A little over a month ago I mentioned a hiking trip that I took in my Cabin in the Woods post. Well, I never expanded on that trip, so now I want to tell you guys all about my first hiking experience.

I was brand spanking new to hiking and being that I never hiked before so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew it would be an hours long workout so I definitely felt the need to prepare myself for that starting with making sure my feet were comfortable! There would have been nothing worse than wearing the wrong pair of shoes which would have only made the hike miserable. I found these really comfortable hiking boots and when I tried them on, I knew they'd be perfect! 

Like I mentioned, since I never hiked before I needed to make sure that I selected a mountain that was easy to moderate for a novice hiker. While researching, I came across www.alltrails.com. The website made it easy to pick a trail based on difficulty and location. After cutting down my top picks to 3 possible mountains, I chose Sleeping Beauty mountain. Sleeping Beauty is located in the Fort Ann area of New York State close to Lake George. What made this trail perfect was that it wasn't too long, but it also wasn't too short either. It's also rated #1 of 179 trails in the Adirondack Park. Its about a 7 mile round trip hike, not including the 1.5 mile walk to the trail head. The Sleeping Beauty trail is a loop trail which means that the trail is a big "circle" that ends where you begin.

The weather was absolutely perfect for mid-October. Though it had been raining that morning, it didn't affect the trail at all. It was a little chilly to begin the day, but once we began walking we no longer felt the cold. There was a map of the trail that we took a picture of with our phones before we started, (I would highly recommend doing so if you don't have a paper copy since we definitely had to look at it for directions after accidentally taking a wrong turn, lol!) We started the trail at the Hogtown Town Parking lot which was about 1.5 miles away from the actual Sleeping Beauty trail. The walk down the road to the trail head wasn't a bad one (though I can't say the same for the walk back since at that point I was super tired and it seemed to take forever to get back to the car, lol).

We started the trail around 9:45am and arrived back to the parking lot around 4:30pm. The trail is the perfect length for a good day hike.

Part of what made the Sleeping Beauty mountain relatively easy was that there were a lot of switchbacks, meaning instead up just traveling "up", the trail is more of a zig-zag pattern which makes it a lot more manageable and not steep at all. I've learned, through my research that switchbacks on a trail protects the mountain from erosion due to the constant foot traffic.

I'm not necessarily an outdoors girl, but now, I would always make an exception for a good hiking trip. Like I mentioned before, not only is it a good workout but its so incredibly peaceful just to be surrounded by nothing but trees, water and a great view. And there were many great views along the way.

The Sleeping Beauty trail passes through Bumps Pond (three photos below) and it was here that I experienced my all time favorite moment of the hike: complete silence. Now, when you're from the city or the surrounding suburban areas, this is not something that can ever be experienced. Yes, at times it could be relatively quiet but never completely silent. Some of the lyrics to a song that I love is, "peace and quiet make such a beautiful sound" and that definitely rang true! To be outside with a view like this and not hear a sound... it being so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop should be something that everyone experiences once in life! 

This was my total steps and distance walked for the hike from my Apple Watch. My average daily steps is somewhere around 5,000!

I want to share a few tips with you all if you're thinking about hiking or planning a hiking trip the first time. Of course, I'm no expert since I've only been once, but I spent hours researching a lot of tips (yes, I'm that person) to make sure that I didn't make any "beginners mistakes." I made sure to do everything below so that I made my trip as enjoyable as I could:

My Beginners Hiking Tips:

1) Wear comfortable hiking boots. You'll be glad you did when your feet are not killing you 4 miles into the hike.
2) Bring lots of snacks.....
3) ... and lots of water! Along with carrying my Camelbak water bottle, I also had this CamelBak hydration backpack which is probably one of the greatest inventions ever! You never have take your water out of your bag and it comes with a convenient straw that you could keep in front of you!
4) Layer clothing that way you could take off tops layers if you get warm. Although the temperature was only in the high 40's, I ended up having to take off my top layer and only wore a long sleeve t-shirt because I was working up a sweat. (Remember, I said it is a workout!)
5) Make sure to have a copy of the trail you're hiking, whether a physical copy or a picture like I had... you're gonna need it at some point on the trail.
6) Do your research! Make sure you know the level of difficulty of the trail you'll be hiking to make sure that it fits your physical capabilities. I would highly recommend using All Trails!
7) Enjoy the view! Climbing to the top of a mountain is completely worth it when your "prize" is the most breathtaking views waiting at the top! Here are some of my photos from Sleeping Beauty:

If you ever decide to take a hiking trip in New York State, I would highly recommend Sleeping Beauty mountain as a beginner trail! 

Have you taken a hiking trip before? If so, where did you go and what mountain did you climb? Let me know! 


© Ashley in August