Adirondack Mountain Club
PO Box 867
Adirondack Loj Road
Lake Placid, NY 12946-0867
Official ADK Site
Mount Marcy, New York, 5,344 feet
When you solo it, it helps to have a ranger at the summit to take your picture.
Mount Marcy is the perfect highpoint for the Empire State. It has a rich, dramatic history in a stylish mountain range. It overlooks a towering building and trendy vacation destination and it is often overrun with people.
Of all my pages, I have caught the most grief because people think I do not like Marcy because of that opening paragraph. It is quite the opposite! You can not visit the 'dacks without falling in love with the place.
Marcy can be hiked in a day from the base camp at Adirondack Loj. It is not a difficult climb -- just long. I started at 4 a.m. at the end of September and after wondering off inadvertently on the maze of ski trails at the trailhead, I managed to make the roundtrip returning at 3 p.m. This was a goodtime. The dreaded black flies were long gone.
Lake Tear of the Clouds below the summit is the headwaters of the Hudson River. Theodore Roosevelt was picnicking there when he was summoned to succeed the dying William McKinley as President. His route down the mountain is thoroughly commemorated.
The Adirondacks deserve the accolades of among the most beautiful place anywhere. The Adirondack Park is maintained by a peculiar partnership of private and state land. The Adirondack Mountain Club does a wonderful job of maintaining the trails. Mountain stewards (as they do on all Northeastern name alpine mountains) attempt to inform the hordes of the fragility of the environment. However, this is New York after all (the Adirondack Loj is less than six hours from New York City) and the peak can be overrun in the summer with hikers who sometimes have a tendency to pull out cellular phones to make calls to their Manhattan offices. The Club has tried to reduce congestion by closing the parking lots when they are full (hence you should start the trek very early). However, even if the lots are full, hikers just park further back.
Although the state makes much of Marcy, it really isn't much to look at. Postcards with photographs of the neighboring more dramatic mountains fill the souvenir stands in nearby trendy Lake Placid (home of two sets of Winter Olympics -- Marcy is a prime cross country skiing destination and special ski trails have been established). The Winter Olympics also meant that quaint little Lake Placid has a huge ski jump that towers over everything and whose airline warning lights obnoxiously ruin the ambience -- even from the summit.