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The Adirondacks: Fact Sheet

Published: Feb 27, 2014

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Discover a perfect mix of wilderness and civilization amid spectacular landscapes-sky-high mountains, lush green forests and abundant waters. Just a few hours' drive from most major East Coast cities, the six-million-acre Adirondack Park is the largest natural wilderness area in the eastern US. With 46 High Peaks, over 3,000 lakes and ponds, and thousands of miles of hiking trails and canoe routes, the region is a haven for hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting and swimming in cool mountain lakes. Unique attractions include Olympic venues, world-class nature museums, historic Great Camps and luxurious four-season mountain resorts.

COUNTIES

Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Lewis, St. Lawrence (Southern), Warren

MAJOR CITIES & TOWNS

Ausable Chasm, Bolton Landing, Blue Mountain Lake, Canton, Crown Point, Glens Falls, Lake George, Lake Placid, Long Lake, Lowville, Malone, North Creek, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Saranac Lake, Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga, Warrensburg

CLIMATE

The diverse climate has four distinct seasons. Summers are comfortable and warm, with daytime temperatures averaging in the mid 70s to mid 80s (degrees F) and cooler evenings. The weather is moderately cool and sunny in springtime and autumn, when spectacular fall foliage attracts thousands of visitors. Cold, snowy winters create a wonderland of magnificent scenery in villages, resorts and ski centers.

THREE SURPRISING THINGS YOU CAN DO

1. Drive or bike along hundreds of miles of designated Adirondack Scenic Byways that lead to historic landmarks, museums and cultural centers, and through villages and towns. 

2. Scuba Diving in the St. Lawrence River offers late spring and summer adventure. Explore the wreckage of five ships: the Eastcliffe Hall, Conestoga, Fleur Marie, American and Loblaw's Wreck. Dive day or night for a sub-aquatic adventure.

3. Enjoy secluded and peaceful island camping on the Saranac Lake Islands. A state boat launch is located on Rte. 3, six miles west of Saranac Lake. Throughout the three-lake chain, there are 87 campsites and five day-use areas with fishing and picnicking.

SPORTS & OUTDOORS

The six-million-acre Adirondack Park offers a vast selection of outdoor adventures-from fishing and kayaking to rock climbing-on both public and private lands with thousands of lakes, streams and mountain trails. Places to stay range from wilderness campsites and rustic cabins, to four-star luxury resorts.

Boating and Watersports: With over 3,000 lakes and ponds, and thousands of miles of rivers, streams and canoe routes, the Adirondacks offer tame and wild adventures on the water-from tranquil cruises and swimming in cool mountain lakes, to whitewater rafting and kayaking trips with guides such as Adirondack River Outfitters in Lake Luzerne, Adventure Sports Rafting in Indian Lake, Wild Waters in Warrensburg, and the Adirondac Rafting Company and many more. The St. Regis Canoe Wilderness in the Adirondack Lakes Region offers some of the best backcountry paddling in the US, and is the only designated canoe area of its kind in New York State

Camping: The six-million-acre park offers thousands of campsites and more than 150 campgrounds-from state-owned and operated, to private campgrounds with family friendly amenities. RV camping is possible throughout the region.

The amazing range of camping experiences goes from primitive camping in the Adirondack Wild to glamour camping, called "glamping." Guests can hire a licensed guide to cater to their every whim in the wilderness; enjoy a massage by the lake, gourmet meals and even nightly entertainment. Camp Orenda in Johnsburg specializes in glamping trips for families and couples.For a more rustic experience, stay at the Adirondak Loj & Wilderness Campground, which is adjacent to High Peaks trail heads. Unique island campsites are found on the Lake George, Indian Lake and Saranac Lake Islands.

Fishing: With over 3,000 freshwater lakes, rivers, streams and ponds, the Adirondacks are a haven for both lure and fly fishing. The waters are teeming with bass, trout, perch, land-locked salmon, northern pike, muskies and walleye. The Ausable River is legendary among fly fishermen, and Lake George and Lake Champlain attract trophy fishermen from around the world. Fishing guides can help you find the best places to catch your prize fish.

Hunting: Private preserves and game farms are found throughout the region. State lands are open for hunting during the appropriate seasons. Find license and other information at The Adirondacks' regional website and http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7844.html

Golf: Choose from more than 60 challenging golf courses, some of the most beautiful in the US. Enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and lakes from the cedar-lined fairways and rolling greens of the region's signature golf courses. Some courses, such as the Craig Wood Lake Placid course, were designed by top athletes. The Lake Placid Club's Mountain Course was designed by Alistair Mackenzie, the architect of Augusta National and Cypress Point. The Saranac Inn Golf Club in Saranac Lake has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of four US courses, 100 years or older, to rate four and a half stars. Nearby, the Malone Golf Club in Malone has been called one the "Best Places to Play" by Golf Digest.

Hiking:  More than 2,000 miles of trails lead through spectacular landscapes-along forested paths, around mountain lakes, beside waterfalls and through historic villages. Trails are ideal for bird watching and spotting local wildlife. The Adirondack High Peaks trails lead to summits with 360-degree views that extend as far as the eye can see. Climbing all of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks is a lofty goal for many hikers.

Mountain and Road Biking: The region is a premier destination for mountain and road biking. Easy, moderate and advanced mountain biking trails wind through boreal forests, cross streams and navigate switch-backs. Many ski slopes in the region, such as Whiteface Mountain, offer challenging mountain bike trails off-season.

Road biking routes stretch through some of the region's most picturesque vistas-passing by lakes and mountain peaks and through pristine wilderness without leaving the road. Along the way, you'll travel through charming villages and past farmers markets-great places to stop for lunch and meet fellow road bikers.

Scenic Train Rides: Train rides offer unique views of towering peaks, rushing rivers, deep woods and wildlife. The historic Adirondack Scenic Railroad features open-air cars and themed trips such as reenactments of train robberies, wine tastings and holiday celebrations. Condé Nast Traveler recently named Amtrak's Adirondack route among the "10 Most Scenic Train Trips in North America." The Saratoga/North Creek line runs along the Hudson River to wintertime fun at Gore Mountain, as well as green-season activities like gondola rides, springtime whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and strolling North Creek's friendly Main Street.

Zipline Adventures: In Bolton Landing, the forested Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course features giant zip lines, suspended cable bridges, Tarzan jumps, nets and ladders.

Nature Centers: The Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Centers in Paul Smiths and Newcomb offer great nature-trails with signs about local wildlife and plants. Guided kayak tours, hikes and bike rides encourage visitors to explore the outdoors. The Mirror Lake Loop in Lake Placid, a 2.7-mile walk around the lake, is a favorite with locals and visitors. Nearby, Henry's Woods Nature Preserve offers a 2.5-mile loop through the forest.

State Parks: Scenic state parks-popular for camping, swimming, boating, fishing and hiking-include Ausable Point, Cumberland Bay, Macomb Reservation and Point Au Roche.

Scenic Byways: There are 14 designated New York Scenic Byways in the region. The High Peaks Scenic Byway winds past the Adirondacks' highest peaks and along waterways. It's a fantastic gateway to sites for hiking, boating, biking, rock climbing, fishing and whitewater rafting.  The Lakes to Locks Passage highlights Lake Champlain-a recreational treasure with sandy beaches and great fishing and boating, as well as historic sites.

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, at Lake George, and Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway, in Wilmington, lead to breathtaking views.

Winter Sports: Nearly a dozen ski areas offer a wide range of downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities-from family friendly to expert-only. Ski down the backcountry slides or on the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies, at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. Known as the Olympic Mountain, Whiteface hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games alpine events. Family-friendly ski areas include Gore Mountain in North Creek, West Mountain in Queensbury, and Snow Ridge in Turin, which benefits from Great Lake Ontario's lake-effect snow. Visitors can take lessons at one of the many ski resorts. Many ski areas also offer cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. State parks in the region offer ice-skating, ice-fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

ART, ARCHITECTURE & CULTURE

Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts (Blue Mountain Lake).  The Center presents concerts, art exhibits and the Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival.

Adirondack Museum (Blue Mountain Lake). Exhibits of fine art and regional crafts such as Adirondack boats, baskets and furniture document the rich heritage of the Adirondack Park.

Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls). Professional summer theater productions include new and contemporary musicals and plays.

Akwesasne Cultural Center (Hogansburg). Exhibits present Mohawk culture from the perspective of the Mohawk people of Akwesasne.

Great Camp Sagamore (Raquette Lake). Designed by Great Camp architect William West Durant in 1897, Sagamore's main lodge is considered his greatest masterpiece. Today visitors can spend the night in this magnificent structure that served as the Vanderbilt family's summer home from 1901 to 1954.

Hyde Collection (Glens Falls). The 18th-century Florentine villa exhibits art that spans 6,000 years, from antiquities to Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Rubens, to Modern artists like Picasso and Renoir. 

HISTORY

Adirondack Museum (Blue Mountain Lake). History exhibits and fine art at this acclaimed nature museum document the rich heritage of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park.

Great Camp Sagamore (Raquette Lake). Guided tours highlight the summer home and activities of the Vanderbilt family from 1901 to 1954. The main lodge, built in 1897 by Great Camp architect William West Durant, is considered his greatest masterpiece.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad (Saranac Lake/Lake Placid; Utica/Old Forge). Relive the golden age of railroading. Special excursions include staged train robberies and a magical trip to the North Pole.

Crown Point State Historic Site (Crown Point). Two 18th-century forts on Lake Champlain-Fort St. Frederick and His Majesty's Fort at Crown Point-were strategic sites during the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. 

Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga). This restored fort on Lake Champlain was a key site in the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. Costumed interpreters present guided tours, demonstrations and battle reenactments. 

Fort William Henry Museum (Lake George). The restored fortress on the edge of the village recreates Colonial days with living history demonstrations, cannon and musket drills, and tours.

John Brown Farm State Historic Site (Lake Placid). Visit the home and gravesite of the famous abolitionist John Brown.

Lake Placid Olympic Facilities & Museum (Lake Placid). The museum and hall of fame highlight heroes of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games. Bobsled runs are available at the Sports Complex.

Six Nations Indian Museum (Onchiota). Over 3,000 artifacts and story-telling lectures reflect the culture of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.

White Pine Camp (Paul Smiths). Tour the rustic yet elegant Great Camp that served as President Calvin Coolidge's Summer White House in the 1920s. White Pine now offers the historic cabins for rent, with great amenities like use of the canoes and kayaks.

Wilder Homestead (Burke). The book Farmer Boy, part of the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, tells about her husband's childhood on this farm. Tour the farmhouse, barns and museum.

FOOD & DRINK

A meal is a special occasion in diverse Adirondack pubs, bistros and restaurants. Sample regional specialties like freshly caught trout, venison and local farm-raised bison, as well as artisan cheeses, and fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. Foodies indulge their inner gourmand with haute cuisine prepared at the region's upscale resorts and other fine dining restaurants, where chefs create seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Specialties at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George pair well with their amazing craft-brewed beers made in the adjoining brewery. The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery serves pub favorites like burgers and BBQ along with award-winning beers such as Ubu Ale and the 46'er Pale Ale, named for hikers who have climbed the nearby High Peaks.

New in 2013:

The Bull House in Chestertown. Juicy Southwestern burgers and steaks, tacos, as well as specialty beers and wines, housed in the historic TJ Fish & Sons Dry Goods Store. All dinners served with chipotle corn on the cob, jalapeno cornbread, fresh cut fries and fresh cole slaw. Décor is Southwestern, featuring original wood floors, seating for 85, bar, fireplace and window seating.

The Vagabond in Glens Falls. Sophisticated food, simple prepared. 518-792-0091; 

The Downtown City Tavern in Glens Falls. Wood fired pizza, wings, antipasti, soups and salads. In the former (and historic) Boston Candy Kitchen location. 518-480-3500;

SHOPPING

The region's 100 towns and villages offer unique Adirondack shopping experiences. Shops and galleries in Bolton Landing, Jay, Keene, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake sell art, crafts and jewelry made by local artisans. The Market Barn in Malone features antiques, regional crafts and traditional Adirondack furniture. Set in a former livery building in North Creek, the Hudson River Trading Company has Adirondack furniture, antler-themed lighting, blankets and rugged outdoor clothing. Nearby, take a tour at Gore Mountain Farm Alpacas and browse the gift shop that sells super-soft sweaters, blankets and teddy bears woven with alpaca wool.

Explore 70 shops, all within a half-mile of each other, at the Factory Outlets of Lake George, offering savings of 20% to 70% off retail prices. In nearby Queensbury, Sutton's Marketplace has unique clothing, gifts, baked goods and Adirondack furniture.

LODGING

From four-diamond luxury  resorts to restored historic Adirondack Great Camps and family-friendly campgrounds, the Adirondacks offer more than 1,000 lodging options, including 143 campgrounds, throughout the 103 towns and villages.

UNIQUE LODGING

Whether you stay at a dude ranch, a cozy B&B, or a posh resort, you'll enjoy the famous Adirondack hospitality. Unique accommodations range from rustic Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark, to the stylish Lake Placid Lodge-named one of the world's best hotels by Travel + Leisure. The historic Adirondak Loj at Heart Lake offers a total wilderness experience amid a vast spread of woodlands, lakes and mountains. Trailheads on the property access the magnificent Adirondack High Peaks.

Other unique places to stay include:

  • 1000 Acres Ranch Resort, in Stony Creek;
  • The Alpine Homestead, in Olmstedville;
  • Bathhouse Woodworks, in Lake Clear;
  • Blue Water Manor, in Bolton Landing;
  • Boathouse B&B, in Bolton Landing;
  • Champlain Vistas B&B, in Willsboro;
  • Cornerstone Victorian B&B, in Warrensburg;
  • Elk Lake Lodge, in North Hudson;
  • Falls Brook Yurts, in Minerva;
  • Flat Brook Inn, in Lowville;
  • The Inn at Erlowest, in Lake George;
  • Old Church Inn, in Turin;
  • Prospect Point Cottages, in Blue Mountain;
  • Ridin-Hy Ranch Resort, in Warrensburg;
  • Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark, at Lake George;
  • Timberview, in Turin;
  • Trail's End Campground, in Cold Brook;
  • The Whiteface Lodge Resort & Spa, in Lake Placid
  • New for 2013: Hampton Inn in Lake Placid

OTHER SELECTED ATTRACTIONS

Adirondack High Peaks (Lake Placid). Hike to the summit of one or more of the 46 peaks (all are over 4,000 feet high) for breathtaking views.

Adirondack Park Visitor Interpretive Centers (Newcomb and Paul Smiths). Family-friendly activities include guided wildlife walks and campfires.  

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino (Hogansburg). The casino has over 1,600 gaming machines and table games as well as several restaurants and a sports bar.

Ausable Chasm (Ausable Chasm). Scenic raft and tube adventures float through a maze of rock formations. Self-guided walking tours follow nature trails past wild waterfalls and gorges.

Balloon Flights over Lake George (Lake George). Several companies, including A Beautiful Balloon and Adirondack Balloon Flights, offer hot-air balloon rides with magnificent views.

Gore Mountain (North Creek). This ski resort offers hiking and mountain biking off-season, when the Northwoods Gondola provides access to mountain bike terrain and scenic views. 

High Falls Gorge (Wilmington). Take in spectacular views of the Ausable River and gorge along a half-mile path of walkways. Guided tours are available.

Lake George Cruises (Lake George). Scenic, narrated cruises offered by Lake George Shoreline Cruises and the Lake George Steamboat Company offer dining options.

Santa's Workshop (North Pole). Children of all ages love the rides and entertainment in North Pole Village, where the magic of Santa Claus reigns year-round.  

Six Flags Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom (Lake George). Choose from more than 125 rides, shows and attractions, including six roller coasters and a giant waterpark.

Whiteface Lake Placid Ski Center & Gondola (Wilmington). The eight-passenger Cloudsplitter, called the most scenic gondola in North America, travels to the top of Little Whiteface in less than 15 minutes.

The Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (Tupper Lake). Guided hikes, hands-on exhibits and encounters with live animals highlight the region's ecology.

MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS

  • Lake George Winter Carnival (February) 
  • Saranac Lake Winter Carnival (February) 
  • Maple Weekend (March)
  • Hudson River Whitewater Derby (May)
  • LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival (May-June)
  • Americade Motorcycle Touring Rally (June)
  • Lake Placid Film Forum (June)
  • Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival (July-August)
  • Fort Ticonderoga Battle Reenactment (July)
  • I Love NY Horse Show (July)
  • Ironman USA Lake Placid (July)
  • Adirondack Balloon Festival (September)
  • Lake George Jazz Weekend (September)
  • Warrensburg World's Largest Garage Sale (September/October)

CONVENTION CENTERS

  • Conference Center at Lake Placid
  • Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake
  • Roaring Brook Ranch Resort and Conference Center in Lake George
  • Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center in Lake George
  • Adirondack Conference Center at the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid        
  • The Georgian Resort in Lake George        
  • Lake George Conference Center & Meeting Space in Lake George        
  • High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid        
  • Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club        
  • Northwoods Inn & Resort in Lake Placid 

TRANSPORTATION

Land:

3. 5 - 6 hour from NYC

6 - 8 hours from Niagara Falls

1 -3 hours from Montreal

Accessible by rail on AMTRAK

Air: 

Plattsburgh International Airport

Burlington, VT; Albany, NY and Montreal, Quebec airports are nearby

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more ideas and information, visit iloveny.com or The Adirondacks' regional website: http://visitadirondacks.com

CONTACT: 

Melanie Klausner
M. SILVER - A Division of Finn Partners
(212)-754-6500, ext. 243
Melanie.Klausner@finnpartners.com

Eric Scheffel
Empire State Development
(518) 292-5274
escheffel@esd.ny.gov

Ronald Ofner
Adirondack Region Tourism Council
(518) 597-3588
ron@adk.com

Rebecca Steffan
Inphorm PR
(518) 523-9258
Rebecca@inphorminc.com

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