Heart Lake is an Adirondack destination for thousands of visitors each year. Its proximity to the High Peaks Wilderness allows hikers easy access to the trails leading to a large number of the Adirondack High Peaks. Some other destinations include the MacIntyre Range, the Mount Colden Trap Dike, Avalanche Lake, Marcy Dam, the Flowed Lands, Mount Jo and Rocky Falls.
Heart Lake also possesses a wilderness campground with 32 sites, 16 lean-tos and six canvas cabins. The campsites and lean-tos are available year round. Visitors can also stay at the Adirondak Loj, which can accommodate up to 38 guests in a variety of rooms. Additionally, there are three cabins located on the property that are available. The Loj, cabins and campgrounds are owned and operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club.
Heart Lake is open for swimming, fishing and paddling. A number of classes and programs are also available for campers or day use visitors.
For those seeking a great view on one of the smaller mountains, Mount Jo offers scenic sights of Heart Lake and the High Peaks from its 2,876-foot summit. There are two trails leading up Mount Jo. The first is a mellow 1.3-mile hike, and the other is a steeper, rougher 1.1-mile trail. Visitors can also hike to Mount Van Hoevenberg, site of the Olympic bobsled run and training facility and a stunning view of the High Peaks Wilderness.
When arriving, visitors must check-in to the High Peaks Information Center to pay the parking fee and obtain a parking permit for the lot. The center also offers hiking gear, bear canister rentals, clothing, and books. A restroom is available as well. Due to the high volume of visitors in the summer, it is best to arrive early in the morning to get a parking spot.