Upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains are an outdoor enthusiasts playground no matter the time of year. From hiking and camping, to kayaking and rock climbing, there’s an almost limitless list of activities to be had. While not the most thought about range, the following are some surprising facts about region that may peak your interest to plan a trip.
1. The rocks making up the Adirondack region are amongst the oldest rocks on the planet (around a billion years old). However, the Adirondack Mountains are relatively young despite being composed of very old rocks.
2. The first hotel in the United States to have electric lights was the Prospect House in Blue Mountain Lake, where the Adirondack Museum is located. The prospect house was a large hotel built by Frederick Durant in Blue Mountain Lake in the late 19th century. This is amazing for a hotel back then to be in the middle of nowhere, secluded from most of society, at the time of its construction.
3. The Adirondack Park consists of 6.1-million acres of state preserved wilderness, and is larger than the state of New Jersey with room to spare. Several of the large National Parks out west could fit inside the Adirondack park.
4. The summit of Whiteface Mountain, at 4,865′, offers a 360-degree view of the Adirondacks, with views reaching as far as Vermont and Canada on a clear day.
© Geoffrey Williams
5. The word “vacation” is known to have originated in the Adirondacks. According to the Smithsonian, the Adirondacks were the birthplace of the typical American vacation prior to the common use of the word.
6. The Adirondack Mountains are still growing taller, at a rate of one foot every 100 years, faster than the Himalayas in Asia.
© Joseph Bylund
7. Lake Placid, located in the Northern Adirondacks is one of only three locations in the world to host the Winter Olympics twice, once in 1932 and 1980. Additionally, the village was the first place in North America to host the games twice.
8. The preserve contains over 1,500 miles of designated hiking trails, 303 of which are in the High Peaks region of the park.
© Adam Riquier
9. The oldest rodeo in the United States, Painted Pony Rodeo in Lake Luzerne, is located in the Adirondacks only five-miles west of Lake George
10. The Adirondacks experiences about seven-to-10-million tourists every year, while the Grand Canyon only reaches about five-million tourists annually.
© Barbara Friedman
About 60-million people live within a days’ drive of the Adirondack park region, including residents of New York City. To get into the park, there is no admission fee or “entrance gate,” as well as no designated boundary that is marked. What are you waiting for? Go out and experience the beauty and history that is the Adirondacks.