Each place you discover contends for your affections.
With 2,800 lakes and ponds to explore, how do you decide if the open waters and mountain views of Long Lake are preferable to the intimacy of deep-woods kettle holes like Nellie Pond and her sister, Bessie?
Though it wasn't until the 1890's that the state decided to protect land in the area, today the Adirondack Park is bigger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Glacier National Parks combined.
With the exception of the new California Desert National Park, it is the largest park in the lower 48 states.
The 22 guest rooms and suites in the original 1882 lodge and three newer buildings vary in atmosphere (some cabin-y, some cottage-y), but are all loaded with comfort (deep tubs, dreamy beds, cedar closets).
Recently, the lodge joined hands with the Whiteface Club, whose golf course, tennis courts, and marina are just next door.
Head to the heart of the Adirondack Park—the High Peaks area and neighboring lakes to the south and west. WHERE TO STAYIn the Rockies, you go to a ranch; in the Adirondacks, you go to a camp. Greatest of the Great Camps THE POINTUpper Saranac Lake800/255-3530 or 518/891-5674, fax 518/891-1152doubles from 0 all-inclusiveopen year-round except mid-March to mid-April.At Sagamore, the nearby camp of Alfred Vanderbilt, vacation meant competition.In winter, toboggans were roped to a team of horses that raced in circles around Sagamore Lake.Many of the largest of the camps are now conference centers, hotels, children's camps, or simply gone; others quietly survive, no longer the center of attention.The story of the great camps, however, is just one episode, albeit the most baroque, in a long and colorful history of people at play in these woods.