Approximately 7.5M hikers come each year to the Adirondacks.

How did it become one of park’s most popular tourist attraction?

(Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, 2017)

Through this website we explore the history of why and how hiking trails were developed in the Adirondacks and how they became so popular among tourists. We will also delve into the impacts of hiking trail development on the entire Adirondack Park and the environmental impacts and conservation efforts of trails today. Beginning with Early Trails, we examine where the first trails in the region came from and how they were organized into a network of trails for recreational use. Next under Popularization, we explore how hiking became popular looking at the early factors that contributed to the rise of hiking as an exciting opportunity for outdoor recreation. Both Trail Conservation Today and Impacts look at how the development of trails and popularization of hiking in the region impacted the park. Hiking is the most popular activity in the Adirondacks, so we hope this website can help fill in the gaps of knowledge as to how that came to be.

Our Areas of Focus

Early Development

Ever wondered how ADK trails came to be? Who were cutting the first paths to the great summits? We can shed some light on the first trail building in the Adirondacks.


Hiking trails is the most popular activity to do in the Adirondacks. How did it become so popular? What were the key events that drew people into the mountains for hiking?


The development of hiking in the Adirondacks revolutionized the region creating significant cultural, economic and ecological impacts. Today trail overuse is a major issue plaguing the forever wild lands.

About our sources

Want more details? Please check the Sources tab to see where we got our information.

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