From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Adirondack Mountains

New York
44° 6' 45" N 73° 55' 26" W

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The Adirondack mountain range is located in the northeastern part of New York. The Adirondack Mountains are within the 6.1 million acres (25,000 km²) of Adirondack Park, which includes a constitutionally protected Forest Preserve of approximately 2.3 million acres (9,300 km²). About 43% of the land is owned by the state, with 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, but is an eroded dome consisting of many summits, isolated or in groups.

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 over fished the area, and as such, the brooks, rivers, ponds and lakes are well stocked with trout and black bass. Algonquian and Mohawk Indians used the Adirondacks for hunting and travel, but they had no settlements in the area.

Although the climate during the winter months can be severe, with absolute temperatures sometimes falling below −30 °F (−35 °C) pre wind chill, a number of sanatoriums were located there in the early 1900s because of the positive effect the air had on tuberculosis patients. The heavily forested region is the most southerly distribution of the boreal forest or taiga in the North American continent. The forests of the Adirondacks include spruce, pine and broad-leafed trees. Lumbering, once an important industry, has been much restricted since the establishment of the State Park in 1892.