Outdoorsy travelers will love the Adirondacks in the summer. The state park is known for skiing and snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain and whitewater rafting in the fall, but the warmer months offer an adventurous experience like none other.
The entire mountain range in the northeast of Upstate New York is filled with iconic scenic roads where you can even bike along wine trails. They will also take you to incredible museums, lavish forests, as well as bike festivals, paddling contests and golf courses.
Get a cool summer job
Waking up in the backcountry and hiking to the top of a mountain doesn’t sound bad at all for a morning commute. Summit stewards for the Adirondack Mountain Club do just that five days a week (they spend the other two days in a yurt), sometimes footing it as far as seven and a half miles and ascending New York’s highest peaks.
Stewards do some light trail work, but 90 percent of the job is interpreting the place, its unique ecosystem, and helping people understand the simple things they can do to help protect it.
Go hiking in the Adirondacks and you’ll have more than 2,000 miles of trails wind along forested paths to explore. You’ll pass by waterfalls, climb summits offering 360-degree views that extend as far as the eye can see.
Cross most of the High Peaks Wilderness Area and its 10 peaks, including the highest in New York – Mt. Marcy at 5,344 feet. The route is considered one of the most difficult dayhikes in the country, mostly because of eroded trail beds that wear you down physically and mentally. The trail follows the high ridgeline of the Great Range, which means you’ll be spending more time above treeline—with long views in every direction, including east to Vermont's Green Mountains and northwest to Lake Placid—than on any other Adirondack trail.
Hike-in campers should check out the Adirondack Shelters, which are 3-sided wood shelters offered as an alternative to backcountry, according to NPS.
Visit a former-Olympic destination
While a visit to an Olympic site from the past won’t be exactly like attending the 2016 Games in Rio, which begin in a couple of weeks, the Olympic legacy is still very much alive in former-host cities around the globe, including Lake Placid, which hosted the Winter Games in 1932 and 1980.
Lake Placid has a rich athletic history and a ton to do, regardless of the season. During the summer months they host Saturday Night Ice Shows. National and international level skaters such as Ryan Bradley and Rachael Flatt are regulars and you never know when a legend like Scott Hamilton or Jim Craig might pop in for a day.
Visitors can stop into the Olympic Center for a look at the museum or visit the Olympic Sports Complex. If you’re looking for more adventure you’ll have no trouble finding your niche, as Lake Placid is still a top destination for fitness fanatics and outdoor enthusiasts.
Off the beaten path camping
Set course for a remote campsite attainable only by canoe. Pitch a tenst, start a bonfire, and sleep under the stars. There are hundreds of campsites in the Adirondacks where you can do just that.
People who prefer more moderate accommodations will not be disappointed. Glamping spots offer hand-crafted timber bed platforms and queen size mattresses, bathhouses, showers, air conditioning and even flat-screen TVs.
Off the beaten path camping spots include 44 islands on Lake George with more than 380 shoreline campsites, Daggett Lake Campground, and Luzerne Public Campground where equestrians are welcome.
If you can ski in the Adirondacks, you can bike. One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the region and its old truck trails is with a bicycle. You will find trails that will test your skills to the limit. Easy, moderate and advanced routes zigzag through forests, and will have you crossing streams exposing you to some of the most stunning views in the state.
Ride your bike in the Moose River Plains or the Whiteface Mountain Bike Park; along the Lake Champlain Bikeways, a network of 35 loops; pass charming villages; grab lunch at a farmer’s market and make new friends among other bikers.
This is the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. The options of adventurous activities are endless – hiking, rock climbing along one of the oldest natural attractions in the U.S. (since 1870s), strolling past Rainbow Falls, exploring Hyde's Cave and the quiet of Mystic Gorge. Tubing, stand-up paddle boarding, night tours, and rafting are also very popular with tourists.
Canoeing & kayaking
If you love the water and paddling, go no farther than Adirondacks. The region has more than 3,000 lakes and ponds. About 30,000 miles of rivers and streams run through the state park. All of them make for an incredible experience. “For the simple fact that for every mountain peak, there are hundreds of miles of waterways, from the mighty Hudson River, to the magnificence of Lake Champlain,” according to Visit Adirondacks.