With endless lakes, mountains, and brilliant valleys, the Adirondack Region of northern New York encompasses the largest protected natural area in the lower 48. Looking at a map, the region can be broken into 12 distinct zones, each featuring unique adventures and towns that can act as your basecamp. In the summer months, visitors take respite by canoeing or sea kayaking Saranac and Tupper Lakes. Hiking trails come in the handfuls and the motivated might attempt to join the 46ers Club, hiking to the top of the 46 highest peaks in the Lake Placid region. Those looking for something a little more low key will find great options in the Tughill region, near Schroon Lake, or along the Lake Champlain coastline. Other adventures include bicycle tours along the Adirondack Coast, hopping from winery to winery, overnights in a fire lookout, or just explore scenic drives like the Lake to Locks Passage. In the winter months, visitors come to the area to ski at resorts like Whiteface or Gore Mountains, go cross country skiing through thick forest groves, or even go ice fishing.
The Adirondacks are easily accessible within a day's drive from many cities in the Northeast as well as from Quebec and Ontario. The region boasts 14 scenic byways that crisscross through valleys and around mountains. Once you are here, half of the adventure is just exploring and seeing where you end up. If you are flying in, look into flights landing in one of three regional airports, including Adirondack Airport at Lake Clear, Ogdensburg, and Plattsburgh. International travelers will typically fly into Boston and connect to a smaller nearby airport. Alternatively, Amtrak offers the Adirondack Train that runs from New York City, along the western shores of Lake Champlain, and on up to Montreal. From luxury resorts to lakeside cottages and cabins, the Adirondack Region offers a variety of unique lodging options. Each town and community features its own characteristics and you'll find great options for dining out with special experiences like farm to table restaurants, as well as a handful of local breweries and wineries.
Things to Do
Whiteface Mountain: More than just a ski/snowboard resort, Whiteface Mountain offers a wide array of off-hill activities including ice skating, cross country trails, Winter and Summer gondola rides, mountain biking, disc golf and more.
Fort Ticonderoga: Open from mid May through October, this National Historic Landmark features Carillon Battlefield, King's Garden, Mars Education Center, as well as guided history tours and live demonstrations of 18th century life and trades.
The Wild Center: The Wild Center encourages a connection to the world through interactive exhibits as well as outdoor trails and play areas. New in 2018 is the Wild Walk, a walkway among the treetops.
Lake Placid Olympic Sports Center and Complex: Host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, tour the museum and Olympic venues up close and personal.
John Brown Farm State Historic Site: Visit the restored 1859 home of abolitionist John Brown and view an outdoor interpretive display depicting the raid on Harper's Ferry.
Mirror Lake: Nestled against Lake Placid village, Mirror lake is a perfect venue for canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. There is also a 2.7 mile trail for walking or biking around the lake.
Bald Mountain: Access the trailhead from Old Forge and hike about 1 mile to the 2,350 foot summit to access the Rondaxe Fire Tower for a 360 degree view of the Fulton Chain of Lakes.
Ski Gore Mountain: The resort boasts 14 lifts, 108 trails and 2,537 vertical feet of skiable acres. This resort also offers mountain biking, hiking, Gondola skyrides, and family friendly activities all summer long.
Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails: On the shores of Lake Placid, enjoy beginner level trails for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, trail running, mountain biking, as well as fishing access.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, most of the 37,616 acre wilderness area is inaccessible, but there are still ample opportunities for hiking, camping, climbing, boating, fishing, hunting, cross county skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing.