Adirondack Park is bigger than Yellowstone, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Canyon parks combined. Covering one-fifth of New York State, the park's 30,000 miles of paddling routes equal the length of a dozen Mississippi Rivers (or 9,600,000 rods, for you portage-minded canoeists). Lake Placid (pop. 2,500) lies right in the center of it. Best known for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid makes a great summer base to explore the park, where canoes and wooden guideboats cut through quiet, tannin- stained waters, and loon song fills the air. — Katie McKy
See more: NORTH AMERICA'S BEST PADDLING TOWNS.
This story will appear in the June 2015 issue of Canoe & Kayak.