7 Awe-Inspiring Facts About the Adirondacks


The Adirondack Park is a protected region in the U.S. state of New York. With its impressive six million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest protected natural area in the continental United States. There are majestic mountains, wide whitewater rivers, expansive lakes, tranquil forests, and quaint little towns. Here are seven Adirondack facts to inspire the explorer in you:

7 Adirondacks Facts

    1. There are 1,606 named mountains in the Adirondacks. (source) Unlike many notable, linear mountain ranges, the Adirondacks are in the shape of a circular dome that is around 160 miles in diameter and approximately one mile in height.
    1. The tallest mountain in the Adirondacks is Mount Marcy. (source) Mount Marcy reaches an elevation of 5,344 feet. The summit is home to alpine vegetation that is fragile and precious, so be sure to respect the boundaries and stay on the rocks if you plan to visit.
    1. There are 3,000 lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks. (source) The largest lake in the Adirondacks is Lake George, fondly known as the “Queen of American Lakes”. It has over 45 square miles of water to enjoy for fishing, boating, swimming, and more.
    1. The Adirondack Mountains are over 5,000,000 years old. (source) While the Adirondack Mountains themselves are relatively young, they are made from ancient rocks over a billion years old. They are considered “new mountains from old rocks”.
    1. The name “Adirondack” is believed to come from a Mohawk word. (source) The origins of the name Adirondack is believed to come from the Mohawk tribe word “ha-de-ron-dah’ which means ‘eater of trees’. Historians theorize that it was a derogatory term used by the Iroquoians to describe groups of Algonquins (neighboring tribes) who did not practice agriculture and had to resort to eating tree bark to survive brutal winters.
    1. The early Dutch thought the Adirondacks were a land of fantastic creatures. (source) Among these mythical beasts were unicorns.
    1. In 1885, state law designated the Adirondack region as “forever wild”. (source) It has been written into the state constitution that the Adirondack Park was “to be forever reserved for the free use of all people”. Any relaxation of the protection on the land requires the approval of a majority of state voters and two successive legislatures, which rarely happens.

Do you have any more facts about the Adirondacks? Let us know below.

Featured image photo credit: Jessica Dubé, 2008. Originally found on Wikimedia. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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