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  • Second Pond part of the Saranac Lake Chain, Adirondacks Second Pond part of the Saranac Lake Chain, Adirondacks

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Spotlight: The Adirondacks

Adirondack Park is a gift to all who discover it.

Great visionaries from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Henry David Thoreau have drawn inspiration from the forest canopy of the Adirondacks, writing of its enchanted mountain peaks and igniting passions to explore the depths of nature. Larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon combined, the Adirondacks are a natural splendor that promises adventure. Crest any of the 46 High Peaks to see why this park is deemed "forever wild," stroll charming villages to feel warmth and liveliness in the farm-to-fork restaurants, or explore historic fortresses that take you through the centuries. You'll find a lot to love in the Adirondacks.

Note: When visiting, remember to keep six feet apart from others not in your party and wear a mask or face covering, and call ahead or check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available while staying as local as possible.

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Three Things You Can't Miss

Observatory deck designed to look like a nest at Wild Center and Wild Walk in the Adirondacks

Wild Center and Wild Walk

The 115-acre Wild Center is a natural history museum that draws you into the vast beauty of Adirondack Park and brings a new perspective to nature. Don't miss the museum's Wild Walk treetop trail, where you can get a bird's-eye view of the Adirondacks while walking through the network of bridges, a giant woven "spider's web," and an observatory deck designed like a nest.

Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum

Winter Olympic Experiences

Home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is a hotspot where you can tour the Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame (pre-purchased tickets required), ride up in the air on the Cloudsplitter Gondola to Little Whiteface and take in the bird's eye view soaring over streams, ski trails, steep rock faces and thick forests, test your adrenaline on the Sky Flyer Zipline, and much more. 

Adirondack High Peaks 9

46 High Peaks

Summit any of the 46 High Peaks, look down on hidden lakes and granite rock faces, and absorb the beauty of Adirondack Park that is "forever wild." Mt. Marcy (pictured) in Lake Placid is the highest in the state at 5,344 feet. Beginners may enjoy Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain, also in Lake Placid. Climbers who have conquered all the peaks are recognized as the Adirondack 46ers.

family fun

High Falls Gorge

High Falls Gorge

Beautiful waterfalls are that much closer at High Falls Gorge, where kid-friendly trails bring you to four waterfalls on a 22-acre nature preserve. Providing safe, easy access for visitors of all ages, this park is perfect for scenic walks, picnics, and views of the Ausable River as it cascades over granite cliffs and into the ancient gorge. Have a casual lunch onsite at the River View Cafe.

Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course

Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course

If you've ever dreamed of flying or jumping from branch to branch like a bird or a forest animal, the skilled team at Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course near Lake George is here to help! Reserve your time online and get up in the air with the tree-top challenge obstacle course, six aerial adventure courses, zip lines, jumps, rope swings, slides, and ladders—it's a thrill for the whole family.

Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park

Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park

Take the family to visit the largest marble stone entrance of the east and a natural wonder of the Adirondacks! At Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park, you can go on a self-guided tour and walk the above-ground nature trail with the family and view waterfalls and gorges, then have fun at the 18-hole disc golf course, or purchase tour tickets and take the kids gemstone mining.

 

spend the day


Ausable Chasm
Ausable Chasm Falls - Photo by Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau

Wrapping along the shores of Lake Champlain, the Adirondack Coast is New York's eastern treasure, home to geologic wonders, waterfront retreats, and civil history. Head to Plattsburgh City Beach, one of the largest freshwater beaches in America, for sandy shores, kayaking, and sweeping views of Lake Champlain. Crest the waves with your rental canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard from Adirondack River Rentals—it's a fun way to get out on the lake.

Fed by Rainbow Falls to the south, Ausable Chasm is one of Earth's true beauties and a must-see when visiting the region. Hike the Inner Sanctum Trail and look straight into the 150-foot sandstone gorge, walk Elephant's Head Vista to view the plunging waterfall, or float down the deep canyon river with a skilled tour guide. Right next door, you'll find the Ausable Chasm campground featuring tent sites and cabins for rent, plus North Star Underground Railroad Museum. The museum explores the history of the Champlain Line, which led people to freedom by steamboats and canal boats on their journeys north.

spend the weekend

Lake George Steamboat Company

Saturday

Cruise beautiful Lake George with the Lake George Steamboat Company. Offering scenic cruises around the southern basin, islands, and Paradise Bay, it's the best way to experience the lake's natural beauty and still have time for a full day of activities. An Adirondack icon since its establishment in 1817, the historic steamboat also offers special entertainment, moonlight cruises, and meals on the water. For a bird's-eye view of the lake, check out Parasailing Adventures, where you can fly two or three people at a time, guided by a professional crew.

Explore Lake George Village, lined with restaurants and boutiques; the area's down-to-earth vibe blends with its vibrant downtown to create a charming mountain community. Check out specialty shops, dine by the marina, then walk to Shepard Park or Million Dollar Beach for sandy shores, picnicking, and swimming. You'll also find family-friendly activities and nightlife. 

Hyde Collection exterior

Sunday

Visit The Hyde Collection Art Museum and Historic House, a fine arts museum with a range of collections from Renaissance paintings to contemporary photography as well as work by Picasso, van Gogh, and Rafael. Set in the Hyde House, a restored 20th-century mansion listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, the museum is known for its unique displays and devotion to cultural education.

Enjoy lunch, craft beer, and a tour at Davidson Brothers Brewing Company. Home to the only brick kettle brew system in New York, the brewpub is serving up a variety of in-house ales including their signature IPA and Oatmeal Stout.

If you're a shopaholic, head to the Factory Outlets of Lake George, just 15 minutes from downtown Glens Falls, for top brands at a price that won't break your wallet.

spend the week

Great Camp Sagamore

Monday

Inspired by W.H.H. Murray's novel Adventures in the WildernessAdirondack Great Camps were designed to blend into their natural surroundings, offering rustic yet luxurious retreats for the Gilded Age elite. Today, they dot the northern landscape, offering windows into the wealth and charm of Adirondack Rustic. Many of these structures are still privately owned, but a few are open to the public through professional guided tours. Sign up for The Gilded Age Tour, where you'll explore extravagant 19th-century luxury lodges and historic landmarks including Great Camp Sagamore (pictured), Raquette Lake, and The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (which you can experience virtually this year). 

Olympic Jumping Complex, Lake Placid, Essex County- Adirondack Region

Tuesday

Visit the Olympic Museum, an homage to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, both held in Lake Placid. Take in panoramic views of the High Peaks at the top of the Jumping Complex. If the weather is right, water ski, wakeboard, wakesurf, or tube on Lake Placid with ADK aquatics or rent rowboats, canoes, paddle boats, sailboats, electric boats, and stand-up paddleboards from Mirror Lake Boat Rentals for adventures on nearby Mirror Lake.

For a family-friendly hike, try Mt. Jo, where even the littlest of hikers will be rewarded with stunning views for just a bit of effort. Families with young kids should expect the 2.6-mile roundtrip walk to take about two and a half hours. Other options for families include hikes at Cobble Hill and Copperas Pond.

Cloudsplitter Gondola at Whiteface Mountain

Wednesday

Head to Wilmington, home of Whiteface Mountain, and see the beauty of the Adirondacks unfold as you ride the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the top of Little Whiteface. If you're looking for views on foot, hike the Whiteface Mountain Summit Trail. The terrain is challenging but the views are worth the journey—hikers be wary, this trail is not meant for young kids.

Stroll the paths and walkways at High Falls Gorge to view four spectacular waterfalls toward the base of Whiteface Mountain.

The tree-top view of the Wild Walk Center

Thursday

Experience the mountains from the treetop canopy walk at The Wild Center and Wild Walk. Experience the Wild Walk's elevated walkway above the forest featuring a four-story twig tree house, swinging bridges, a giant nest, and a spider's web made of sturdy rope that allows you to float above the trees. 

Can't get enough of nature? Without leaving the 155-acre Wild Center grounds, you can canoe or paddleboard on the tranquil Raquette River. Or if you want to go for a more serious hike, go offsite to nearby Mt. Arab and climb the fire tower for spectacular mountain views!

 

View of Algonquin, Mount Marcy High Peak area from Lake Placid,  Essex County- Adirondack Region

Friday

View the Adirondacks from the sky with SunKiss Ballooning, a beloved hot air balloon company that flies at sunrise and sunset. It's a scenic adventure perfect for two people or large groups.

If you're with the kids, hike Prospect Mountain, One of the most accessible Adirondack trails, it offers broad views of Lake George and beginner-level trails that everyone can enjoy. For a greater challenge, the High Peaks region boasts 46 mountain tops above 4,000 feet—making this a backpacker's paradise and one of the greatest wildernesses on the East Coast. Home to Mount Marcy and Gothics, visitors should consult a hiking guidebook or secure services of an Adirondack Guide before heading into the wilderness.

French & Indian War reenactment at Fort Ticonderoga.

Saturday

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to storm a castle or defend a fortress against 18th-century colonial powers? Purchase your tickets in advance and visit Fort Ticonderoga, where you can experience daily programming like tours, Fife and Drum Corps marching, historic trade demonstrations, daily cannon and musket-firing demonstrations, and various family activities.

Sample the local bounty along the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail, a series of wineries and cideries threading the shores of Lake Champlain. The trail is a blend of colorful landscape and bold flavor.

Kayaking-Saranac River

Sunday

Canoe or kayak the Saranac Lake Chain. Three lakes connected by the Saranac River, this natural linkage creates a 17-mile canoe and kayak route. St. Regis Canoe Outfitters will hook you up with their best tour guides and sporting gear including canoes, kayaks, and camping gear for rent. Cruise the water for stunning lake views and keep an eye out for bald eagles, beavers, and other wildlife. 

Explore the Adirondack Park on horseback with Emerald Springs Adirondack Ranch, which offers guided tours and riding lessons—a perfect introduction to riding for the whole family.

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getting there

By Train

Take Amtrak or rail to several regional stations including Glens Falls, Fort Edward, Whitehall, Lake Placid, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Westport, Port Kent, Plattsburgh, and Rouses Point.

By Plane

There are two regional airports that service the Adirondack Mountains, including Adirondack Regional Airport at Lake Clear and Plattsburgh International Airport. Adirondack Park is also accessible by car when flying into Albany International Airport.

By Car

Interstate 87 and 81 make traveling by car easy, quick, and affordable. Several Adirondack Scenic Byways crisscross the region and run by off-the-beaten-path attractions, historic locations, and incredible museums.

By Bus

Adirondack Trailways offers service from New York City and other New York State locations so you can access a variety of Adirondack locations.