Know the Park:

  • The Adirondack Park is a 6-million acre patchwork of public and private lands. Choose places appropriate for your activities and abilities. 

  • The public land within the Adirondack Park is protected by the NYS Constitution. That land is known as the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and it is made up of different land classifications. Specific rules determine which types of activities are permitted on which Forest Preserve land classifications. Learn more.

  • Within the Adirondack Park, which is roughly the size of Massachusetts, about 130,000 people live and work year-round in over 100 towns and villages.

  • The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is responsible for developing long-range Park policy. It also has responsibility for two planning documents for all of the lands within the Park: one for the public land (the State Land Master Plan) and one for the private land (the Adirondack Park Land Use Development Plan).

  • The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is responsible for the management of the Forest Preserve and recreational facilities, including campsites.

  • There are three major state land classifications: Wilderness, Wild Forest, and Intensive Use. Within the Adirondack Park, there are approximately 120 different units of Forest Preserve within these classifications.

    • An Intensive Use area is where the state provides facilities for intensive forms of outdoor recreation—including forms of non-motorized and motorized use. There are three types of Intensive Use areas—campgrounds, day use areas, and boat launch sites.

    • A Wild Forest is an area where the natural resources permit a somewhat higher degree of human use than in Wilderness while retaining an essentially wild character. A Wild Forest area frequently lacks the sense of remoteness of Wilderness.

    • Wilderness is an area where people are visitors who do not remain. Wilderness areas generally provide users with outstanding opportunities for solitude. They do not allow motorized recreation. Wilderness has an unaltered character, is without significant improvements, and is managed to preserve and enhance its natural conditions.



2608 Main Street

Lake Placid, NY 12946

Tel: 518-523-2445

© 2020 by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.