The Adirondack Park
The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous U.S., covering more than six million acres of upstate New York.
Its heavily forested lands include more than 3,000 lakes and 30,000 miles of streams and rivers; globally unique wetland types and old growth forests. The park contains the largest formal trail system in the nation. The Adirondack Mountains have more than 100 summits, including 46 that top 4,000 feet. Some 130,000 people live in the park year round, scattered throughout its unique villages and hamlets.
The Adirondack Park makes a fabulous classroom, all six million acres of it. Recently it was my pleasure to spend a day with a group of young scholars from Hamilton College, here to live in the park and immerse themselves in all that can be learned here. Life, love of landscape, conservation, field biology, literature, history, sustainable agriculture, and hearty mountain living in one of the country’s most rugged climates are all on offer. Judging by the day I spent in the field with as bright and inquisitive and impeccably mannered undergraduates as ever I’ve had the pleasure in thirty-seven years of guiding to lead into the woods, not to mention a couple of first-rate faculty members, this program will be a resounding success.
Ed Kanze — Adirondack author and guide