Explore the Adirondacks
Experience the centuries-old tradition of exploration and adventure in the Adirondacks of Northern New York.

The Forever Wild Park - New York's Largest Playground

The Adirondack Region is one of the most diverse destinations on the East Coast, offering unparalleled outdoor recreation throughout its dazzling lakes, wild mountains, and charming towns and villages. Established in 1892 by the State of New York amid concerns for the water and timber resources of the region, the Adirondack Park today covers an area larger in size than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and the Great Smokies National Parks combined, and is the largest park in the lower 48 states.

Encompassing millions of acres of public, constitutionally protected forest preserve, as well as privately owned land, the Adirondack Park is New York's largest playground. Striking a balance between public and private ownership makes the Adirondack Park a unique place to visit. Visitors have ample access to recreation gear through hotel amenities, rental shops, and local guide services. Park residents often enjoy the serene Adirondack experience alongside travelers and share their knowledge of the area.

Things To Explore in The Adirondacks

The Adirondack Region in Northern New York is a protected area spanning over 6 million acres of mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, and wild spaces. Twelve distinct regions come together to create one epic vacation destination. We've traversed the Adirondack Mountains to find the best places to explore on a day trip, long weekend, or week-long vacation.

Views Above the Forest Canopy

Wandering adventurers trekking along wooded Adirondack trails might wonder, "Is there an easier way to see the mountain-laden views without scrambling up these towering peaks?" There sure are.

  • The Wild Center's Wild Walk is inspired by New York City's High Line – a walking park suspended 30 feet above city streets. Located in the town of Tupper Lake, the Wild Walk soars 30 feet above the Adirondack forest floor. Kid-friendly and accessible walkways enable everyone to enjoy the views while learning about this amazing landscape among the treetops.
  • But you don't have to travel to Tupper Lake to see over the leaves. Over a dozen decommissioned Adirondack fire towers dot the mountainous landscape and provide awesome payoffs for mostly short hikes.
  • Another way to see over the tree-tops is to explore the hiking trails that climb to rocky mountain-tops with panoramic views. The appropriately named Bald Mountain lies just outside the town of Blue Mountain Lake and has stellar views above its tree-line. Other exposed summits include The McIntyre Range in the High Peaks, Black Bear Mountain near Old Forge, and Noonmark Mountain in Keene Valley.
  • Mountains not high enough for you? Takeoff from Lake Placid Airport on a scenic plane ride of the High Peaks or depart Inlet's Seventh Lake with Payne's Air Service. The bird's eye view is a truly unique experience.

Unique Water Features

The Adirondacks are filled with a variety of bodies of water comprising over 150,000 acres of open water in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, brooks, and some other distinct types.

  • As water tumbles down the sides of mountains, occasionally there's a rapid drop in elevation where water free-falls through the air before reuniting with land. It's waterfalls like this that are popular among explorers of all ages. Before heading to the trailhead, you'll want to see our list of the best Adirondack waterfalls and trip planning advice.
  • A special and enduring part of the Adirondack waterways are those not carved by glacial activity, but dug by hand. Every summer paddlers glide the water that fills the hand-dug canal network connecting Osgood Pond to Little Church Pond and Church Pond. These waterways were originally created to allow dry passage to and from the historic Saint John's Episcopal Church in Paul Smiths, especially on Sunday mornings. These waterways can now be paddled any day of the week from the Osgood Pond Boat Launch.
  • Other water routes have been organized on naturally occurring bodies of water, some stretching for dozens of miles. Every September, paddlers travel 90 miles over three days during the Adirondack Canoe Classic. More moderate routes include the 9-mile trek from Little Clear Pond to Paul Smiths known as the Seven Carries Route, and the 16-mile Fulton Chain of Lakes which has two carries or as they are known in the Adirondacks, portages.

Adirondack Adventures for Families

  • Hiking: To quickly find a trail that the whole family will enjoy, we've put together a list of easy, moderate, and difficult Adirondack family hikes for you to explore.
  • Museums: For an up-close experience with Adirondack history, museums are the way to go. A visit to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake or Adirondack Experience – The Museum at Blue Mountain Lake will open young minds to nature and history through exhibits outside and indoors – perfect for rainy or cold days!
  • Paddling: To get the whole family paddling in the Adirondacks, look for watersports outfitters like Adirondack Coast Paddle Board Co. in Plattsburgh, St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake, Kayak Lake George in Lake George, and Placid Boat Rental in Lake Placid. Rent the boats, paddles and PFDs close to your paddling destination and focus on enjoying the great outdoors with your family.
The Adirondack Regions
The Adirondack Regions feature over 100 welcoming communities, mountains, lakes, verdant valleys and steep cliffs. Spanning more than six million acres, the Adirondack Mountains are home to the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 of the United States. Like a patchwork quilt, the Adirondacks are made up of twelve distinct regional destinations, each offering their own brand of Adirondack adventure. From the endless canoeing and kayaking in the Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake regions, to the extensive hiking trails of the High Peaks Wilderness in the Lake Placid Region - discover an area as diverse in geography as it is in activities and events. Bicycle between wineries on the Adirondack Coast, or dive to sunken shipwrecks in the Adirondack Seaway near the Canadian Border. You're invited to explore the Lake George Region's family-friendly attractions and discover the Adirondack Tug Hill Plateau's one-of-a-kind recreation opportunities.
Roaring Brook Fall
Azure Mountain Firetower
Sunset at Blue Mountain Lake
Blue Mountain Lake
@claireebruce @ceprall (Bloomingdale Bog-Off Road)
@claireebruce @ceprall - Biking (Bloomingdale Bog-Off Road)
Eric Adsit - whitewater paddling
Eric Adsit
Fishing in the Adirondacks
Fishing in the Adirondacks
Rock Climbing in the Adirondacks
Rock Climbing
Real Adirondack Stories
Area ADK is a celebration of the Adirondacks, a nod to the classic campfire tale, a place to gather and tell stories. Share your story #VisitAdks
46 Things to Do in the Adirondacks in Winter
From skiing to cozy cabin stays, seriously cool ice bars to Winter Carnivals, the Adirondacks have something for everyone this winter!– Visit Adirondacks
Best Adirondack Stories of 2019
From dark skies destinations where the stars shine so brilliantly, they light up the night sky, to the best places for guilty pleasure indulgences, discover our favorite Adirondack stories from 2019. –
46 Things to Do in the Adirondacks in Fall
The Adirondack Park is one of New York State's best places to experience Fall. Between the breathtaking fall foliage and abundance of activities, you'll want to come back every year!– Visit Adirondacks
Download Free Adirondack Travel Guides
Download Adirondack maps, fishing, scenic drives, hiking and paddling guides for FREE and plan a new Adirondack adventure!
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The Adirondacks, New York - LonelyPlanet Best in the U.S. 2017