Birding, beaches, boats and bikes, what more could you want for fun in New York state? Actually the largest park in the lower 48 states, the Adirondack Mountains offer a range of four-season adventures suitable for everyone from backpackers to families spread throughout 6-million acres of nature.
Here’s how to make the most of your time in this expansive area that includes more than 100 towns and villages.
Walk on the Wild Side
A new attraction for 2015 that’s been eight years in the making, the Wild Walk is a unique way to experience nature as if you were a part of it. A living museum above the treetops, the Wild Walk offers a bird’s eye view of the park as you swing across bridges, play in the tree house and imagine what life would be like as one of your favorite forest creatures.
Fly down the Upper Hudson, Black and Moose Rivers with miles upon miles of wild class IV and V rapids. If you prefer a more leisurely float, guided summer tubing trips are also available along the Sacandaga River.
Saddle up and get ready to tour the mountains and lakes equestrian-style. You’ll pass through beautifully wooded areas, Cascade Lake and even find hidden Cascade Falls. Wagons and surrey rides are also available.
Mine for Diamonds
Bling, bling. Mine for b (quartz crystals) at the Ace of Diamonds Campground. Spend the night under nature’s sparking stars. An international market for prospecting, it is also home to the largest jewelry store in the northeast and an expansive geological museum.
Bike the Adirondacks
A premier destination for road and mountain biking, not all hiking trails allow cyclists, but the ones that do allow you to go gloriously fast, while still being a great place to learn. Explore the Moose River Plains region, along the St. Lawrence Seaway or down the Adirondack Coast.
Spend the Night
Alger Island State Campground on Fourth Lake of the Fulton Chain of Lakes is a boat-access only campground with 15 sites, hibachi grills and outhouses you can get to via kayak or canoe. If you’d prefer a less “authentic” camp experience, Posh Primitive offers luxury cabins with rustic furnishings for a unique New York hideaway.
Hike Belfry Mountain
An easy .6-mile hike, snowshoe or cross country ski up the mountain, the overlook at Belfry provides exquisite views of the old titanium mining community below. If you want to explore the "ghost town" the Tahawus Mines offer some unique hikes, as well, including the High Peaks Trail where you can see the remains of a blast furnace.