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Hiking up Mount Marcy, c. 1930

Hiking Along Trail to Mt. Marcy on Opalescent River
New York State Archives, NYSA_14297-87_2260
Document Description
View of hikers on the trail following the Opalescent River (the upper Hudson River) to Mount Marcy in Keene, Essex County, in the Adirondack Mountains, circa 1930.
What would you see in a mountain park?
What do you think is in the hikers' baskets?
What type of equipment would you take along to climb the highest peak in New York?
What are some rules in a park?
What are the advantages and disadvantages for wildlife in parks?
The Adirondacks are facing problems due to recreational overuse. What does this mean?  What are some of the problems?
Is overuse acceptable if it lets people experience nature?
Historical Challenges
From what language does the word "Adirondack" come? What does the word mean? Whom do we ironically honor by calling this area the Adirondacks?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Name the mountains in the High Peaks and make a graph of their relative size.
Science: Are the Adirondacks new or old mountains? How do scientists know?
English Language Arts: Draw and then write a postcard, dated 1915, from a camp in the Adirondacks.
Burleigh, Robert. Into the Woods. Simon & Schuster Children's, Januar 2003. ISBN: 0689830408
Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, February 1991. ISBN: 0140322426
Petrie, Lettie A. Adirondack Fairy Tales II: Tell Me a Story. Petrie Press, September 1997. ISBN: 0971163812
Steinberg, Michael. Our Wilderness, How the People of New York Found, Changed and Preserved the Adirondacks. Adirondack Mountain Club, Incorporated, May 1996. ISBN: 0935272577
Swinburne, Stephen. The Woods Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series). Houghton Mifflin Company, March 2003. ISBN: 061804602X
Vanriper, Justin and Gary. The Adirondack Kids. Adirondack Kids Press, March 2001. ISBN: 0970704402

Historical Context
This picture shows hikers climbing Mount Marcy, located in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park. Mount Marcy is the highest mountain in New York State.

The Adirondack Park is one of the jewels of New York State. It is the largest national park outside of Alaska. Established in 1864, the park is double the size of Yellowstone and Yosemite parks combined! The Adirondack Park is unique because it consists of both state-owned and privately-owned land. About 2.5 million acres are state-owned, and about 3.5 million are privately owned.  The park is protected through local, regional, and state laws. The 1894 "Forever Wild” clause in an amendment to the New York State Constitution ensures that the Adirondack Park will always be a pristine example of regional wilderness.

Nevertheless, it has been difficult to uphold and sustain the "Forever Wild" clause.  The Adirondack Park continues to face local environmental issues, such as the effects of local industries (logging and paper mills), deforestation and wildlife; regional environmental issues, such as acid rain and water pollution; and development issues, such as highways, stores, homes, and tourism. Another major concern to the Adirondack Park is recreational overuse. During one weekend in the 1990s, 816 people signed in at a trailhead in the High Peaks region, and over 300 cars lined the roadways in Keene Valley, also in the High Peaks.

Essential Question
How does the existence of leisure time influence culture and economy?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how the existence of leisure time changed the American culture and economy.