View of Autumn Scene at Adirondack State Park New York

Where is Adirondack State Park

Located in the state’s northern region, Adirondack State Park resides entirely within the state of New York. The state park is most well-known for its wide array of privately-owned land holdings and acres of undisturbed wilderness. The park also contains a variety of hiking trails, a plethora of lakes, campgrounds, visitor centers, and areas for fishing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Over one hundred cities and towns sit within the borders of Adirondack US State Park. The state park is also located near several other outdoor recreation areas. These areas include Shaker Mountain Wild Forest and Ferris Lake Wild Forest.

Syracuse, New York - 130 miles East of Adirondack State Park (a two hour and thirty-minute drive) 

Concord, New Hampshire - 224 miles West of Adirondack State Park (four hour and thirty-minute drive) 

Albany, New York - 80 miles North of Adirondack State Park (hour and thirty-minute drive) 

How Large is Adirondack State Park

Adirondack State Park covers a total area of more than six million acres. The state park is the largest state park in the continental United States. The park contains around a total of 10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of wild rivers and streams, and around 200,000 acres of old growth forests. The park’s geography also includes a variety of other habitats including thriving marshes and wetlands. The year-round population of individuals living within Adirondack State Park is over 100,000. Seasonal residents of the park number over 200,000. Adirondack State Park is one part of the New York Forest Preserve.

Adirondack State Park Weather

The weather at Adirondack State Park varies frequently throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 50- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, these temperatures cool considerably and average between 0- and 35-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest temperatures of the year arrive at the park in June, July, and August, and the coldest temperatures find the park in December and January. On average, Adirondack State Park receives around 105 days of rain per year. These 105 days of rain accumulate to a yearly average of around 45 inches. Adirondack State Park also experiences snowfall throughout every year. Snowfall in the park is normally heaviest in the winter months of December, January, and February. The park’s yearly snowfall totals average around 80 inches per year.

When did Adirondack State Park Become a State Park

Adirondack State Park first became a state park in 1892. The park was established by the New York government to facilitate public land for the health and prosperity of New York citizens, to protect the watershed, and for future timber supply. Over the years, the Adirondacks have undergone major changes at the hands of humankind. The Civil War and other conflicts in the area started to contaminate the watershed and led to deforestation. The park has been vital to the area’s continued protection. Adirondack State Park is managed and maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondacks Park Agency.

View of Ausable Chasm Waterfall in Adirondack New York

Things to do in Adirondack State Park

Outdoor recreation opportunities found within Adirondack State Park are endless. The area contains acres of wilderness, miles of hiking trails, and an assortment of rivers and lakes perfect for freshwater fishing. Our State Park Visitors Guide lists the most intriguing and popular areas found within Adirondack State Park below: 

Explore Lake Placid

Arguably the most famous region of Adirondack State Park, Lake Placid was the home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic games. Popular sights visitors often are interested in visiting in the Lake Placid area are the ski jumps, speed skating ovals, and the Olympic hockey arenas. The Lake Placid area also contains several hiking trails and regularly hosts ironman races during every summer. A variety of interpretive programs are offered by Adirondack State Park in the Lake Placid area.

Explore Saranac Lake

Often referred to as the “heart of the Adirondacks,” Saranac Lake is one of the most picturesque towns found within the park. This area of Adirondack State Park contains a winter recreation center that allows visitors to tube, ice skate, ski, and snowboard. The area also hosts a variety of events throughout the year including the famous Winter Carnival. During the carnival, the area constructs an Ice Palace on the shore of Lake Flower.

Explore Long Lake

Long Lake is the perfect destination for visitors of Adirondack State Park that wish to wander through a smaller town in the area. Long Lake contains several local restaurants, shops, and rustic general stores. However, the area also contains several outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors arriving to the Long Lake area can hike out to the Adirondack Waterfall or Buttermilk Falls.

Explore Cranberry Lake

One of the less visited areas of Adirondack State Park, Cranberry Lake provides visitors seeking a quieter outdoor getaway with the perfect opportunity. Cranberry Lake is the third largest lake in Adirondack State Park. The area provides access to several opportunities to camp, hike, fish, picnic, and view wildlife. All visitors wishing to fish on Cranberry Lake will need to obtain a valid New York freshwater fishing license.

Wildlife Viewing in the Adirondacks

Adirondack State Park provides a home to a variety of wildlife species. Mammalian species commonly spotted throughout the park and the Adirondack mountains are white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, squirrels, eastern cottontails, and chipmunks. The area also contains a variety of avian, reptilian, and amphibian species.

Camping in Adirondack State Park

Visitors looking to camp throughout Adirondack State Park can check out campgrounds found throughout the Lake Placid, Long Lake, and Cranberry Lake areas. Reservations for these various campgrounds and campsites can be made through the Adirondack visitation site and the New York state reservation site.

Adirondack Chairs on a Dock at Lake in Adirondack State Park New York

When to Visit Adirondack State Park

Adirondack State Park is open throughout the entire year, and visitors can plan their trip to the area throughout the four seasons. Visitation in the state park and surrounding area is constant throughout the year. Though, in the winter and summer peak season does occur. Summer season in the Adirondacks brings warm temperatures conducive to hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing, and camping. Winter season sees the area transform into a winter wonderland. The snow and colder temperatures allow visitors to practice activities such as snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing.

Must Have Items to Bring to Adirondack State Park

Visitors planning their trip to Adirondack State Park will want to bring a variety of items with them to the park. List of Parks advises that the below should be considered by every visitor traveling to Adirondack State Park. 

Water, Meals, & High Energy Snacks

Since Adirondack State Park is a large park that operates with a variety of services, visitors planning to stay in the park will have access to a variety of water, food, and snack resources throughout their trip. However, visitors may also want to bring some supplies of water and snacks with them to the park. Campers, hikers, and other visitors planning to distance themself from the variety of towns found within the Adirondacks should bring additional supplies with them. These visitors should also look to bring an assortment of high energy snacks that can provide them with a needed energy boost late in the day.

Sturdy Hiking Boots

The terrain of Adirondack State Park can be quite treacherous in parts. The area is filled with steep cliffs, riparian zones, and boulder fields. Visitors planning to hike in the park should look to bring a pair of sturdy hiking boots with them to the park. For added comfort and protection, visitors may also want to invest in a lightweight and waterproof pair of hiking boots.

Layers of Clothing

The temperatures of Adirondack State Park can vary frequently during any season. Temperatures in the park also often dip significantly after nightfall. Campers and visitors looking to spend extended time in Adirondack State Park should look to bring a series of layers with them to the park. These layers will come in handy as it gets colder or hotter in the park.

Wildlife Field Guides

The wildlife of Adirondack State Park is abundant and diverse. Wildlife enthusiasts visiting the park should look to bring a North America or Adirondack specific wildlife field guide to them to the park. The best field guides are equipped with color photos and length species descriptions that make identification educational and enjoyable.

Camping Equipment

Camping in Adirondack State Park can require a lot of camping equipment. The best way to remember all of your camping equipment when packing for the park is to create and utilize a camping checklist. This checklist can be checked during your initial packing and once again before leaving for the park.

Village of Long Lake Adirondack State Park New York

Where to Stay in Adirondack State Park

Visitors looking to camp within the borders of Adirondack State Park will want to reserve a spot at one of the various campsites found throughout the park. These campsites can be reserved online through the New York state camping reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay in a hotel in the nearby area can first check out options found in the Lake Placid or Saranac Lake areas. However, visitors looking to stay in a hotel outside of Adirondack State Park should search for options in Albany or Syracuse, New York.

Food Near Adirondack State Park

The closest food to Adirondack State Park is located in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and other surrounding areas. However, visitors looking for a larger culinary scene outside of Adirondack State Park can make the drive to either Syracuse or Albany, New York. These two cities are much larger than Lake Placid or other towns found in Adirondack State Park. and contain a variety of restaurants, bars, and grocery stores.

Airports Near Adirondack State Park

The closest airport to Adirondack State Park is located in Albany, New York. The Albany International Airport is located 77 miles and a one hour and thirty-minute drive north of the park. The next closest airport is located in Syracuse. The Syracuse Hancock International Airport is located 131 miles and a two hour and thirty-minute drive west of Adirondack State Park.

Adirondack state parkState parkState park guide