to go to Alaska this June/July, but COVID-19 had other things planned for us, and cancelled our trip. So, we decided to stay local, and this is something that John really wanted to do, so it felt like a good time to complete it. We took the week of July 27th and the first week in August, giving us time to not be in a rush and to really immerse ourselves in nature for an amount of time.

Our Experience Backpacking the Northville-Placid Trail

Check out our blog post on our actual experience thru-hiking the Northville-Placid Trail

Planning the Northville Placid Trail Thru-Hike

If you’re new to backpacking, planning might be more difficult than if you’re an avid backpacker. Having the right gear is a big part of being comfortable on the trail! Having maps and guidebooks to help you plan your route and food!!

A General Packing List (Summer)

  • Gear & Toiletry:
    • Map, Guidebook, Compass
    • Tent or Hammock
    • Backpack & Waterproof Stuff Sacks
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Sleeping Pad for Comfort
    • Headlamps and Extra Batteries
    • Water Filters
    • Lightweight Cookware (Pots, Silverware, Tea Cup, Sponge)
    • Cook Stove
    • Lighter
    • Toilet Paper & Trowel
    • Bug spray
    • Biodegradable Camp Soap
    • Toothpaste & Toothbrush
    • First Aid Kit
    • Bags for Garbage
  • Clothing:
    • Rain Jacket
    • Wool Socks (2 or 3 Pairs)
    • Trail Runners (Lightweight Shoes)
    • Athletic Sandals
    • Sports-bras X2
    • Underwear
    • Hiking Pants – Quick Drying (Depending on Season, 1 or 2)
    • Shorts X1 – Quick Drying
    • Tanks/Shirts X2 – Quick Drying
    • Long Sleeve (Warmer Layer)
    • Hat/Bandana
    • Light Weight Microfiber Towel
    • Book/Journal
  • Food:
    • Breakfast Meals (Dehydrated or Freeze-dried Meals)
    • Tea Bags, Coffee, Cocoa
    • Protein Bars
    • Jerky
    • Nuts & Seeds / Trail Mix
    • Dried Fruit
    • Bone Broth Powder
    • Dinners (Dehydrated or Freeze-dried Meals)

Our Packing List Recommendations


  • Backpacks: We have Osprey packs (Osprey Atmos Ag 65) that we purchase a couple of years ago from the Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY. I recommend stopping there, and you can try them on, and see what size fits you best, get professional guidance and support local!
    • Anti-Gravity suspension – to feel like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack
    • Trekking pole attachment
    • Lots of storage compartments
    • Lots of ventilation
    • Comfortable and very fitting!
  • Backpack Rain Cover: Osprey UltraLight Raincover
Big Slide
  • Shoes: Many people recommended trail runners or lightweight shoes for this hike instead of heavy hiking boots.
    • John & I both personally wear our Earth Runners almost everywhere! Walking, hiking, Errands, you name it. And they allow you to be even more grounded while also added just enough support to protect you from rocks and allow your feet to be natural and free!
    • Lightweight trail runners: There are a lot of different brands out there, and I am all about the barefoot shoes, but recently have been having issues with my IT band so needed to try something with a little more support to make sure I don’t have any issues during my hike! Salomon (Men and Women) is an aggressive and supportive, yet lightweight hiking shoe.
Earth Runners
  • Tent: We ordered a lightweight tent specifically for this trip. The Nemo Hornet 2 Tent, a 3 season, 2 person tent that weighs 1 lb 15 oz and is easy to set up!
Planning the Northville Placid Trail
  • Sleeping-bag & Pads: Lightweight, compressible sleeping bag. I would suggest 30 degrees or colder, (I am always cold, and this is NY)
  • Water Filter: Sawyer Filter, they’re cheap, lightweight, easily portable and you can drink right from them. I recommend purchasing extra pouches.
  • Trekking Poles: We purchased ours at the mountaineer in Keene, NY. Not necessary, but if you have joint issues, they can come in handy!
Planning the Northville Placid Trail
  • A Book or Journal!


Where do we start with food. As many of you may know, John and I have a strict diet, (our own version of Paleo), and we try to eat all local and organic food, and for backpacking, that is hard to find! So I purchased some dehydrated meals on REI and Amazon, that support our needs, but I also attempted to dehydrate my own meals. As you may know, backpacking meals are pretty expensive, and not always filled with the best ingredients. So I found dehydrating meal to be cheaper and knowing exactly what is going into them is important to me, but they do take a lot of time! Keep an eye out for the post on how to dehydrate your own meals!

Planning the Northville Placid Trail
  • Wild Zora Freeze-Dried Meals: AIP compliant freeze dried meals are the best backpacking meals I have found for people with strict diets. They use all good ingredients, and free-range/grass-fed meat. You can find these on Amazon, or sometimes REI has deals on them! They make breakfast, lunch/dinner meals and snacks.
Dehydrated Meals
  • Dehydrating Meals: Dehydrating meals isn’t all that complicated, but it is time-consuming and you would need a dehydrator or a stove with a dehydrating setting to do this. This will save money, but is not always the most convenient. We dehydrated ground beef, eggs, peppers and potatoes. Recipes to come!
  • MUD/WTR: MUD/WTR is a great coffee alternative with all organic ingredients. This gives you energy and focus but without the jitters and the crash. This is our go-to “coffee”
  • Fruit and Nut Hemp Bars: These organic hemp bars are perfect for pre or post- workouts, like hiking! They’re clean, made with quality ingredients and powerful nutrition with an amazing taste!
  • Collagen Peptides Powder: Really good for your cartilage, bones and joints, and I just add a scoop to our hot meals or hot drinks, and you can’t even notice it!

Planning The NorthVille Placid Trail Route

The guidebook offers a sample itinerary to help with planning the route. We are planing to hike South to North, starting in Northville and finishing in Lake Placid. We recommend having an itinerary to leave with a family member!

Mail Drop Off

To limit your weight in your pack you can mail your food to a couple different locations.

Piseco Post office
402 Old Piseco Road
Piseco, NY 12139
M-F 9:45 – 12:00 and 1:30 – 4:00
Sat 11:30 – 1:00

Blue Mountain Lake Post Office
3444 State Route 28, Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
M-F 12:00 – 5:00
Sat 8:00 – 12:00

Long Lake Post Office
1095 Deerland Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
M-F 8:45 – 11:45 and 12:45 – 3:45
Sat 9:30 – 11:45

If sending to yourself, send it as follows:
(Your full name)
c/o General Delivery
full post office address
City, State, Zip
(NPT thru-hiker, approximate arrival around (date))

13 Day Itinerary

Subject to change. 138.6 Miles.

  • Day 1
    • Northville to Woods Lake Campsite (12.4 mi)
  • Day 2
    • Woods Lake Campsite to Silver Lake Lean-to (12.0 mi)
  • Day 3
    • Silver Lake Lean-to to Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-to (11.4 mi)
  • Day 4
    • Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-to to Fall Stream (11.1 mi)
      (Resupply at Piseco)
  • Day 5
    • Fall Stream to Spruce Lake Lean-to #2 (5.9 mi)
  • Day 6
    • Spruce Lake Lean-to to Beaver Pond
      Lean-to (11.9 mi)
  • Day 7
    • Beaver Pond Lean-to to Wakely Dam
      (10.4 mi)
  • Day 8
    • Wakely Dam to Stephens Pond Lean-to
      (8.8 mi)
  • Day 9
    • Stephens Pond Lean-to to Tirrell Pond Lean-to (8.1 mi)
      (+Resupply in Blue Mountain Lake (4 mi)) (12.1 mi)
  • Day 10
    • Tirrell Pond Lean-to to Catlin Bay Lean-to (11.9 mi)
  • Day 11
    • Catlin Bay Lean-to to Seward Lean-to
      (14.7 mi)
  • Day 12
    • Seward Lean-to to Moose Pond Lean-to (11.9 mi)
  • Day 13
    • Moose Pond Lean-to to Averyville Rd. (8.1 mi) to the Lake Placid Train Station (1.8 mi) (9.9 mi)

Actual Itinerary: Completed 8.7.20

  • Day 1
    • Northville to Woods Lake Campsite (12.4 mi)
  • Day 2
    • Woods Lake Campsite to Silver Lake Lean-to (12.0 mi)
  • Day 3
    • Rest Day at Silver Lake
  • Day 4
    • Silver Lake Lean-to to Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-to (11.4 mi)
  • Day 5
    • Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-to to Jessup River (13.5 mi)
      (Resupply at Piseco)
  • Day 6
    • Jessup River to Spruce Lake Lean-to #2 (3 mi)
      (Another Rest Day)
  • Day 7
    • Spruce Lake Lean-to to Cedar Lake
      Lean-to (12.3 mi)
  • Day 8
    • Cedar Lake to Wakely Dam (10.4 mi)
  • (10.4 mi)
  • Day 9
    • Wakley Damn to Lake Durant Roadside Campsite (13.5 mi)
  • Day 10
    • Lake Durant to Blue Mountain Lake Town (2 mi) to Salmon River (9.5 mi)
      (+Resupply in Blue Mountain Lake)
  • Day 11
    • Salmon River to Kelly Point Lean-to (15.4 mi)
  • Day 12
    • Kelly Point Lean-to to Seward Lean-to (9.7 mi)
  • Day 13
    • Seward Lean-to to Moose Pond Lean-to (11.9 mi)
  • Day 14
    • Moose Pond Lean-to to Averyville Rd. (8.1 mi) to the Lake Placid Train Station (1.8 mi) (9.9 mi)


  • Northville Parking:
    • Watefrfront Park
      Main Street
      Northville, NY 12134
      (Across from Stewarts, they have parking specifically for NPT vehicles)
  • Lake Placid:
    • Lake Placid Train Station Museum
      242 Station Street
      Lake Placid, NY 12946
    • Ayeryville Rd
      NPT Registry
      Lake Placid, NY 12946

Leave No Trace

  • Pack it in, pack it out.
    • Bring a bag for food waste and garbage
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
    • Dig a 6-8 inch cathole, at least 200 ft from water, camp and trails & bury.
    • If you use soap for dishes or bathing, make sure you’re a good distance (at least 200 feet) from the water. (Even Biodegradable soap!) Dig a hole and wash up away from the water with a bucket or water bottle!
  • Leave What You Find.
    • Plants, rocks, animals.
  • Respect Wildlife
    • Observe from a distance
  • Respect other backpackers!

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Alyx B

A Certified Yoga Instructor and wellness coach, who studied Environmental Sustainability and Animal Science. Lover of animals and tacos! And passionate about traveling, hiking, yoga, and the environment.

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