The Adirondacks refers to the park and mountains located in this area. The Adirondack Park is both the largest and the first government-protected park in the contiguous United States. It covers a vast expanse - bigger than New Hampshire - of rugged, thickly wooded, mountainous terrain in northeast New York State. The Adirondacks are a popular destination for all lovers of outdoor activities, from hiking and skiing to ice and rock climbing.
The Adirondack Mountains are contained within the 6.1 million acres of the Adirondack Park, which includes a constitutionally protected Forest Preserve of approximately 2,300,000 acres. About 43% of the land is owned by the state, while 57% private inholdings, heavily regulated by the Adirondack Park Agency. The Adirondack Park contains thousands of streams, brooks and lakes, most famously Lake Placid, adjacent to the village of Lake Placid, two-time site of the Olympic Winter Games: the Saranac Lakes, favored by the sportsmen who made the Adirondacks famous, and Raquette Lake, site of many of the first Great Camps.
The Adirondacks do not form a connected range such as the Rocky Mountains of the Western United States. They are instead an eroded dome consisting of many peaks, either isolated or in groups, often with little apparent order. There are over one hundred summits, ranging from just around 350 metres to over 1,500 metres in elevation; the highest peak, Mount Marcy, at 1,629 metres, is near the eastern part of the group. Only two mountains, Mount Marcy and Algonquin, are over 5,000 feet.
Amtrak's aptly named Adirondack train runs between Montreal, Quebec City and Penn Station in New York City with a stop in Ticonderoga plus other stops that connect with local shuttles to nearby destinations. The train leaves Montreal at 9:30am daily, and New York at 8:30am. The trip takes approximately 10 hours but expect delays at the border.
The main route along the eastern edge of the Adirondacks is Interstate 87, commonly known as "the Northway." The Northway has beautiful views of the mountains, but limited services north of Lake George.
The main roads around the High Peaks region are Route 73 to the north and east which runs through Lake Placid, routes 3 and 30 through Tupper Lake to the west, and route 28N and Boreas road to the South. Gas stations are available about every 30 kilometres in these areas.
There is limited service by bus from Rochester, Syracuse and Albany to points north including Keene Valley, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Plattsburgh. This service is provided by "Trailways" bus service.
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