Adirondacks, NY

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 for hikes' distance and duration, and 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.
Rank           Mountain  Elevation
 Climbed on
 1  Marcy 5344
 2  Algonquin 5114
 3  Haystack 4960
 4  Skylight  4926
 5  Whiteface  4867 8.2011
 6  Dix  4857  
 7  Gray  4840
 8  Iroquois Peak  4840
 9  Basin      4827  
 10  Gothics  4736  
 11  Colden  4714  
 12  Giant  4627
 13  Nippletop  4620
 14  Santanoni  4607  
 15  Redfield  4606
 16  Wright Peak  4580  
 17  Saddleback  4515  
 18   Panther  4442  
 19   TableTop  4427  
 20  Rocky Peak  4420  
 21  Macomb  4405  
 22  Armstrong  4400  
 23  Hough  4400  
 24  Seward  4361  
 25  Marshall  4360  
 26  Allen  4340  
 27  Big Slide  4240  
 28   Esther  4240 8.2011 
 29  Upper Wolf Jaw  4185  
 30  Lower Wolf Jaw   4175  
 31  Street  4166  
 32  Phelps  4161 8.2011
 33  Donaldson  4140  
 34  Seymour  4120  
 35  Sawteeth              4100  
 36  Cascade   4098  8.2010 
 37   South Dix   4060   
 38   Porter   4059  8.2010 
 39  Colvin   4057   
 40   Emmons  4040   
 41   Dial   4020  
 42   East Dix   4012   
 43   Blake Peak   3960   
 44   Cliff   3960   
 45   Nye   3895   
 46   Couchsachraga   3820   
   MacNaughton  4000  

Last Modified: 8/25/2011