Explore New York State's Adirondack Park

North America - Editor - 03 May 2013

Explore New York State's Adirondack Park

Covering an area of more than six million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest National Historic Landmark in the United States, and the nation's largest state-protected area. The boundary of the park includes the Adirondack Mountain range and falls entirely within the state of New York, encompassing all or part of the counties of Essex, Hamilton, Clinton, Franklin, Herkimer, Fulton, St Lawrence, Warren, Lewis, Saratoga, Oneida and Washington. It is estimated that between seven and ten million tourists visit the park each year, with around 200,000 people being seasonal residents and about 130,000 people living permanently in the park's many small villages and hamlets.

With more than three thousand lakes and up to thirty thousand miles of rivers and streams, this well-watered region includes a network of over two thousand miles of hiking and walking trails. Although up to fifty-five percent of the park’s land is either wilderness or privately-owned, with the balance being state-owned, there is seldom any clear distinction between privately-owned and state-owned land, with visitors generally being able to explore the park at leisure.

There are more than thirty golf courses within the borders of the Adirondack Park, as well as two museums – the Wild Center and the Adirondack Museum – and a Visitors' Center. Located in the Blue Mountain Lake hamlet in Hamilton County, the Adirondack Museum is housed in what was previously a summer resort hotel built in 1876. In addition to displaying artifacts, fine art, photographs and archival materials detailing the history of the region, the museum hosts special events, workshops, classes and field trips. The museum is also involved in archeological exploration such as the 1963-1964 Wiawaka Bateaux project to research the fleet of seven British boats scuttled during the French and Indian Wars of 1758. The boats remain submerged and the area is now on the US National Register of Historic Places.

Located on the edge of Tupper Lake, the Wild Center is a natural history center in an indoors/outdoors setting. The Wild Center cares for live animals and incorporates trails, streams, ponds and exhibits that form part of the learning experience. Daily trail walks are offered and visitors can enjoy a canoe trip on the river that flows through the campus. The US Green Building Council has awarded the center a silver LEED award for its eco-friendly aspects, the details of which can be viewed at the center.


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