Sunday, July 20, 2008

Catskill, Adirondack, Lake Placid, Niagara Falls

Continuing my trip up the east coast, I noticed two large parks in New York. Catskill Park is just about 100 miles north of New York City. Adirondack, a bit further north, is the largest park in the lower 48. So, I decided to check them out and use them for accommodation as I moved north.

The parks were both intriguing and frustrating. Intriguing because it is amazing that such wilderness could exist in the state known mostly for the city. Driving through and camping gave you the feeling that you were a million miles from civilization. Rustic cabins, wild rivers, scenic mountains and largely unmarked, or even unpaved roads.

Here are some examples.

But, because these parks do not have real information centers like most parks, I could find little information on what appeared to be excellent hiking trails. And the parks are a combination of thousands of parcels of state property, interspersed in private parcels. A hike may end with "Posted, Private Property" signs. Fortunately, I did find a guide to the hundreds of nice NY State campgrounds in the parks, so I found cool, comfortable camps at around 3000 foot elevations.

I did discover that Lake Placid is located in Adirondack park. This was the location of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, including the "Miracle on Ice" many may remember. I also remember the description of the beauty there on those Olympic broadcasts, so I decided to camp one night in one of the campgrounds near there. It was a beautiful place, and of course more developed as a result of the Olympics. The first picture is Lake Placid, the third is the ski jump facility, with a picture of nearby mountains in between.
My camp was also near Whiteface Mountain ski resort, located, interestly, in Wilmington, NY.

From there, I headed up to Montreal, Canada. After one night there, I decided to head SW, to Niagara Falls. I had been there before, but this time I approached and spent my time on the Canadian side. I had heard that the falls were better from the Canadian side, and I indeed, did find this to be true. The largest part of the falls, the curved portion shown below is barely visible from the US side.

The photo below is the falls visible from the US side.

I reentered the US near Detroit. Although I admit I saw mostly the waterfront areas, I was shocked by conditions there. Most building were abandoned and collapsing from neglect. Windows were broken or boarded up. Bridges and infrastructure were rusting. Cars were rusted out. Pretty sad.
I'm filing this report from near Cincinnati, Ohio, and heading for Texas.


nemattox said...

The Mattox's went to Niagara falls and Michigan this past week, as well! The pictures look beautiful, and reaffirm that this is one sight I really want to see!

Jane's said...

Hey Max, I thought you were going to call me and stay with my sister. If you were on the Queen
Elizabeth Hwy then you were only a
few miles from her.
Your pictures are great. Give me a call sometime.


max said...

Jane, my dad had some health problems and I had to head back to Texas quicker than I planned. In fact, I left Canada before her planned return on the 23rd. Dee did tell me she met your sister at the Rhome Church, though.

Sorry it didn't work out. I'm in Temple now, so maybe we'll have a chance to visit.