Discover the Haunted Trail in New York State For a Perfect Road Trip

The glittering lakes and gorgeous fall foliage of New York’s Adirondack Mountains conceal a rather sad past. Unsolved crimes, missing individuals, and ghost sightings are more common than you might believe, and to aid paranormal investigators find these spots generating unusual energies, many have been documented and mapped out in a spine-tingling itinerary.

The Haunted Adirondack Trail, curated by Adirondack Wayfinder, spans more than 230 miles and includes nine truly creepy destinations. You can even customize the itinerary by entering your home address and adding select historical places and accommodations.

The Haunted Adirondack Trail Route

The order of attractions varies depending on where you start, but the first stop on the haunted path is typically the beaches of Big Moose Lake, home to the wandering soul of Grace Brown. Grace fell in love with a man named Chester and got pregnant. Shortly after, Chester took her on a “romantic” vacation to Big Moose Lake, rented a rowboat, and killed her.

To continue the game, you’ll journey to Inlet, a little village where Chester was arrested. Inlet, with a population of 300, is also the scene of another haunting: Jasper Day, a hermit who lived deep in the woods and is claimed to haunt the bridge connecting the town’s two lakes. The hiking trail leads to the spooky remnants of Jasper’s shack.

After two eerie rural encounters, travel north to Saranac Lake. The community was dedicated to healing tuberculosis in the early 1900s, and many of those who were lost are reported to wander the region today. Much of the action takes place around the Hotel Saranac, which was erected in 1927.

Discover the Haunted Trail in New York State For a Perfect Road Trip

In addition to enigmatic people who vanish at will, the ghost of a cat is claimed to haunt the corridors, with several guests reporting feeling the cat rub up against them.

Continue from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid, which has three legendary hauntings. The first story you’ll hear is called “The Lady in the Lake.” Campers and boaters have continued to see the ghostly figure of Mabel Smith Douglass, the first dean of the New Jersey College for Women, who vanished in 1933 and was discovered 30 years later at the bottom of the lake, her body impressively preserved by the cold waters.

Nearby, the ancient Palace Theater is home to George, an extraordinarily boisterous — but quite friendly — ghost. You will locate him in Theater 3. Finally, Lake Placid’s oldest accommodation, the Stagecoach Inn, is reported to have a resident ghost that moves items throughout the building.

From Lake Placid, follow the eerie trail east to Lake Champlain. This lake has over 300 confirmed shipwrecks, many of which were blamed on the “Champlain Witch,” a vicious witch with an apparent grudge against sailors. However, you need to be concerned about more than simply the water. Not long ago, a couple claimed that a UFO chased them down the road before disappearing as they reached town. That same weekend, a small boy spotted a similar object in the sky, and more sightings have been reported.

The enormous Rhinelander Estate can be found in the tiny village of Lake Pleasant. Philip Rhinelander possessed the estate in the early 1800s, and he imprisoned his wife, Mary, in the main home. He allegedly poisoned her over a period of several years. The house burned down in 1875, and her ghost is said to haunt the remnants.

Where To Eat

If you have to flee from any ghosts, you will need to maintain your strength along this haunting route. Fuel up and reserve a space on the terrace at Lisa G’s in Lake Placid, where the view of the water is breathtaking, especially in the fall. For a sample of the Adirondacks’ exquisite dining, visit The View Restaurant at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa. Before heading to the dining room, relax with a cocktail in the lounge.

If you’re following the original trail route, make a stop at Sticks & Stones Wood Fired Bistro & Bar in Schroon Lake as you get close to the end. This is the spot to get a hand-stretched, wood-fired pizza, which you can eat either on the terrace or inside by the crackling stone fireplace.

Where to stay?

The Haunted Adirondack Trail will take more than seven hours by automobile, so plan to spend a night or two along the way. If you enjoy the eerie atmosphere of the Adirondacks in the fall, reserve a stay at the Hotel Saranac (on Main Street in Saranac Lake) or the old Stagecoach Inn in Lake Placid.

Not ready to be at the mercy of the resident ghosts? Book a hotel at the Whiteface Lodge or Eastwind in Lake Placid, both of which offer a decidedly eerie atmosphere.

When to Go?

The route may be enjoyed all year, although spooky locations are always more fun around Halloween, and the fall colors in the Adirondacks are absolutely magnificent, we recommend checking the Adirondack Fall Foliage Report for real-time updates on the changing leaves. Then, schedule your trip as close to Halloween as possible for maximum creep factor.


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