Adirondack Mountains, New York © R khot
The Adirondack Park begins 150 miles (241km) north of
New York City and covers an area larger than the Grand Canyon and
Yellowstone National Parks combined. This 2 million hectare (6
million acre) wilderness is full of natural attractions and
Thousands of miles of streams and rivers cross the
park, attracting canoeists and kayakers, and the hundreds of lakes
and glassy ponds are ideal for boating, windsurfing and swimming.
There is also good fishing, particularly salmon, trout, and pike,
but summer flies can be a nuisance.
The Adirondack Mountains are among the highest and
most dramatic in the eastern United States. In the summer they
attract hikers, horse riders, and rock climbers, and in winter
there are about nine ski resorts operating.
The best ski resort in the region is Whiteface, nine
miles (14km) northeast of Lake Placid, which has some challenging
skiing and spectacular views, but visitors should be aware of the
icy winds which regularly whip up the valley.
Lake Placid is a major cross-country skiing
destination with 283 miles (455km) of trails and has plenty of
other activities including ice skating, tobogganing, and
bobsleighing, a must for braver visitors. Some ski lifts remain
open in the summer months, ideal for idle mountain bikers.
Saranac Lake is a quintessential American small town
with a quaint atmosphere and historic buildings, while Ticonderoga
is home to a Revolutionary War fort and museum. Elizabethtown and
Chester are laidback resort towns, and Old Forge is a good base for
exploring the Mohawk Valley and Northern Forest Canoe Trail.