Adirondack Mountains of New York
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Adirondack Mountains, New York
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The Adirondacks Region is within an easy day's drive of most major cities in the Northeast. The Adirondack park is a six-million-acre natural sanctuary of public and private land protected under the state constitution. The Park stands today as America's largest wilderness preserve outside of Alaska and one of the most successful conservation efforts in history. Winter, spring, summer, fall... something for all seasons. So come explore!

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The Adirondack Mountains are contained within the 6.1 million acres of the Adirondack Park, which includes a constitutionally protected Forest Preserve. About 43% of the land is owned by the state, while 57% private in holdings, 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 under 1,200 feet to over 5,000 feet in elevation; the highest peak, Mount Marcy, at 5,344 feet, is near the eastern part of the group. Only two mountains, Mount Marcy and Algonquin, are over 5000 feet.

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Approximately 260 species of birds have been recorded, of which over 170 breed here. Because of its unique boreal forest habitat, the park has many breeding birds not found in most areas of New York and other mid-Atlantic states, such as boreal chickadees, gray jays, Bicknell's thrushes, spruce grouse, Philadelphia vireos, rusty blackbirds, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, black-backed woodpeckers, ruby-crowned kinglets, bay-breasted warblers, mourning warblers, common loons and the crossbills.

Hunting and fishing are allowed in the Adirondack Park, although in many places there are strict regulations. Because of these regulations, the large tourist population has not overfished the area, and as such, the brooks, rivers, ponds and lakes are home to large trout and black bass populations.

Flatwater and whitewater canoeing and kayaking are very popular. Hundreds of lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams link to provide routes ranging from under one mile to weeklong treks. Motorboating is restricted on many bodies of water, but allowed on most of the larger lakes such as Lakes George, Champlain, Raquette, Tupper, Indian, Schroon, and Blue Mountain Lake, among others. Personal watercraft are a controversial subject in the Adirondack Park at this time.

Cliffs with rock climbing and ice climbing routes are scattered throughout the park boundaries, most notably around Keene Valley, Cascade Pass, Wallface, Pok-O-Moonshine Mountain, Moss Cliffs, and Rogers Rock. Though restricted from much of the park, snowmobile enthusiasts can ride on a large network of trails centered mainly around the towns of Old Forge, Speculator, and Saranac Lake.

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