I had the fortune of spending time this weekend in the Adirondack Mountains, a 6 million acre preserve of mountains and lakes. The park was created in 1882 by the forward thinkers in NY State to guarantee public lands would remain forever wild, forever ours. The park is a huge expanse, greater in size than Yellowstone, the Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.
Contrary to popular belief, the mountains of the Adirondacks are not old, worn down mountains, but relatively young land masses caused by uplift and carving during the age of glaciers. Below the mountains there is continuous activity, causing them to "grow," continually uplifting. The massive boulders rising to the surface, on land and within the lakes, may be some of the oldest rock in the world, but the mountains themselves are still growing up!
Within the mountains lie over 3,000 clear blue lakes surrounded by evergreens and deciduous trees, whose leaves this late in August are already turning bright shades of red, orange and yellow. We had the pleasure on Saturday afternoon to take a cruise along the 99 miles of shoreline of Raquette Lake. Nowhere have I ever seen cabins and camps like they have in the Adirondacks.
It is such a delight to see the quaint villages in this area. "Downtown" Raquette Lake sits almost in the exact middle of the park and consists of a small library, church, and a handful of businesses that look like they've just stepped out of the 1890s - when most of the "modern" buildings in this town were erected.
If you are looking for a visit to a bygone era of lumberjacks, want to spend a day canoeing in lakes like the Native Americans did, camp in the cool nights under the stars, wake to fishing and the call of loons, or dine with celebrities at the Great Camp Sagamore or with your favorite person by a cold mountain stream - try the Adirondack Mountains!
And if you want to go to church while you're there, you'd better have a boat or brush up on your swimming skills!