February 25th, 2015 by Brendan Wiltse

Seven Awesome Adirondack Stats

1. 5.8 Million Acres of Awesomeness

The Adirondack Park consists of roughly 2.5 million acres [1] of public land with about 1.2 million acres classified as wilderness. When considering both public and private land the only National Parks that come in larger than the Adirondack Park are Wrangall-St. Elias and Gates of the Arctic, both located in Alaska. The public alone land is greater than that of Yellowstone. Even if we consider ONLY the wilderness designated areas in the Adirondack Park it still tops out above Glacier and Yosemite. Bottom line, the Adirondack Park is large and full of awesome places to visit and explore.

2. 3,000 Lakes and Ponds

That’s a lot of water! From large famous lakes like Lake George to remote backcountry ponds, there are beautiful bodies of water everywhere. Lake Tear of the Clouds is the states highest body of water, sitting at 4,350 feet, and also serves as the source of the mighty Hudson. All told lakes and ponds cover over 300,000 acres in the Adirondack Park. [2]

3. 30,000 Miles of Rivers and Streams

Adirondack rivers and streams offer endless recreational opportunities. From fly fishing the world famous Ausable River to rafting through the Hudson River Gorge. Not to mention all the absolutely beautiful remote streams with their majestic waterfalls. [2]

4. 2,000 Miles of Hiking Trails 

The Adirondack Park is peppered with hiking trails. One of the most crowded hiking areas is the High Peaks Region, and for good reason, this area contains all of the mountains over 4,000 feet in elevation. The High Peaks Region contains about 500 miles of trail, meaning there are over 1,500 miles of hiking trails to enjoy elsewhere in the park. The Northville-Placid Trail is the only long-distance hiking trail in the park, stretching 130-miles between Northville and Lake Placid. There is also the Cranberry Lake 50, a 50-mile loop around Cranberry Lake. [1]

5. 172 Acre Alpine Ecosystem

The alpine ecosystem found on New York’s highest peaks is one of the rarest ecosystems in New York State. You will find several species of plant in this area that are globally rare, found in less than twenty locations worldwide. Visiting the alpine ecosystem is like stepping back in time. The entire Adirondack landscape would have been covered with these plants soon after the glaciers receded about 10,000 years ago. If you visit an alpine summit make sure to only walk on solid rock because the plants are fragile and foot traffic can cause severe damage. [3]

6. 103 Towns and Villages

There is an Adirondack town for just about everyone. Sports enthusiasts will love Lake Placid. Hikers will find solace in Keene Valley and Newcomb. Paddlers will be drawn to a string of towns including Inlet, Blue Mountain Lake, Long Lake, Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Paul Smiths. Snowmobilers will enjoy the Old Forge area. Then there are the other 90+ towns that will suit the needs and desires of others. [1]

7. Ski Area with the Largest Vertical Drop in the East

Whiteface Mountain has the largest vertical drop in the East. It comes in at 3,430 feet of skiable vertical drop, 3166 feet of which are lift service. Whiteface also offers the opportunity to make turns on Olympic caliber runs. If you visit Whiteface later in the season you may have the opportunity to ski the much-revered slides. For those willing to break a sweat for a few turns there are countless backcountry skiing opportunities with similar amounts of vertical drop. [4]

Do you know of any Adirondack stats that should be added to this list? Share them in the comments below.


[1] Adirondack Park Agency

[2] Adirondack Park Agency

[3] Monitoring Vegetation Changes in Historical Photos over a 45+ Year Period in the Adirondack Alpine Zone

[4] Whiteface Mountain

  • Thanks Jim. The 4th of July fireworks show at the Ausable Club is spectacular.

  • Jim Bullard

    on May 22, 2017

    All great photos Brendan but I especially like the fireworks shot. It is a unique point of view.

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