The Adirondacks offer some of the finest opportunities in the eastern United States for outdoor recreation in a superb natural setting, including hiking, boating of all kinds, camping, picnicking, hiking, mountaineering, cycling, hunting, fishing, swimming, downhill and cross- country skiing, ice skating and snow-shoeing.
The Adirondack Park is a unique patchwork of private and public lands that cover over 6 million acres of New York state and contains more than 2,000 miles of marked hiking trails, 3,000 lakes and ponds and 1,200 miles of rivers fed by 30,000 miles of brooks and streams.
Popularity of the Adirondack Region soared in the late 1800s when the nation’s most wealthy and influential citizens built their Great Camps here. The word “vacation” was invented in the Adirondacks. In the early 1900s, the social elite would “vacate” the stifling summer heat of Northeast cities the fresh clean air of the Adirondacks. The term “vacating,” or evacuating, is the reason Americans take “vacations” instead of a British “holiday.”
The region offers over 11,000 rental rooms in hotels, motels, inns and cottages, along with almost 12,000 campsites. There is something to suit every budget.
When we’re in the area, we like to stay in the Lake Placid village in Essex County. Essex County is totally in the Adirondaks park, and that is where most of the Adirondack High Peaks are located. Lake Placid has the amenities of a large city and the charm of a small town. It provides access to the High Peaks and all the major trails. After a day of outdoor activities, taking a stroll on Main Street and eating at one of the excellent restaurants is a real treat.
Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympic games. The legacy of the 1980 Games has been preserved, and its heritage upheld, by the New York State Legislature, which created the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) to ensure public enjoyment of the Olympic venues. You can tour many of the Olympic Sites and even take a luge or bobsled ride, no matter the season!