Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Interesting facts I just found out about the Adirondacks (Random Conversation at Work)

•The Adirondack Park is comprised of about 6.1 million acres (9,375 square miles).

•The park is the size of the state of Vermont.

•There's no marked boundary to the park, no "entrance gate" and no admission fee.

•The Adirondack Park is the largest protected area in the contiguous United States, delineated by the famous "blue line."

The Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.

•The Adirondack Park contains 85% of all wilderness in the eastern United States. It is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi.

•The Adirondack Park has over 2,000 miles of hiking trails; these trails comprise the largest trail system in the nation.

•Contrary to popular belief, these mountains are not old, "worn down" peaks, but relatively young mountains. It is theorized that there is a geologic "hotspot" beneath the Adirondacks that causes continued uplift at the rate of 1.5 – 3cm annually.

•The western and southern Adirondack area is a gentle landscape of hills, lakes, ponds and streams, along with the highest mountains in the state. The 46 High Peaks (over 4,000 feet) include Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York at 5,344'.

•Within the park are 3,000 lakes and ponds and more than 1,200 miles of rivers fed by an estimated 30,000 miles of brooks and streams.

•Essex County, located in the Adirondack Park, contains the greatest number of waterfalls in New York.

•State-owned Forest Preserve comprises 2.6 million acres (42%) and is protected by the state constitution as "forever wild." One million acres of the Forest Preserve is further classified as wilderness.

•The New York State Legislature created the Adirondack Park in 1882 by enacting measures that guaranteed public lands would remain "forever wild" – the strongest such law in the United States.

•An estimated 7-10 million tourists visit the region annually.

•60 million people live within a days' drive of the Adirondack region.

•The park is a patchwork of public and private lands.

•Visually, very little difference exists between state owned and privately owned land.

•Approximately 137,000 people live in the Adirondacks twelve months of the year.

•The park is home to 200,000 seasonal residents. Hamilton County has the largest percentage of 2nd homeowners in the nation.

•There are over 100 villages and towns within the park but no cities. It is the largest area without a city in the state.

•The word "vacation," was invented in the Adirondacks. In the early 1900's people in the cities were beginning to realize that summer heat and deadly fevers went hand in hand. The upper class did not spend the summer in the city waiting for a fever; they vacated the city for the fresh clean air of the Adirondacks. The term "vacating" or evacuating is the reason Americans take "vacations" instead of a British "holiday."

•Hamilton County is the third largest county in the state but has no stoplights.

•Lewis County has twice as many cows as people (53,000 cows).

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