Adirondack Outdoor Recreation

Adirondack Outdoor Recreation

It's playtime in upstate New York

We do outdoors big. Here in the wild heart of the Adirondacks, both vast swaths of wild forests, lakes, and ponds, as well as quaint towns and hamlets, join together to form the perfect getaway spot. “Small towns, big outdoors” is more than a slogan here. It’s a way of life. With unique shops and restaurants, attractions, and all the water and land you could want to roam, the Adirondack Experience region has something for every type of vacation. Pack up your gear and get outdoors today! 

Here are 7 ways you can experience the Adirondacks this summer:

#1 Camping

From RVs to backpacking hammocks, the Adirondack Experience region has every type of camping. Whether you’re looking to park for the summer, drive in to a campsite, or find a secluded spot deep in the wilderness, the central Adirondacks has a campsite that will suit your needs. Campgrounds offer amenities such as fireplaces and picnic tables, as well as RV hookups, while the backcountry camping sites offer peace, tranquility, and unparalleled views.

A group sits around a campfire while camping in the Adirondacks.

#2 Waterfall Challenge

Rippling cascades. Roaring, precipitous drops. The Adirondack Experience has an almost countless number of waterfalls that offer glimpses of the power and serenity that Adirondack streams create. From roadside falls that can be seen from the car to waterfalls hidden deep in the backcountry, the region has a wide variety of cascades to take in. The best part? Earning a patch for completing the Waterfall Challenge!

A couple visit a waterfall.

#3 Paddling

While the Adirondacks may be known for its limitless trails, the original way to move about was on the waterways. And that tradition has never died. Paddling the Adirondack Experience region is just as limitless! From quiet ponds to bustling lakes to remote rivers dotted by beaver dams, Hamilton County and its environs have a paddling adventure that is perfect for your family.

Paddling in the wilderness of Hamilton County.

#4 Biking

Whether you like to log lots of miles on quiet, scenic roads or get down and dirty in the woods, the Adirondack Experience region is loaded with biking options. From family-friendly cruising around town to well-maintained single track, the central Adirondacks embraces bicyclists because we love two-wheeled action too! Biking is the perfect way to experience the small towns and big outdoors of Hamilton County.

A family mountain biking.

#5 Fire Tower Challenge

Hike into history by climbing one or all of the five historic fire towers in the Adirondack Experience region. These towers are more than a century old but still stand as sentinels in the Adirondacks. While not used for spotting fires anymore, the towers make great destinations and can offer unimpeded views of millions of acres of Adirondack wilderness. Hike all five mountains and earn a patch as a Hamilton County fire challenge finisher!

A beautiful sunset behind a historic fire tower.

#6 Fishing

Whether you like the fight of a bass or the slyness of a trout, fishing in the Adirondack Experience is unparalleled! Hike to remote streams and land the famed Adirondack brook trout or troll a picturesque lake for warm-water species. Whichever your speed, the central Adirondacks has the water, the fish, and the guides that will make your trip unforgettable!

Fishing at sunset in the Adirondacks.

#7 Whitewater Rafting

Let’s be honest, how many of us spend our days glued to screens or in windowless rooms from 9 to 5? We should experience more nature than the fleeting glimpses we get on the internet. Whitewater rafting is a great way to put all the craziness behind and unplug for awhile. It’s the perfect way to experience the big outdoors. Don’t worry, licensed and experienced rafting guides will lead the way as you float down some of the wildest water in the Adirondacks! 

A group getting adventurous whitewater rafting.

The reason you may see media of people not wearing masks on our website is because all footage is from prior years. We all need to be vigilant about maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more and wearing masks when we cannot social distance.


Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks.

Leave No Trace Seven Principles

For a romantic getaway or a weeklong family vacation, we have a lodging option that's perfect!

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