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Spanning over six million acres, Adirondack Park is a massive playground stuffed with lake, peaks, wilderness, and wildlife. Amongst all this incredible nature, historic cities, forts, museums, and festivals combine to make AP the largest National Historic Landmark in the contiguous U.S.
Known as the Queen of American Lakes, Lake George is a town set in upstate New York at the southern reaches of the Adirondack Park. Former stomping grounds of the Roosevelts, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers – Lake George features more than enough to see and do.
This is more of a must do. Lake George is hot air balloon country, as the Adirondacks boast some unmatched scenery – especially from on high. Check out adventure companies like Ballooning Adventures in Queensbury, SunKiss Ballooning in Glen Falls, and A Beautiful Balloon right here in Lake George.
Lake George is also a mecca for history lovers. Be sure to explore the Courthouse Gallery, Lake George Battlefield Park, Lake George Historical Association & Museum, and the illustrious Millionaire's Row.
This one’s obvious. Lake George is named for the neighboring 32-mile stretch of water – also known as Lake George. Visitors can try everything from boating, fishing, and swimming to tubing, water skiing, and whitewater rafting.
The rest of the Lake George region yields dry land activities like cycling, horseback riding, and plenty of winter recreation at Gore Mountain Ski Resort.
From Lake George, head north on the NY State Route 9N – also known as Lake Shore Drive. You’ll stay close to the scenic western shore of Lake George until you reach Ticonderoga at the southern tip of Lake Champlain.
Bordering Vermont, Fort Ticonderoga was constructed in 1759 as a star fort during the French & Indian War. Now a U.S. National Historic Landmark found on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Ft. Ticonderoga made it through two wars and five battles – and today serves as an educational center and tourist stop.
As we’ve learned, the Ticonderoga area dates back to the 1700s – and therefore yields plenty of historic sites. Be sure to see the H. G. Burleigh House, the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, or sign up for the Historic Ticonderoga Walking Tour.
Ticonderoga visitors may venture into the Adirondacks for the Cook Mountain Trail, and incredible views from Mount Defiance. To keep it in town, outdoor lovers can hit the Ticonderoga Black Point Public Beach, the 18-hole Ticonderoga Country Club & Golf Course, or check out the LaChute Waterfalls along the LaChute River Trail at Bicentennial Park.
Get to know Lake Champlain during your 75-mile scenic drive up to Plattsburgh on Cumberland Bay. Hop on New York State Route 22. Hang a right on Highland Road, and head north on Highway 9.
Lake City features everything from the War of 1812 Museum to Plattsburgh City Beach – plus plenty of outdoor and agricultural adventure.
On the way up to Plattsburgh, be sure to see the Ausable Chasm – a sandstone gorge containing the Ausable River. An adventurous little spot in the Adirondacks, Ausable Chasm offers tubing and rafting excursions, plus some extreme activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, and rappelling.
The Plattsburgh area features plenty of agritourism. Visit the picturesque Forrence Orchards, Northern Orchard, and Chazy Orchards, enjoy a tour of Country Dreams Farm. Pick something up at the Banker Orchards Farm Market, or check out the sugarhouse at the Parker Family Maple Farm.
Plattsburgh is set on amongst an incredibly quaint region known as the Adirondack Coast – and features the 82-mile Adirondack Coast Wine Trail for cyclists. Start at the Stonehouse Vineyard, and cruise your way on to cider houses and vineyards like ELFS Farm Winery & Cidermill, Vesco Ridge Vineyards, and the Champlain Wine Co.
Let’s head back into the Adirondack Mountains by way of State Route 3 – home until you reach Saranac Lake about 50 miles southwest. Set on Lake Flower and the Saranac River, Saranac Lake is known as the Capital of the Adirondacks – and it’s not hard to see why.
With so much surrounding beauty, it may be best to experience this unique landscape with a ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Leaving Saranac Lake Station, this upstate New York trainride features a Fall Foliage Train, a Polar Express, and more.
For you literary lovers, Saranac Lake was home to Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887. His former home is now the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage – the first museum dedicated to Stevenson’s life and works.
For winter travelers, Saranac Lake is an outdoor mecca for snow sports and skiing. Saranac Lake visitors can anticipate some great Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, and snowmobiling.
From Saranac Lake, hop on State Route 86 and move east for 10 miles until you enter Lake Placid.
As the site of the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics, LP remembers these exciting times with the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum. Open daily, the museum showcases permanent exhibits like 1932 Olympics, Museum Curling, and Sonja Henie: Perfection on Ice.
Lake Placid features so much skiing you won’t even know where to start. Whiteface Mountain offers downhill and cross-country skiing – plus warm-weather activities like hiking and mountain biking during for summer travelers.
It doesn’t stop with winter sports in the Adirondacks. Lake Placid and the surrounding areas offer fishing in the Ausable River, the historic Lake Placid Golf Courses, and rock climbing amongst the Adirondack High Peaks.
From Lake George, it’s about 80 miles south to Lake George along State Route 73 and I-87 – completing your loop of the amazing Adirondack Park.