Adirondacks Vacations

The Adirondack Mountains, located in eastern upstate New York, are an all-season, year-round vacation destination. Created by the New York State legislature in 1892, the Adirondack Park covers 9,375 square miles, an area more than double the size of Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks combined. The Park is a mosaic of 2.5 million acres of state-owned Forest Preserve intermingled with 3.5 million acres of private land. The Adirondack Park is the largest park, federal or state, in the United States outside of Alaska.

The area teems with lakes. Lake Placid, in Essex County, was home to the Winter Olympics in 1936 and in 1980. Saranac Lake and Lake George are also well known lakes. Thousands of acres of water allow for boating, canoeing, waterskiing, kayaking, fishing... and just about any other water sport you can imagine.

But water isn't all there is. Mountains with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, beautiful vistas, birding and lots of wildlife are a year-round attraction too. Check this out: Scrolling panorama: Early light over the Adirondack High Peaks and Lake Placid region

Any area that has been home to the Winter Olympics obviously has some great winter sports. Snow enthusiasts will love the various ski resorts in the area, the cross-country skiing opportunities that abound, and even the sport of snowshoeing!

So explore the area here on the Internet, and then make your plans to spend a couple of days or a couple of weeks, any time of the year, here in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carl Heilman

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Photographer's Credits
Carl Heilman II is an award-winning nature photographer specializing in nature panoramas, murals, and nature photography of Lake George, the Adirondacks, and New York state. He also does nature photos of National Parks and other wild areas in the US and Canada. Visit his home on the Internet where you'll find wallpapers, screensavers and his online photo galleries as well as prints and posters.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carl Heilman
History and Geography
The Adirondack Mountains make up a roughly circular region about 200 km in diameter in northern New York State. The land features include long, straight valleys that run north-northeast, which are are the most prominent. Throughout the Adirondacks, these valleys contain streams and lakes. Many of the larger Adirondack lakes, such as Lake George, Schroon Lake, Indian Lake, and Long Lake, follow this north-northeast trend. In the High Peaks region, these valleys divide the area into a number of long, straight mountain ranges. Gently curved ridges and valleys are the other prominent feature. They are most noticed in the central and southern Adirondacks, where they make an east-west arc.

This area was first named "the Adirondacks" when Professor Ebenezer Emmons did his first geological survey of the region in 1837. Soon the whole area was referred to as the Adirondacks which was originally a term the Iroquois used to refer to the Algonquins who were forced to live on tree buds and bark during the severe winters. However the meaning is often disputed. Some people believe it was derived from the language of a tribe of Indians that lived on the lower Saint Lawrence in the early 1500's and that it meant "They of the Great Rocks". When it was passed on to the Iroquois the meaning got jumbled to mean "They Who Eat Trees".

Regardless of the meaning of the term, the stupendous vistas and outstanding recreational opportunities should not be missed.

Want to explore the area? You can make reservations, look for other lodging, attractions, events, get maps, driving directions... county by county. Choosing a town will take you to the homepage for the county it is in.

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Saranac Lake
The pristine lakes, evergreen forest, and nearby mountains that surround Saranac are enjoyable year-round. Miles of trails and waterways link you to the perfect vacation in Saranac Lake where you can hike, paddle, boat, swim, bike, fish, snowmobile, snowboard, ride horse trails all day - or just relax at water's edge. Visit Saranac Lake, NY

Lake George
"Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin... finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves... down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony." -- Thomas Jefferson, May 31, 1791 Visit Lake George, NY

Adirondack Mountaims
And So Many Things to Do!

Adirondack Mountains
Bed, Breakfast and Beyond

PHOTO CREDIT: Carl Heilman

PHOTO CREDIT: Carl Heilman

Adirondack B&B
Surrounded by Nature's Beauty

Adirondack Mountains
Adirondack Mountains, NY

PHOTO CREDIT: Carl Heilman

For other recreational ideas to share with friends and families be sure to stop in at the New York Visitors Network. You'll find complete maps, activities sorted by topic and location, online reservation capabilities for your favorite type of lodging and much more. Use our map to find towns, cities and counties and, when you stumble across something that interests you look for the "What to Do" link found on any of our 62 New York County pages. Just remember...visit New York, you'll be glad you did.

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