The Adirondack Park is the largest park preserve in the U. S. comprising 6 million acres or 9,375 square miles. It’s as large as Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Everglades, Great Smoky National Park and the Grand Canyon, all wrapped into one. It’s larger than the state of New Hampshire.
On May 15, 1885, the Forest Preserve was created by the legislature that the Adirondacks “be forever wild.” In 1894, protection was guaranteed by a state constitution amendment to preserve the state’s water supply and other valuable resources because of over-harvesting timber. It originally encompassed 7 counties but now bisects 10 of the region’s 13 counties and many of its 106 towns and villages. It contains 5,000 square miles of forests, lakes and mountains, occupying 1/5 of New York State’s land area.
The Adirondack Park is a vacation haven for more than 10 million people who come each year to hike over 2,000 miles of trails, ski and snowmobile hundreds of miles of trails, and camp at 42 state campgrounds. There are 46 mountain peaks over 4,000 feet high (referred to as the “High Peaks”) that cover over 1,200 square miles of the northeast sector and some rugged peaks rise up a mile high including 9 Alpine summits. The bedrock of these mountains is estimated to be 1.2 billion years old. The highest mountain in NY State is Mt. Marcy at 5,344 feet, one of those High Peaks.
There are 2,759 lakes and ponds and more than 1,500 miles of rivers that are fed by 30,000 miles of streams and brooks. The park contains the headwaters for the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, as well as the Black, St. Lawrence and Mohawk Rivers.
The Adirondack is an adventure that awaits you in the “North Country.” All you need is to do is capture it.