The Adirondack Park is a favorite destination year round for its wonderful outdoor sports, and breathtaking views. In autumn those views are all the more awe inspiring as the trees change from green to an array of vibrant hues.
The park encompasses much of the northeastern portion of Upstate New York, covering 6.1 million acres that includes the entirety of the Adirondack Mountain Range, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, over 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 1.3 million acres of forest. The park is roughly the same size as the state of Vermont, and more than three times the size of Yellowstone National Park.
There are roughly 130,000 year round residents in the dozens of villages and hamlets littered throughout the park.
New York State owns approximately 45% of the park, though there is no large difference between the state owned and non state owned portions. A large portion of the park has been deemed “forever wild” meaning it cannot be developed.
Serious efforts to protect the area began in the late 1800’s, when logging was becoming more widespread, and many people became concerned about the effects it would have. In 1892, the Adirondack State Park was created.
The park has over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, and is the largest trail system in the country. Though much of the land is wilderness, it is speckled with portions of privately owned land. Inns, lodges, and restaurants are easy to come by. This unique combination of public and private land not only give the Adirondacks a feel very different from other national parks, but set an interesting model for how human populations can exist in natural areas.
Most people would associate the Adirondack with high mountain peaks, but much of it is made up of sloping hills, lakes, and rivers. The exception, of course, is Blue Mountain, which juts up high above everything that surrounds it. The amazing view from the top is unforgettable.
Currently there are several ongoing efforts to reintroduce native fauna to the park which were lost during periods of exploitation. These include the moose, the fisher, the American marten, the Canadian lynx, the osprey, and the American beaver.
The Adirondack Park is an amazing place to visit in Autumn. Watch the season change from summer to autumn before your very eyes in the place with the longest fall foliage season in the northeast.
There are many ways to access the Adirondack Park, depending on which area you wish to access. The southern side is closer to major cities, and is north of I-90. The eastern side of the park can be accessed via the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Take Amtrak’s Adirondack Route to reach Lake Champlain, or the Adirondack Scenic Railroad from Utica to reach Lake Placid. You can also fly into Adirondack Regional Airport, or Plattsburgh International Airport with several major airlines, or charter a flight directly into Lake Placid.