Hike to the top of the mountain to gaze at the calm water below, stop by the roaring falls cascading down the gorge, stroll by the quiet lake if you feel it’s too cold for kayaking: Adirondack State Park is great for outdoor activities.
Including bizarre ones like catch-and-release fishing (hurting and stressing fish for dubious satisfaction of the angler), gem panning (rinsing a purchased bag of pebbles in a futile hope the seller forgot to remove valuable stones) or making campfire in the woods (too much worrying it may spread).
You may be tempted to think that those wonders of nature stayed in the pristine state since the beginning of time. In fact they have undergone dramatic change in the recent past.
Not long ago Lake Champlain was a busy traffic route dotted with heavy industrial sites like aptly named Moriah. Forests around lakes were cut for timber forming huge logjams in lakes. Ghost towns were left behind iron ore mining operation that once was giving employment to the entire region. Falls of Carillon in the center of Ticonderoga are only half of their former glory; the other half disappeared long time ago inside the long defunct paper mill. Even recreation was doing irreversible damage: heavy 2 tonnes rafts floated down the lower portion of Ausable Chasm where a wall was sunk inside the gorge to keep water level high.
With the industry gone (thank you China) the nature is slowly being restored to its roaring and quiet beauty. Especially quiet off-season before crowds of tourists descend on it in the summer.
When you get tired of all that outdoors you can head back to civilization and spend a night in a lovely inn like The Inn on the Library Lawn in Westport where we stayed the night and gracious innkeeper Alexandra took great care of us. And to make our stay even more pleasant: children are not allowed.
Just so you know, we are not spewing everything we see and experience. To give you a taste this is a full list of lakes we passed on Thursday May 6, 2010: Lake Pleasant, Mason Lake, Lewey Lake, Indian Lake, Rock Lake, Lake Durant, Blue Mountain Lake, South Pond, Long Lake, Lake Eaton, Tupper Lake, Simmon Pond, Upper Saranac Lake, Second Pond, Lower Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Mirror Lake.