Some little-known facts
about the Adirondacks
Source: The Adirondack Guide, ©1983 Sagamore Institute
- In both the villages of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, you do not see
the body of water from which the village took its name. In Saranac, you see
Lake Flower; in Placid you see Mirror Lake. In the village of Tupper Lake
you are nearer to Raquette Pond than you are to the actual lake named Tupper
Lake, which is 2 miles away.
- In 1980, Lake Placid became the first site to host two Winter Olympic
Games (the village's first hosting was in 1932, the third Winter Olympics).
- An informal poll found that the five most annoying Adirondack bugs are
the blackfly, mosquito, deerfly, "no-see-um" or punkie, and the housefly, in
- Fort William Henry, used during the French and Indian War, was the fort
in James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Last of the Mohicans.
- While being driven from Tahawus Club near Mt.
Marcy to North Creek, in the early morning hours of September 14, 1901,
Theodore Roosevelt learned that President William McKinley had died. At
North Creek station, Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the
- The Adirondack Park is larger than any of the seven smallest states in
the United States: Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. It would take these five national
parks added together to equal the size of the Adirondack Park: Yellowstone,
Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Everglades, and Great Smoky National Parks.
- There are no traffic lights in Hamilton County (only one yellow blinking
light at Long Lake). Hamilton County
also has the smallest population, 5,279 (1990), of any county in New York
State, as well as the lowest population density at 3.1 people per square
- The full-time population of Adirondack Park is just over 100,000. The
seasonal population swells to twice that. More than an estimated 10
million people visit the park each year.
- Lewis and Clark charted the Northwest region of the U.S. three decades
before the first ascent of Mt. Marcy, and 70 years before the source of the
Hudson River was discovered.
- The village of Saranac Lake lies within three towns (Harrietstown, St.
Armand, North Elba) and two counties (Essex and Franklin).
- There are no cities within Adirondack Park--the largest area without a
city in New York State.
- The Adirondack Forest Preserve and the Catskill Forest Preserve to the
south are the only constitutionally protected forest lands in the United
- Boundary Peak, in the MacIntyre
Range of the High Peaks, was supposedly the boundary line between
Algonquin and Iroquois territory in the Adirondacks. To the north of
Boundary Peak is Algonquin Mt., and to the
south is Iroquois Mt.
- The "calamity" of Calamity Brook and Calamity Pond was the
accidental death of David Henderson at what is now known as Calamity Pond in
1845. See the McIntyre Mine history
page for more information about David Henderson and this accident.
- Only 42 of the so-called "46" High Peaks are over 4,000 feet.
The original 46 were compiled from original USGS survey information, which
has since been changed. One peak, MacNaughton, was originally considered to
be less than 4,000 feet and has since been surveyed at 4,000 feet exactly.
The shortest of the 46, Couchsachraga, is only 3,820 feet and is really the
61st tallest peak in the Adirondacks. Several peaks outside of the High
Peaks region, most notably Snowy Mt. at 3,899
feet, are taller than
"Couch." For more information on climbing the 46 High Peaks,
see the Adirondack 46'ers
- Ampersand Mountain, a 3300-foot peak in the High Peaks region, was made
bald by Verplanck Colvin during his 19th Century survey. He used Ampersand
as a survey station and ordered the removal of all the trees from the
summit; now nothing but bare rock remains.
- On January 16, 1962, a B-47 bomber
crashed into Wright Peak (4580 feet),
killing all four of the crew. Much wreckage can still be found near the
summit of Wright.
- The Prospect House, a large hotel built by Frederick Durant in Blue
Mountain Lake in the late 19th century, was the first hotel to have electric
lights. This was very amazing for a hotel which was in the complete middle
of nowhere at the time of its construction.
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