High Peaks Wilderness Area | WBtV

High Peaks Wilderness Area

A vast wilderness in the Adirondack mountains of forests, lakes and mountains. Most of the area is covered in soft- and hardwood forests. The higher elevations at and near most mountain tops have thick stands of stunted balsam with some spruce, white birch and yellow birch. Other trees present in the area at lower altitudes are shad-bush, maple, hawthorn, oak, cherries, cottonwood and elm trees.   The wilderness features many streams and lakes with scenic waterfalls, deep pools and brook trout fishing opportunities. The streams include the Opalescent River, Johns Brook, Klondike Brook, Marcy Brook, Cold River and Moose Creek. Lake Tear of the Clouds lies at about 1'311m elevation on a flank of Mount Marcy. Its outflow eventually becomes a tributary the Hudson River.


The area is a popular location for summer and winter recreation activities. These include hiking, climbing, skiing and canoeing. As there is not much infrastructure all travelers need to be equipped properly and prepare potential issues. Many trails are suitable for cross-country skiing and numerous rock slides offer back country opportunities for alpine and telemark skiing as well as snowboarding. Avalanches occur in this region, requiring winter visitors to take appropriate precautions. All of these activities are regulated by park authorities in order to ensure that the forest preserve actually stays clean and preserved.


The wilderness has a large population of dryads. They are spread out across the entire wilderness and can be found at all altitudes. The forest preserve was established to protect the habitat of these dryads in a deal with the logging companies many decades ago.
Forest Preserve
New York
Olive Sanctuary
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Included Locations

Cover image: Mountain Landscape by TJ Trewin


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