Leave the fast pace of New York City far behind when you head upstate. The six-million-acre Adirondack Park, filled with mountains, lakes, and rivers, was the first great American wilderness area to be preserved. In summer, nature lovers can escape the heat of the city (Boston, New York City, and Montreal are all a half-day's drive away). They flock here to enjoy canoeing, fishing, boating, horseback riding, hiking, mountain climbing, and swimming -- and that's just in warm weather. When the snow falls, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, iceboating, and snowmobiling take over as recreational favorites.
There are pastoral meadows, picturesque villages, around 2,800 lakes and ponds, and dozens of towering peaks to explore. You can go on a casual hike or take a more serious backcountry pack trip. Other attractions include Fort Ticonderoga, showcasing numerous muskets, bayonets, pistols, and swords from the 18th century; ski resorts; century-old country estates; and scenic railroad trips.