Unlike the neighboring and ancient Appalachians, New York's Adirondacks are a young and growing mountain range, a roughly circular dome that over the past five million years has lifted peaks to more than 5,000 feet. Within the Blue Line -- the official border of the Adirondack Park -- 42 campgrounds provide visitors with a wide array of outdoor opportunities. Although all reside in a beautiful alpine countryside of forest, lakes and streams, a handful merit further attention. Note that firewood restrictions apply in all campgrounds.
Situated on lengthy Sacandaga Lake, Northampton Beach is a large campground of 224 sites set within white pines and mixed hardwoods. Swim at a sand beach from mid-June until Labor Day, use the park's boat launch, or rent canoes or rowboats. The lake is home to many different fish, including walleye, bass, perch and bullheads. Toilets and showers are available, as well as a picnic area and a separate picnic pavilion for rent to groups.
Close to the popular villages of Old Forge and Blue Mountain Lake, where you'll find the Adirondack Museum, Eighth Lake is a magnet for trout anglers and has salmon ponds adjacent to the campground. RVs up to a length of 40 feet can use several of Eighth Lake's 126 sites and its trailer dumping station. Boat rental is available.
If roughing it suits your taste, you may wish to visit Tioga Point, on Raquette Lake. Accessible only by boat, this is a primitive campground of 15 lean-to shelters and 10 tent sites, each of which has a picnic table and fireplace. Popular with canoeists and anglers, several species of trout, perch and smelt call Raquette Lake home. Campers are cautioned to treat any lake water.
At the north end of Lake George and just 6 miles south of historic Ticonderoga, Rogers Rock campground is large and and often crowded. Three hundred thirty-two sites accommodate tents and RVs, with restrooms, showers, a dumping station, boat launch and mooring buoys available on one of the Adirondacks' busiest lakes. The park was named for colonial soldier Robert Rogers, commander of Rogers Rangers and popularly fictionalized in Kenneth Roberts' novel "Northwest Passage."