The Adirondack Park in New York State encompasses 9,375 square miles, so driving distances and directions to different areas of the Park will vary considerably. Interstate Rt. 87, originating in the Albany area, passes through the Adirondack Park along its eastern side and continues north to the Canadian border. There are over 40 other roads entering the Park as well. As a result, there is no "Entrance gate," no admission fee and no curfew.
Established in 1892, the Adirondack Park is a mix of public and private lands. At six million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest State Park in the United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined. Nearly 2,500 lakes, more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 46 "High Peaks" (mountains over 4,000 feet) including 5,344-foot Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York State, provide a diverse habitat for a rich wildlife population and a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities.
There are 17 Wilderness areas where access by motor vehicles and bicycles is not allowed. There aaare also 1.3 million acres of Forest Preserve land classified as Wild Forest. Most, but not all, trails in Wild Forest areas are open to mountain bikes. Combined, this provides hundreds of miles of trails, forest and old logging roads to explore on foot or by mountain bike and snowmobile, 46 summits to climb, pristine water trails connecting glass surfaced lakes to kayak and canoe, clear rushing streams to fly fish, and the cries of the loons echoing over the lake to make you stop for a moment and listen as dusk settles over your campsite.
Adirondack Forest Trail Information: Mountain Biking in the Adirondack Mountains
Several areas of the Adirondack Park encompass extensive mountain biking trail systems. We divided them into sections to make things easier.
The Central Adirondack Region is noted for it's extensive snowmobile trail system. The Old Forge Trail System and Inlet Trail System are open to hiking and mountain biking in the warmer months providing hundreds of miles of groomed trails that wind through majestic Adirondack Woodlands, to peaks with wonderful vistas and prsitine backwoods lakes and streams.
You can ride your bike from Old to Forge to Inlet.
We've labeled them: Old Forge Trail System, Inlet, Franklin County North, Franklin County South, Otter Creek Horse Trails, Moose River Recreation Area Trails, Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Trails Trails and Lake George to make things easier.
This extensive network of snowmobile and cross country ski trails, unpaved forest and logging roads vary in length, locale and degree of difficulty. The time it takes to complete a route depends on steepness and technicality of the trail, length and your physical condition. The mountain bike rides we feature focus mostly on the easy to moderate, less technical routes.
Several downhill and cross-country ski areas in the Adirondack Mountains Region such as Whiteface Mountain and the Verizon Sports Complex offer fabulous mountain biking opportunities during the warmer months.
Note: Trail conditions are not suitable for mountain biking until they dry out sometime in late Spring, usually around Mid-May. Many ponds and lakes in this area have muddy or boggy shores, so ride responsibly and tread lightly leaving no tell-tale traces of fat tires.
Plan ahead. The mountains in this region demand respect. The weather is unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden cold, windy or rainy weather conditions. Layer your clothing and bring emergency gear (warm outewear, rain gear, food, insect repellent, water, emergency first aid kit and bike repair tools). Have a compass and a map and know how to use them. It's a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected, even an overnight night stay in the woods. Let someone know where you are going and expected time of return.
The long northern winter ends in April or early May. Early Spring brings mud and water (mud season) which is especially prevalent in the higher elevations. Then the dreaded black fly season begins. The summer is short and sweet in the Adirondack region. The best time to visit is July when the insect population has died down somewhat. By late August the trees begin to show fall colors and by Colombus Day, winter preparations begin.
Maps: Detailed Trail Descriptions and Maps are available at New York State Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers in Paul Smiths and Newcomb. Open year-round, the facilities serve the 6 million-acre Park as environmental education and traveler orientation centers. The center in Paul Smiths is on Route 30, 12 miles north of Saranac Lake, the center in Newcomb is located on Route 28N, 12 miles east of Long Lake.
Adirondack Maps created by Adirondack Maps Inc. contain comprehensive trail information and can be found in many Adirondack stores.
The Adirondack Region is home to many northeastern wildlife species, and a variety of rare habitat types, the most predominant being Northern hardwood forest. At higher altitudes, conditions become harsher and the northern hardwood forest gives way to stands of red spruce and balsam fir at about 2,500 feet. Above 4000 feet, the red spruce dwindles and balsam fir dominates the higher sub-alpine slopes. Stands of balsam fir continue upward, gradually becoming shorter until they form a ragged line of shrubs at the treeline. On about a dozen of the highest peaks Arctic-alpine communities thrive where the mountain environment is similar to the far northern arctic tundra.
Wildlife found here include white-tailed deer, coyote, ruffed grouse, bald eagles, beaver, river otter, common loons and other waterfowl, bobcat, fisher, and pine marten. There are more black bears in the Adirondacks than in any other part of the state. In the spring, throngs of migrating songbirds returning from their southern wintering grounds add color and music to the Adirondack environment. The many rivers, bogs, streams, glacial ponds, lakes, teeming marshes and evergreen swamps of the Forest Preserve are home to thriving communities of fish and rare flora and fauna species.
New York State Department of Enviromental Conservation operates 52 campgrounds located in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. DEC campgrounds provide a wide variety of experiences, including island camping, tent and trailer camping, boat launching facilities, hiking trails, beaches and day use areas with picnic tables and grills. For more information call (518) 457-2500.
Nature-based programs have been a part of the camping experience at several of DEC's Forest Preserve campgrounds. Some offer organized, family-based activities on a daily basis during the summer season, while a few others provide educational and recreational programs only on a part-time basis.
Many towns in the area offer accommodations, restaurants and shopping. Lake Placid, in the heart of the Adirondack Park is noted as the host city for both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and is the most comprehensive, full-service town within the Adirondacks Park region. Nearby Saranac Lake in the Adirondack lakes country is more laid back. Old Forge region towns such as Inlet and Old Forge are surrounded by Adirondack Parkland and provide easy access to many park attractions and a vast network of mountain bike trails.
Scenic train rides are available seasonally from restored stations in North Creek, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Thendara, south of Old Forge.
If you love history, you can visit forts, museums, historic homes and "Great Camps," Take advantage of a walking tour into the pre revolutionary past at Fort Ticonderoga or visit the home and farm of abolitionist John Brown.
The Adirondack Park was created in 1882 by the New York State Legislature, which enacted measures that guarantee public lands will remain forever wild. The heart of the Adirondack Park is the Forest Preserve, which was created by an act of the Legislature in 1885 which stated, “The lands now or hereafter constituting the Forest Preserve shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be sold, nor shall they be leased or taken by any person or corporation, public or private.” The constitutional protection given the Adirondack Forest Preserve is the strongest such law in the United States.
For more information:
Contact them by telephone or regular mail. E-mail inquiries are not accepted at this time.
New York State Adirondack Park Agency
Phone: (518) 891-4050