As the largest state-run nature reserve in the continental United States, Adirondack Park offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing in the summer months, to wintertime skiing. Even if you find yourself near one of the park's most popular resorts, Gore Mountain, outside of prime ski season, you'll find plenty of other attractions to keep you busy. Here's a sampling...
Culture: Visit the Adirondack Museum
Open since 1957, the 32-acre open-air Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Park documents the history of the people who have lived, worked, and played in the Adirondack Park. Exhibits housed in 24 buildings include a "Roads and Rails" exhibit with a walk-through, fully furnished railroad car, as well as sleighs, buggies, and the carriage that rushed Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt to a train in North Creek, New York on the night President McKinley was assassinated. The location of the museum itself mirrors the history of the Adirondacks, which developed from a mineral and lumber resource to recreation site. The museum's site was used first as a lumber camp, then a summer hotel, before becoming a museum. The Adirondack Museum ($18 admission) will remain open seven days a week until October 13, then reopens next May. Special exhibits on view include the Sonic Hotel: Lost and Found Sounds of the Adirondacks, an audio art exhibition.
Adventure: Kayaking or White Water Rafting
There's more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams running through Adirondack Park, and the Hudson River is considered one of the best for white water rafting in the U.S.. Its rapids are at their peak around April when the snow and ice has just melted, but rafting in the fall is a much gentler affair. A day trip with outfitters such as the Adirondack Rafting Company,and Adventure Sports Rafting, both based on Indian Lake, costs an affordable $79-$89, including lunch.
For less adventurous spirits, there are plenty of opportunities for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. The St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, on Saranac Lake, rents kayaks for $49 per day.
Food: Local Flavors
Twenty-five minutes from Gore Mountain, Nettle Meadow Farm & Artisanal Cheese is home to 300 goats and dozens of sheep grazing on organic hay, grains, and wild herbs -- all of which add to the savory flavor of its artisanal cheeses. Also nearby, Oscar’s Adirondack Smoke House in Warrensburg offers smoked meats and cheeses. For dinner, visit the picturesque Garnet Hill Lodge, which overlooks Thirteenth Lake, for American fare made with local produce, and home-baked bread and pastries. The restaurant's wine list also highlights local New York wineries.