Located in the north of New York state, the Adirondack Park is a large protected area and one of the most spectacular natural attractions of the state. Spanning more than 6 million acres (2.5 million hectares), the Adirondack Park is unique in several ways. Unlike most other preserves, most of the park (about 52%) is actually privately owned. The area also contains over a hundred towns and villages where some 132,000 people have their permanent, year-round residence. Created in 1892 by the State of New York, the park is now the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, attracting about 10 million tourists and 200,000 seasonal residents every year. In fact, the inclusion of human communities makes the park one of the greatest experiments in conservation in the industrialized world. If you have not been to this amazing place, you should keep on reading because today´s post will show you 25 reasons that this park is a fantastic place to visit. No matter what season you are going to visit, the Adirondack Park has a lot to offer all year round. From its breathtaking scenery and popular hiking trails to its great museums, breweries, and wineries, here are 25 Reasons The Adirondack Park Is A Great Place To Visit.
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With its massive 6 million acres, the Adirondack Park is larger than several US National Parks combined. However, since it is not a National Park, there is no entry fee.
Another benefit of not being a National Park, the Adirondack Park does not close at the end of the day. It is open to public non-stop, every day, all year round.
Situated in Upstate New York, the park lies within a day’s drive for much of the Northeastern US, as well as Ontario and Quebec. It takes just about 4 hours to get there from NYC. Moreover, Lake Placid, the main town of the park, is easily reachable by a train or bus.
The Adirondack Park boasts an incredible 3,000 lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles (48,300 kilometers) of rivers and streams, which makes it a perfect place for canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports.
There are many high peaks in the park, offering stunning views of local landscape. Mount Marcy, the highest peak of the park as well as of the entire New York state, reaches an impressive height of 5,343 feet (1,629 meters).
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The Adirondack Park is home to numerous animal species including many birds and over 50 mammals. You can encounter moose, foxes, otters, black bears, beavers, bobcats, and many other wild animals.
Plants & wildflowers
Botany fans will not come up short in the park either. In spring and summer, local alpine meadows, fields, and forests burst into bloom. In fall, visitors from around the world come to the park to enjoy the spectacular fall foliage.
The Adirondack Park is not just about nature though. As surprising as it might be, it is also home to a number of award-winning microbreweries offering family-friendly dining and a new generation of delicious craft beers.
Those who prefer wine to beer will certainly appreciate the park´s wineries. Touted as North America’s newest up and coming wine region, the Adirondack Coast even offers a whole wine trail that will take you on a tour offering local specialty wines.
The Adirondack Park has something for everybody, including divers. You can experience the thrill of diving to sunken shipwrecks in the Adirondack Seaway near the Canadian Border.
History fans cannot miss out on the Fort Ticonderoga, a stone fort built by the French in 1755. One of the most significant and oldest historic sites in North America, the fort tells the story of how the armies of Great Britain and France struggled to control the continent.
Interested in other breathtaking parks? Check out 25 Most Incredible National Parks On Earth.
The Adirondack Park also features several great museums. Likened to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., the Adirondack Museum is located at the center of the park, offering both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
The center of the Adirondack Park, Lake Placid is home to about 2,500 inhabitants. The picturesque town is famous for hosting two Winter Olympics (1932 and 1980). Thanks to that, there are ski jumps, bob sleigh runs, and ice hockey rinks all set up for fun times.
The Adirondack Park is a hiking hotspot, and if you are good enough, you can even become a member of the Forty-Sixers Club. The Forty-Sixers is a prestigious club of hikers who have climbed all 46 of the park´s highest peaks traditionally recognized as the Adirondack High Peaks.
Choice of accommodation
There are numerous accommodations in the park ranging in price as well as in style – from simple cabins and hunting lodges to luxury villas and hotels.
Once used by the local authorities as fire, safety, and observation lookouts, the famed fire towers of the Adirondacks became popular tourist attractions, offering superb views of the park.
If you rent a boat, you can navigate the Adirondack Seaway to get to the Singer Castle, a prominent feature of the area and a famous historic landmark open to public.
The Adirondack Park proudly offers as many as 60 challenging golf courses where you can play your favorite game. These golf courses are some of the most beautiful in the country.
If you crave real, crowd-free wilderness, head out to the Forest Preserve. A part of the Adirondack Park, this area is required to be kept “forever wild” by Article 14 of the New York State Constitution, and thus enjoys the highest degree of protection.
Every year, snow turns the park into all winter sport fans´ heaven. The local mountainous landscape features a number of great cross-country skiing trails, ski slopes, snowmobile tracks, etc.
In summer, the park attracts thousands of campers. They can use designated campsites, picnic tables, charcoal grills, public restrooms, shower facilities, and even swimming areas with lifeguards.
The Adirondack Park is crisscrossed by miles of scenic byways. From the award-winning Lake to Locks Passage along Lake Champlain to the deep forests and winding whitewater of the Black River, get ready to enjoy some of the most picturesque roadways in the world.
Viewing the natural beauty of the park might be even more enjoyable from horseback. Saddle Up Stables have beautiful, well-kept, and well-trained horses ready to take you on an unforgettable ride.
As the park is teeming with aquatic life, fishing – whether with a lure or fly – is a passion here. Bass, trout, walleyes, land-locked salmon, northern pike, and muskies are only part of the fishing roster here. However, fishing is strictly regulated to avoid over-fishing of the area.
Music fans should not miss out on any of the concerts and music festivals that are held in several places across the park including Mirror Lake, Mid´s Park in Lake Placid, or Lake Champlain.
If you enjoyed this list, you need to take a look at these 25 Unbelievable Photographs Of National Parks Around The World.