What is the Adirondack Park?

What is the Adirondack Park?

What is the Adirondack Park?

The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States. It contains six million acres, covers one-fifth of New York State and is equal in size to neighboring Vermont. The Adirondack Park is nearly three times the size of Yellowstone National Park.

More than half of the Adirondack Park is private land, devoted principally to hamlets, forestry, agriculture and open-space recreation. The Park is home for 130,000 permanent and 200,000 seasonal residents, and hosts 10 million visitors yearly.
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The remaining 45 percent of the Park is publicly-owned Forest Preserve, protected as “Forever Wild” by the NYS Constitution since 1894. One million acres of these public lands are protected as Wilderness, where non-mechanized recreation may be enjoyed. The majority of the public land (more than 1.3 million acres) is Wild Forest, where motorized uses are permitted on designated waters, roads and trails.

Plants and wildlife abound in the Park. Old growth forests cover more than 100,000 acres of public land. The western and southern Adirondacks are gentle landscapes of hills, lakes, wetlands, ponds and streams. In the northeast are the High Peaks. Forty three of them rise above 4,000 feet and 11 have alpine summits that rise above the timberline.

The Adirondacks include the headwaters of five major drainage basins. Lake Champlain and the Hudson, Black, St. Lawrence and Mohawk Rivers all draw water from the Adirondack Park. Within the Park are more than 2,800 lakes and ponds, and more than 1,500 miles of rivers, fed by an estimated 30,000 miles of brooks and streams.

Through public education and advocacy for the protection of the Park’s ecological integrity and wild character, the Adirondack Council advises public and private policymakers on ways to safeguard this last remaining great expanse of open space.