5 Impressions of the Adirondacks New York State

  September 10, 2020 travel posts 🕑 5 minutes read

Adirondacks, Fulton County, New York, USA


I had heard much about the Adirondacks in NY state well before Kelli and booked a sweet Airbnb in Gloversville.


The 6 million square acre park is the largest protected park in the lower 48. It is HUGE.  The Adirondacks is bigger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Park, combined.  Let that sink in for a minute. Never mind the fact that in a strange way, this park seems to be the best kept secret among locals. Sure a fair number of folks visit the forest but honestly, it barely gets any pub-burn in vacation circles south of NY State. I bet ya locals prefer this fact.


People hear “New York” and instantly think New York City. Big buildings, people, and the subway. But few realize upstate New York is basically a 55,000 square mile forest with a scant few decent-sized cities dotting the state.


I want to share 5 impressions of this densely forested, hilly region roughly 3 and a half hours north of NYC.


1: The Place Is More Remote than You Think


I mean, it’s not 100 miles from the next human being type remote but for being in the Northeast US, the park feels more and more remote as you head north. We set up home base in Gloversville for a little over 2 weeks. Slowly but surely, Kelli and I have been traveling north for our early evening hikes. I even saw logging going on the other day. Never mind hearing wood knocks a few days back; yes, Sasquatch has been sighted here many times.


Good Luck Cliffs Hike, Adirondacks, New York USA


The Adirondacks gives you a rural, pristine, unspoiled feel quite unexpected for the first time visitor to NY state. Earlier today I hiked through the Silver Lake Wilderness. I saw no human beings on the trail, noted no cars by the lot trail head and only heard one car drive by until I edged deep into the forest (aka one car driving along a county highway over a 20 minute stretch). Peaceful but eerie, the thick brush, towering trees and wild nature of the place feels similar to how it must be in Washington state or British Columbia, on some level, at least.


It’s estimated that NY state is home to over 10,000 black bears. Toss in moose, bobcats, coyotes, various birds of prey, and yes, locals say Sasquatch, mountain lions and wolves have been spotted here and you bet your sweet bippy you’ll feel like you’re in a remote wilderness in the Adirondacks.


2: The Locals Are……Country


Oddly enough, being 3.5 hours North of NYC makes me feel like I’m in the Deep South. Locals feel country to me. Tons of pick up trucks, ample hunting and let me tell ya; the accents sound similar to folks from way down in rural Florida. Not sure why. Not sure how. But seeing country culture a bit north of The City fascinates me.


Silver Lake Wilderness Area, Adirondacks New York USA


The culture here in Gloversville feels similar to folks who live in rural parts of Florida. Maybe, in not so rural parts, too. Ample tattoos, plenty of dyed hair, and although everybody we’ve come across is kind, engaging and pleasant, I would not want to cross anyone because these dudes and dudettes seem like they can be hard, if ya get my drift. Again; everybody has been a doll. Good people. But you can tell they can get rough and tumble in a heartbeat.


3: Getting Around on the Road Is Easy


We have our car for traversing, but if you rent a car, getting around to various parks and trail heads is incredibly easy. Added bonus; folks drive relatively safely, which feels like a rarity in more rural, remote areas. People tend to drive like animals if surrounded mainly by animals because…..well…..when it takes 45 minutes to get to the grocery store, one needs to save as much time as possible. But so far, people have been polite on the road.


Good Luck Cliffs Hike, Adirondacks, New York, USA.


A few county roads serve as the main ways to get around here in the Southern Gateway to the Adirondacks, in Gloversville. Speed limit is 30 in town, 45 on the outskirts and 55 once you get out into the forest. Slow down to the customary 30-40 passing through small, sleepy local towns.


4: Actually Finding Trail Heads Requires Patience


Kelli and I are used to clearly labeled state parks in NJ. Map it. See clear sign and parking lot as the nice lady says “you’ve arrived.”


Ummmm….yeah….things do not seem to be like that at all in the Adirondacks. Truthfully, you will be notified that you’ve arrived up to 3-5 minutes before you reach the actual trail head. This happened 3 times already. I almost turned around once, then twice, but patiently saw the journey through. The 3rd time, I knew I had to keep driving for 5 minutes or so along the rocky, dirt road to reach the trail head.


Kane Mountain, Adirondacks, New York, USA


Note; as with any rural/remote area, cell phone reception becomes spotty. Keep in mind for your mapping strategy. When you hear “you’ve arrived at your destination” and you see absolutely nothing suggesting a trail head, keep driving….keep driving…keep driving some more. Eventually, you’ll find a little parking lot and trail for some fabulous hiking.


5: The Trails Are Excellent with a Smorgasbord of Options


We arrived on Saturday and today is the first day I returned to the same trail. 4 trails over 5 days. We could easily find a different hike every day for the 17 days we will spend here in the Southern Adirondacks within 20-40 minutes of driving distance.  You will have plenty of options and each offers you a fun hike boasting immense natural beauty.


Willie Marsh, Gloversville, New York, USA


Rugged types can hike challenging trails while those with kids – or less of a taste for adventure – can find easier, flat trails. Whatever ya want, the Adirondacks has it, in terms of nature hikes.




I will keep you posted with more updates as we explore the Southern Adirondacks thoroughly.


Until then, consider visiting this beautiful region of the Northeast US for fun, raw natural beauty and warm, inviting locals.

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