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About The Adirondacks


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Adirondack Statistics

  • Adirondack State Park - 6 Million Acres
  • Adirondack Forest Preserve - 2.3 Million Acres
  • 8,000 Sq. miles of mountains
  • 2,000 miles of foot trails
  • 240 lean-tos
  • 35 campsites
  • 200 lakes at least a square mile area
  • There are over 2,000 high peak mountains
  • There are over 40 high peak mountains over 4,000 feet
  • The highest peak is Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet
  • There are over 50 species of animals
  • Over 220 Birds Over 30 species of reptiles and amphibians
  • 66 species of fish
  • Over 2,300 lakes and ponds
  • 1,500 miles of rivers
  • 30,000 miles of brooks and streams

    Hiking in the Adirondack Region

    LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The Adirondack region of New York boasts over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, leading to beautiful lakes, rivers and mountain summits. It is the largest hiking trail system in the nation, providing visitors with great access to the Adirondack wilderness.

    There are numerous access points for hiking along the region's scenic byways. The trailheads are clearly marked by signs along the road, while the various roadside lots provide ample parking, allowing hikers to stop their car and begin their adventure.

    The Adirondack region includes the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park, surrounding countryside and the western shore of Lake Champlain. The region is well-known for its mountains, with 42 peaks over 4,000 feet in height, enticing travelers from all over the world.

    Hikers in the Adirondack region will discover trails suited to all abilities and interests. There are hundreds of easy hikes to small mountains with incredible views suitable for families with children. Those intent on finding solitude may spend a week backpacking in the wilderness; while hikers who are hoping for a real challenge may climb the region's High Peaks.

    The High Peaks region presents endless possibilities for hiking enthusiasts. One hundred of the region's mountains are higher than 3,000 feet. Mount Marcy is the highest peak in New York at over 5,300 feet, with several different routes to the summit, making it a very popular destination for hikers.

    Many area hikers prefer Algonquin Peak, the other Adirondack peak over 5,000 feet. This is a challenging climb with views of the High Peaks at the summit. Cascade and Porter both measure just over 4,000 feet. These are the easiest High Peaks hikes and they provide very rewarding views for the effort. They are also very popular hikes; so don't expect to be alone.

    The Adirondacks are most famous for the High Peaks, but the area offers so much more. Few hikers are aware that there are over 2 million additional acres that have trails, lakes and mountains to explore in areas that are much less crowded than the High Peaks region. The southern and western Adirondacks are areas that has been somewhat forgotten by hikers who often head directly for the High Peaks. As a result, the trails in these areas are free of other hikers; in fact, hikers in these regions may never encounter another person during their outing. Suitable for beginners, the smaller mountains and easy trails in the area provide opportunities for families and less experienced day hikers. Although the mountains are much smaller, wonderful views of the High Peaks can be found from the summits.

    One of the most interesting and perhaps least known features of the Adirondack region is the 133-mile continuous wilderness footpath, the Northville – Placid Trail. The trail connects the Adirondack foothills in the south with the High Peaks region to the north. Lakes, ponds and streams are met at every turn as the trail passes along valleys, ridges and mountaintops. The trail runs in a north-south direction and the degree of ascent is not difficult for a hiker in moderately good condition. An average hiker with backcountry experience should plan on about 8-11 days to make the trip, though the trail could be traveled in sections by hikers on overnight trips.

    The Adirondack Regional Tourism Council can provide information about hiking in the region. For a copy of Adirondack Great Walks and Day Hikes, contact the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council at 800-487-6867, or visit
    www.Adirondacks.org.


    Some Items Needed for a Day Hike

    Comfortable, sturdy shoes or hiking boots
    Daypack
    Water
    Wool socks
    Extra food
    Compass / maps
    Knife / multipurpose tool
    Flashlight
    Lightweight rain jacket
    Fleece jacket
    First aid kit
    Waterproof matches
    Hat / sunglasses
    Don't forget your camera!


    Basic Rules for Hiking and Camping in the Adirondack region

    The rules associated with using Department of Environmental Conservation managed public lands in New York state for recreational purposes are relatively simple and straightforward:

    ˇHiking and backcountry camping are allowed on Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack Park;
    ˇGenerally, camping is prohibited on Unique Areas, Wildlife Management Areas and other categories of state land;
    ˇHiking is generally permitted anywhere but special requirements apply to mountain biking and horseback riding;
    ˇCamping is prohibited within 150 feet of roads, trails, lakes, ponds, streams or other bodies of water;
    ˇLean-tos are available in many areas on a first come first served basis. Lean-tos cannot be used exclusively and must be shared with other campers;
    ˇCarry out what you carry in. Practice "leave no trace" camping;
    ˇRemoving plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land without a permit is illegal.


    Hiking Resources

    Park-Wide Emergency Dispatch
    518-891-0235

    Department of Environmental Conservation
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    518-897-1200

    The High Peaks Region is the territory of the "46ers" – a loosely organized club of those who've climbed the 46 highest Adirondack peaks. You don't join the Forty-Sixers, you become one by climbing these peaks. Your climbs must be reported to the Adirondack Forty-Sixer Historian.

    The Office of the Historian
    Adirondack Forty-Sixers
    P.O. Box 9046
    Schenectady, NY 12309-0046