The largest park in the lower 48, the 6-million acre Adirondack Park of northern New York was our next adventure. It is so large that we could obviously only hope to see a small portion of it during our 5-day stay. So, for this trip through we decided to hang out near the southeastern border, at Lake George.
Created in 1892 as one of the first Forever Wild Forest Preserves in the nation, the Adirondack Park is a unique wilderness area. It is the largest publically protected area in the contiguous United States. The state of New York owns approximately 2.6 million acres, while the remaining 3.4 million acres are devoted to forestry, agriculture and open space recreation. The Adirondack Park is not a National Park – there’s no fee to enter and the park doesn’t close at night. Nor is it a state park, a common misconception. It’s also the largest National Historic Landmark, covering an area larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and the Great Smokies National Parks combined.
Outdoor recreation possibilities in the Lake George area are endless. The Village of Lake George is a tourist destination and at this time of the year it’s like a big recreation and amusement park for all ages. We were not ready to mingle with hordes of tourists as traffic and parking was horrendous, so we spent most of our time enjoying a laid back experience in our preferred way – hiking and driving along the numerous scenic byways.
We mapped our route starting from Lake George and left in the car early one morning, following three of the many scenic byways – High Peaks, Olympic, and Central Adirondack Trails – creating a 200-mile loop. Touring the unspoiled geographic areas of the Adirondack Mountains, we were in awe of the rolling hills, deep forests, and mountain peaks. Among the features that made our drive unlike any of our previous experiences were the waterways – literally thousands of lakes, (Placid, Long, Raquette and Saranac were only a few that we saw ) ponds, and many miles of rivers and streams. It’s hard to imagine how incredible this area looks when the leaves turn in the fall, but unfortunately we won’t be in this area then.
It appeared many other tourists had the same plan we did – take a hike! On both trails we followed near Lake George – Sleeping Beauty and Prospect Mountain – the screaming brats and their moms seemed to be yelling at the top of their lungs. Good God, can’t these people figure out what hiking and nature are all about? Both trails were a hike up to a summit, and despite the rocky terrain and the continuous ascent to the top, the area is a popular family outing destination. We’ll look for something a little more remote and “family unfriendly” next time.
We clocked 8 miles on the Sleeping Beauty Trail…
…and 4 miles on the Prospect Mountain Trail.
Our base camp on this stop was at Ledgeview Village RV Park. Click here if you would like to see Steve’s review of this excellent campground. We were excited to meet fellow campers who were from a town very near our home in Tracy, CA.
Next up: Discovering gems in Vermont – other than cheese and ice-cream!
Our upcoming stops – tell us about any “must do” tours, excursions,
restaurants, etc. you’ve enjoyed at these places, so we can check them out:
A month in the Canadian Maritimes!