The Adirondack Park is located in the northeast region of NY and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous US. The park contains the entire Adirondack Mountain range and thousands of streams, rivers and brooks. The most popular lake is Lake Placid, adjacent to the village that housed the Winter Olympics twice (1932 and 1980). The park is also where the Hudson river originates.
My first trip to the Adirondacks was in 2008, when I joined my coworkers on a hiking and camping trip. Since then, I've visited the park at least once a year.
Hiking enthusiasts climb the 46 High Peaks, which originally believed to comprise peaks higher than 4000 ft (there are 4 under the elevation and one wasn't included today). When they finish climbing all 46 peaks, they can apply for the Adirondack Forty-Sixers (ADK 46R) memberships. If they are even ambitious and have climbed all peaks during the winter, they can become the Winter 46ers.
There are many villages and townships visitors can stay. Some of the popular sites are Adirondack Loj, Lake Placid village and Keene Valley. These sites have cabins, cottages, inns and hotels that offer beautiful views of the park. In addition, visitors can camp in the numerous camping sites around the park. They are cheaper alternatives and provide clean amenities and camping grounds. Some of the campgrounds are located close to the trail heads. Hikers can backpack and set up camp in the many lean-to or camp grounds located deep in the woods.
Besides climbing the High Peaks, visitors can embark on easier hikes to smaller mountains, waterfalls, lakes, etc in the park. They can rent kayaks or canoes and spend a few hours on the lakes and rivers. In addition, visitors can bike or run along the winding roads and enjoy the crisp air and foliage. If one prefers less-strenuous physical activities, there are museums, shops, etc that one can venture in.
Adirondack Park is home to many wildlife and plants. Deer wander in and out the roads (beware while driving!), birds flock in trees and skies, bugs and insects dwell among us. If you are fortunate (or not?), you may spot a black bear. Visitors can enjoy the bountiful maple, white pine, pine, white cedar, spruce, beech, etc trees. They are a sight to behold in the fall! On occasions, one may spot wild berries growing in the woods.
Since the park is preserved and home to multiple wild lives, visitors must abide to the strict rules and regulations. Firewood cannot be transported from more than 50 miles. If so, it must be heat treated. This is to stop the the spread of tree-killing beetles such as the emerald ash borer. Extra caution must be taken when camping and cooking food in the forest. Black bears are intelligent creatures and they should not be fed or enticed. Most trails and campgrounds practice "leave no trace" - carry out what you carry in.
The following are good sites to read more about hiking in the ADK:
ADK 46ers, Adirondack.net for hikes' distance and duration, and Alavigne.net for in-depth info on hikes.
Below are the list of the 46 High Peaks. The "Climbed on M.Year" column indicates the mountains I have climbed using designated trails.
Last Modified: 8/25/2011