This 2-1/2 hour drive through the densely forested, six million-acre state parkland of the Adirondack Mountains, with 42 peaks rising more than 4,000 feet, will literally take your breath away. Start your drive at the intersection of Rte. 8 and 30 in the village of Speculator, a popular hunting, fishing, and skiing center. This section of road will take you up the base of the mountain through hardwood forests of maple, beech, and birch that explode with color in the fall. Follow Rte. 30 north to Lewey Lake and the Lewey Lake Campgrounds, the first major stopping point.
Indian Lake greets you just down the road and over a stream, which forms part of the Hudson River's headwaters. Views of the distant peaks of the northern Adirondacks open up just down the road, and a scenic turnoff takes in the 3,353-foot Bullhead Mountain and surrounding peaks in the area. Continue on Rte. 30, across the Cedar River, to the small resort town of Blue Mountain Lake and the 3,759-foot summit of Blue Mountain. A 2.2-mile trail leads you to a fire tower at the top of the summit. Stop off at the Adirondack Museum at the base of the trailhead, which features antique guideboats, furniture, mementos of early resort life, and a private railroad car.
Descend back down the mountain through the forests to Long Lake. Turn left at the town of Long Lake to stay on Rte. 30 and continue on for a 20-mile forest drive. Cross an arm of Tupper Lake, follow Rte. 30/3, and look ahead for a view of the 4,867-foot Whiteface Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the Adirondacks. Bear right on Rte. 3 and continue along Tupper Lake to the town of Saranac Lake and spectacular views of glistening Lower Saranac Lake. The drive ends at the intersection of Rte. 3 and Rte. 86.
Distance of Drive:
148 Lake Flower Avenue, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 Phone: 518-891-2574 Call ahead to confirm hours of operation.
Best Time of Year for Drive:
Late spring to early fall
Points of Interest on Drive:
Lewey Lake Campgrounds
Blue Mountain Lake
Lower Saranac Lake
The seemingly endless highways of America have inspired wanderlust in generations of travelers. With miles of asphalt and a stunning diversity of landscapes to explore, the nation has perfected that uniquely mellow and meandering form of travel known as the road trip.
Perhaps no road in the country is quite as mellow and meandering as the Blue Ridge Parkway. Set into the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, the parkway is 469 miles of poetry. Its only two lanes wide, and the 45 mph speed limit means there is not much choice but to be mellow and take in the scenery. That scenery sweeping vistas, high mountain lakes and dense flora gives the parkway a starring role on seemingly every list of the top 10 drives in North America.
Its one of only 23 roads in the country to earn an All-American Road designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation, meaning the Blue Ridge Parkway is recognized as a "destination unto itself."
LHB I agree Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular! Great picture too You are quite a good photographer! We drove the Blue Ridge last July throughout Virginia It was amazing - many enjoyable places to stop - scenic viewpoints, parks, wineries, historical sites etc. Fortunately I've also traveled other sections of this road when traveling from Chicago to South Carolina - we used to go to SC every spring What a fabulous drive and the camping opportunities are good too! the Biltmore estate is one must see stop! Happy travels ...Funtimes
We love to take our time whenever we travel to and from Florida and what better way to go South (or North) avoiding the busy Highway I95. We often take the Skylkine Drive through Virginia and then on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This past June when we drove up North, we set out to explore some wineries on the way, including the Biltmore Estate and Winery. You are right,the Biltmore Estate is a place not to be missed. This past October, we did some explorations of historic sites, like battlefields in and around historic Fredricksburg, VA, explored Winston-Salem and the Reynolds Estate with its magnificent Museum of American Art, and historic Macon, GA, on our way South.
Over the past 30 years or so, my wife and I have travelled by road pretty much across every part of the USA and Canada, as well as parts of Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru. On our many road trips we've been fortunate to see some amazingly beautiful scenery and experienced many of the most scenic drives across the Americas. But, this fall (September 2007) on our vacation out West in the Canadian Rockies we saw what has to be the ultimate: the Icefields Parkway! Known also as Highway 93, it's got to be the most spectacular journey in the world thatwe've ever had the fortune to make. Stretching about 148 miles from Lake Louise north to Jasper, Alberta, it provides visitors to Banff National Park and Jasper National Parka world-class tour through the heart of the majestic Rockies, a vast unspoilt wilderness of magnificent snow-topped peaks, unbelievably blue and pristine high mountain lakes and broad sweeping valleys. The entire drive lies protected from development and intrusion (such as subdivisions, shopping malls, tacky motels, souvenir shops or theme parks) within the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO in 1964 for its outstanding natural beauty and unique geological value.
The careful engineering of the road, and the generous provision of stopping places, viewpoints, and interpretive information allow the sublime scale and wonderful variety of mountain scenery to be fully appreciated.The Parkway introduces visitors to the highest mountains in the Canadian Rockies, to glaciers (such as the breath-takingly expansive and grandioseAthabasca Glacier
that we hiked up to from the road and ventured gingerly out onto the icy surface)and ice fields, to pristine forests, lakes, waterfalls, and wild rivers. Opportunities to see elk, moose, goats, sheep, bears and caribou along the Icefields Parkway are excellent and we were lucky enough to spot a lone Mountain Goat high on a rocky ledge of a roadside cliff, a small herd of elk browsing the tall grass just beyond the metal fence paralleling the roadway, and a group of white-tailed deer grazing on a wooded knoll beside a highway bridge. We did not see any bears, though they are quite a common sight along various stretches of this incredble drive.where they are often spotted while feeding on roadside berry bushes or foraging for garbage left by inconsiderate traveller.
So, if you're looking for one of the most scenic and memorable drives in the world, put the Icefields Parkway at the top of your list.
What a wonderful trip you must have had judging from the pictures. Highway 93 goes through some of the most spectacular parts of the Canadian Rockies. We took that part of the trip on our way to Alaska some 30 years ago, from Milwaukee, to Banff, to Lake Louise to Jasper and then on to the Alcan Highway. It was breathtaking then, and we too did see a lot of wild animals. We took the trip with friends in a rented Winabago all the way up to Ancorage. I often thought I would love to go back to this part of the Canadian Rockies, for the hiking and the scenery there, as I remember, was superb. The mountains there are quite different from the European Alps and the country side is much wilder.