The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the lower 48 states. It is bigger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Great Smokey and Yosemite combined. It is possible for a shy animal to walk its breadth without ever seeing a person. The Park is unusual in that it does contain villages and towns within its 6 million acre border. The following are some must do's. Some are in or near those towns, others in the forests and lakes and mountains.

One note. Many consider the Adirondacks a new model for the world. The Park is seen as a place where people and nature have worked for more than a century to live side by side. The idea is that more and more places are trying to be more like the Adirondacks, where people can live in nature. When you travel there, think of the part you play in making this model for the world work.

Mountains: There is a tunnel into the side of Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid. You drive up the toll road, enter the old tunnel, and take a somewhat scary elevator up through the billion year old rock to the summit. The house at the top was made from rock blasted from the tunnels. Listen closely at the top. Half the known world population of Bicknell's thrush summer at the tops of Adirondack Mountains, and Whiteface is a known habitat. Hike down the trail to your car, and marvel at the broken mountain top and signs of the ice age that smoothed its surface.

Museums: The new Wild Center opened in 2006, and is a key stop in the Adirondacks. It fills a long standing void in the Park - a place people coming to see nature can get a huge dose of the things that make the wild Adirondacks so remarkable. It won't remind you of many museums you have been in before. It's won rave reviews around the country for its groundbreaking exhibits and programs that very literally brings the Adirondack to life. There's a giant moving glacier, and the exhibits are actually alive in most cases. There are fish that look like sharks, river otters, birds, theaters, indoor rivers and waterfalls, and trails around the Museum's pond and river.  The Wild Center is in Tupper Lake, a historic logging town.

 Lake Placid: The town has a great history, somewhat smothered by its Olympic dreams. The town was home to some of the early winter sports imports from Europe. It had an old stone bobsled run, early alpine slopes, rickety wooden ski jumps where local kids jumped because they could. Town is in a beautiful setting, and offers the best  assortment of restaurants and accomodations in the Park.

John Browns Farm: He's buried here, and the scene around his farm is little changed. A nice unencumbered site, with no T  shirt stands and no hoopla, just a simple house where his body lies amoldering.

Great Camp Sagamore: On Raquette Lake, the old Vanderbilt Camp, now open to the public, and yes, you can sleep where vanderbilt's slept. This is part of another era in the Adirondacks, when barrons ruled the woods. Worth walking in their footsteps for a day. The Sagamore Great Camp is run by a not-for-profit.

Hudson Gorges: The Hudson river starts in the Adirondacks and builds up a head of steam before it leaves. There are rafting trips offered, and the gorges and wild and deep. They are hard to get to by anything but boat. The rafting companies head out from. There are a number of competing firms offering raft rides. They rides start in and around Indian Lake or North Creek.