- Written by Dan
Hiking is another popular activity in the Adirondack mountains, and no summit is more popular than Mount Marcy, Adirondack’s highest peak. 5,344-foot Mount Marcy also holds the distinction of being the highest point in New York State, and its stature and view are why people travel there in ham-sized fistfuls every year.
Originally named “Tawahus,” a Native American word that loosely translates as “cloud-splitter,” Mount Marcy was renamed in the 19th century after William L. Marcy, the governor who authorized early exploration of the mountain. Over the years, Mount Marcy has seen its share of adventure and history in the making; the most famous story associated with the peak is Teddy Roosevelt’s. When he was still Vice President, Roosevelt learned about the failing condition of President McKinley while he was climbing to the summit of Mount Marcy. His race down the mountain was the first leg of his journey to presidency.
Some might think it is silly to boast about the height of Mount Marcy, considering it hardly stands up to the towering peaks of the West Coast or the Appalachians. And while it might be the tallest peak in New York state, Mount Marcy does not even rank as one of the three highest mountains on the East Coast. What sets Mount Marcy apart is its wildness. Its summit is free of man made structures, and the nearest village is eight miles away.
It is pure communal with nature that people seek when they travel to Mount Marcy, and the reason so many are willing to brave a fairly remote hike.
Of course, there is still a frequently used route that anybody hiking Mount Marcy can take. At 15 miles, it can be challenging, but well worth it, once you can get past all of the annoying uphill sections. While no lodging is available on the premises, there is plenty only a short drive away. Visitors to Mount Marcy are also encouraged to camp, as long at they adhere to environmental protocol like not using soap near water sources and only drawing dead wood for fires.