The Adirondack Mountains
A beautiful setting for Lake Placid!
No website about Lake Placid would be complete without pages and pictures of the Adirondack Mountains. After all, the Adirondacks and their history and wild setting have helped make the Lake Placid area such an awe-inspiring place.
Knowing a little bit about the Adirondack Mountains will help you to get a feel for the wildness and way of life that we enjoy in this protected area of New York State.
The picture below shows Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in New York state. This is only about an hour from Lake Placid! It's height is 5,344 feet above sea level. Would you like to hike this mountain?
One of the aspects of the Adirondack Mountains that make the area so unique is the Adirondack Park. It's the only State Park in the country that is a mixture of public and private lands.
This intermingling of public and private holdings gives a flavor to the Park that is found nowhere else.
The Adirondack Mountains are old - well, actually, that's not totally true. The best description I've seen is "young mountains made from old rocks."
In other words, rocks that make up the mountains are ancient, but the uplifting that formed the dome of the Adirondacks is recent (in geological terms, at least!) having occurred "only" within the last 5 million years. And they're still growing!
They're not really a connected mountain range like the Rocky mountains are. They actually are an eroded dome that is made of many different summits. Altogether there are over 100 different peaks, ranging in height from 1200 to over 5000 feet (370 m to over 1500 m). As I mentioned, the picture above shows Mt. Marcy which is the highest.
Some of the other High Peaks are Algonquin at 5114 feet (1559 m), Haystack at 4960 feet (1512 m), Skylight at 4926 feet (1501 m), Whiteface at 4871 feet (1485 m), Dix at 4857 feet (1480 m) and Giant at 4627 feet (1410 m).
How many have I climbed? Only 2, but they are the tallest of the two! I climbed Mt. Marcy and Mt. Algonquin in my much younger years! Plus I've climbed a few of the smaller mountains, too, such as Bear Mountain, Prospect Mountain and Blue Mountain. They're all good hikes and the views from the tops are definitely worth it.
My family and I travel to the top of Whiteface Mountain at least once a year, but I don't count that as climbing. Why not? Because there's a Veteran's Memorial Highway that you can drive almost to the top of the mountain.
You do have to climb the rest of the way though, up the trail (mostly steps) that's been made. Or, if you're adventurous, there's an elevator deep inside the mountain that you can take the rest of the way to the top - not for the claustrophobic!
The picture to the right shows the stone step trail looking down from the top of Whiteface Mountain. Not for the faint of heart if you don't like heights! See that horseshoe-shaped lake off in the distance? That is actually Lake Placid, which is one of the lakes that surrounds Lake Placid village. The other lake near the village is Mirror Lake.
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"What's a 46'er?"
Die-hard climbers of the Adirondack Mountains have formed a loosely organized "club" called the Forty-Sixers Club. Anyone who has successfully reached the summit of all 46 peaks that are over 4000 feet (1219 m) can claim to be a member of this club. This feat isn't all that easy, since 20 of the 46 don't have trails! This means that if you want to be a member of the 46ers, you're going to have to bushwhack or use deer paths to get to the top!
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What's Going On at Whiteface?Summer at Whiteface is in full swing! Would you like to ride a Gondola to the top? Or how about mountain-biking down Whiteface?
Get Published!Do you have a favorite Adirondack hiking trail? Would you like to share it with other hikers and outdoor-lovers? Click here to share your hiking story and publish it on this website! And make sure to read other visitors' stories, too.
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