5 Things You Didn’t Know About Adirondack Mountains
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Visiting the pristine outdoors of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State can virtually stand alone as a worthwhile experience. With its majestic mountain tops, cooling waters, ample hiking trails, and fun friendly towns, the Adirondacks easily boasts perfection for a vacationer's dreams. Still, we think tucking these 5 facts into your pack may add more to an already exciting adventure.
1. New vs. Old
When we think of mountains, especially in New York State, we tend to think of the Ice age. The Ice Age indeed played a factor in the formation of the Adirondacks, but that well-known fact was not the beginning, nor is it the end.
Compared to other mountain ranges in the state and around the world, the Adirondack Mountains are both new and old. The rocks that help to form these peaks and valleys are some of the oldest rocks in New York, beginning formed more than one billion years ago. Yet, the Adirondack Mountains are still growing, forming new heights of nearly one foot every 100 years.
2. Equal to a Whole State
With upwards of 18,702 square miles, the Adirondacks is nearly the same size as Vermont and New Hampshire. This offers visitors and residents ample room to explore, play and live, with an average of 15 people per square mile. There are no crowded city streets in this area.
3. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Boasting 46 peaks, the Adirondack Mountains have become a well sought after vacation area for hiking and skiing. One such peak is named after a 15-year-old female who hiked to its summit in 1839, all in error. Thinking she was climbing Whiteface Mountain, Esther Macomb hiked to the top of a mountain in the Adirondacks for the "sheer joy of climbing". As a result of her accomplishment, this mountain was given her name, Mt. Esther. In addition, its peak received a plaque recognizing her adventure 100 years later in 1939.
Oddly enough, there is a second mountain that bears Esther's last name, "Macomb". However, this peak is named for General Alexander Macomb, unrelated to Esther. It was given tribute after the General won a significant battle against the British. Macomb Mountain is the 21st highest peak out of the 46 peaks.
4. Making Connections
Speaking of the General, history shows us that General Macomb sold 10 miles of property in the Adirondacks to Gouverneur Morris, who then went on to purchase surrounding land totaling 128,000 acres. This man is the same Gouverneur Morris who revised the US Constitution and its ever-familiar preamble. Morris was instrumental in the preservation of forests, and in 1894 New York State placed the "Forever Wild" clause into their NYS Constitution, which included two regions, the Adirondacks and the Catskills.
5. Perfect Conditions
Finally, no list about the Adirondacks would be complete without the mention of skiing. However, even this activity claims some history for the Adirondack Mountains. Gore Mountain was one of the first downhill ski centers in New York State. In the 1930s, this center was easily reached by railway from North Creek Station (a history lesson for another time). The railway was utilized by many winter wanderers from the city and surrounding areas. Many people instantly think Whiteface was the premier ski center at the time, but Whiteface did not become a ski center until over 20 years later.
If this list has "peaked" your interest in the Adirondack Mountains, don't stop your research here. The history of this picturesque place, along with the plethora of activities, resorts, and dining experiences is vast. So take the time to look over all it offers, and make the next trip one you will talk about for ages.
Saranac Waterfront Lodge is located in the Adirondacks, only a 2,5hrs drive from Montréal, Albany, Burlington, and driving distance from Boston and NYC.