The Adirondack Park is comprised of about 6.1 million acres (9,375 square miles).
The park is the size of the state of Vermont.
There's no marked boundary to the park, no "entrance gate" and no admission fee.
The Adirondack Park is the largest protected area in the contiguous United States, delineated by the famous "blue line."
The Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon and Great Smokies combined.
The Adirondack Park challenges the traditional notion of what a park is.
Geography & Features
The Adirondack Park contains 85% of all wilderness in the eastern United States. It is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi.
The Adirondack Park has over 2,000 miles of hiking trails; these trails comprise the largest trail system in the nation.
Contrary to popular belief, these mountains are not old, "worn down" peaks, but relatively young mountains. It is theorized that there is a geologic "hotspot" beneath the Adirondacks that causes continued uplift at the rate of 1.5 - 3cm annually.
The western and southern Adirondack area is a gentle landscape of hills, lakes, ponds and streams, along with the highest mountains in the state. The 46 High Peaks (over 4,000 feet) include Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York at 5,344'.
Within the park are 3,000 lakes and ponds and more than 1,200 miles of rivers fed by an estimated 30,000 miles of brooks and streams ideal for Adirondack canoeing.
One of the park's most unique features is the nonstop juxtaposition of mountains and water.
Special regulations govern 1,200 miles of Adirondack river corridors, designated as part of the New York State Wild, Scenic, and Recreational River System.
Essex County, located in the Adirondack Park, contains the greatest number of waterfalls in New York.
The park is a patchwork of public and private lands.
State-owned Forest Preserve comprises 2.6 million acres (42%) and is protected by the state constitution as "forever wild." One million acres of the Forest Preserve is further classified as wilderness.
Approximately 3 million acres are privately held but sparsely populated.
Visually, very little difference exists between state owned and privately owned land.
The New York State Legislature created the Adirondack Park in 1892 by enacting measures that guaranteed public lands would remain "forever wild" - the strongest such law in the United States.
During the last 100 years, state purchase has increased the Forest Preserve from the original 680,000 acres to its present 2.6 million acres.
The "blue line", originally encompassing 2.6 million acres, now encircles nearly 6 million acres (roughly the size of Vermont).
The Adirondack Park Agency was created in 1971 to encourage wise land use planning for the region.
People & the Park
Approximately 137,000 people live in the Adirondacks twelve months of the year.
The park is home to 200,000 seasonal residents. Hamilton County has the largest percentage of 2nd homeowners in the nation.
There are over 100 villages and towns within the park but no cities. It is the largest area without a city in the state.
An estimated 7-10 million tourists visit the region annually.
60 million people live within a days' drive of the Adirondack region.
Adirondack lodging consists of over 11,000 rental rooms in hotels, motels, inns and cottages, along with almost 12,000 campsites.
The Adirondacks offers some of the finest opportunities in the eastern United States for outdoor recreation in a superb natural setting, including boating of all kinds, camping, picnicking, hiking, mountaineering, cycling, hunting, fishing, swimming, downhill and cross-country skiing, ice skating and snow-shoeing.
The word "vacation," was invented in the Adirondacks. In the early 1900's people in the cities were beginning to realize that summer heat and deadly fevers went hand in hand. The upper class did not spend the summer in the city waiting for a fever; they vacated the city for the fresh clean air of the Adirondacks. The term "vacating" or evacuating is the reason Americans take "vacations" instead of a British "holiday."
The Lake Champlain Birding Trail is ranked by Audubon Magazine as one of the nation's top six destinations in the nation for bird watching.
Other Curious Facts
The Prospect House Hotel, in Blue Mountain Lake, was the first hotel in the world to have each of its 300 rooms equipped with electric lights, making it one of the most unnatural wonders of the wilderness.
Hamilton County is the third largest county in the state but has no stoplights.
Lewis County has twice as many cows as people (53,000 cows).
The Village of Saranac Lake was named as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations.
About the Adirondacks
Discover the Adirondacks and 7 regions that make up 6 million acres and the largest park in the lower 48.