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Adirondacks Travel Guide

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Adirondacks © New York State Tourism

The Adirondack Park begins 150 miles (241km) north of New York City and covers an area larger than the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks combined. This two million hectare (six million acre) wilderness is full of natural attractions and historic sites and is a nature lover's paradise. Thousands of miles of streams and rivers cross the park, attracting canoeists and kayakers; and the hundreds of lakes and glassy ponds are ideal for boating, windsurfing and swimming. There is also good fishing, particularly salmon, trout and pike, but be aware that in summer flies can be a nuisance.

The Adirondack Mountains are among the highest and most dramatic in the eastern United States. In the summer they attract hikers, horse riders and rock climbers, and in winter there are nine ski resorts operating. The best ski resort in the region is Whiteface, nine miles (14km) northeast of Lake Placid, which has some challenging skiing and spectacular views, but visitors should be aware of the icy winds which regularly whip up the valley. Lake Placid is a major cross-country skiing destination with 283 miles (455km) of trails and has plenty of other activities including ice skating, tobogganing and bobsleighing - a must for braver visitors. Some lifts remain open in the summer months, making it ideal for idle mountain bikers.

There are several small towns worth visiting in the Adirondacks. Saranac Lake is a quintessential American small town with a quaint atmosphere and historic buildings, while Ticonderoga is home to a Revolutionary War fort and historical museum. Elizabethtown and Chester are laidback resort towns, and Old Forge is a good base for exploring the Mohawk Valley and Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

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