The best view in New York State is several hours north of the city and 5,344 feet up, atop Mount Marcy, in the Adirondacks. The ascent is a challenge, but any weekend warrior in reasonably good physical shape will be up to it. Leave your ropes and pitons at home; just be ready to lug a backpack over well-marked trails, through muddy passes, and across an occasional stream. The sixteen-mile round-trip can, theoretically, be done in a day, but I prefer a more leisurely trek. With four friends, full packs, and a well-worn copy of 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks, I spent two nights and three days hiking and camping on the mountain. If you’d rather not tackle Marcy on your own, experienced guides are available. Twenty-year veteran Wayne Failing runs Middle Earth Expeditions, which offers guided day and overnight trips. He’ll take care of all the details and provide most supplies, including tents, food, and other camping gear. He’ll even cook for you and clean up afterward.
DETAILS Middle Earth Expeditions (518-523-9572; www.adirondackrafting.com; guided day trip, $200 for two; overnights, $500 for two).