A Discussion of Value in the Adirondacks

As this is a blog about the Adirondacks and Adirondack Real Estate, it is essential to address how property here in the Adirondack region of upstate New York is valued. Just like property elsewhere, value is based on the law of supply and demand. From there it gets slightly more complicated since most of the property I work with is located within the six-million acre Adirondack Park, which limits the supply of private land.

The Adirondack Park was created in 1882 by the New York State Legislature, which enacted measures that guarantee public lands will remain forever wild. The Park itself is the size of the state of Vermont with a structure unlike any other state or national park in the nation: it is a patchwork of public and private lands. There are expansive blocks of undeveloped backcountry interspersed with private homes, villages, and tracts of corporate forest lands under active management. In the Adirondacks, it is possible to hike to an isolated waterfall in the afternoon, then spend the evening strolling cosmopolitan Main Street Lake Placid.

It is like living in a National Park, but with privately owned land and private industry located within the confines of the Park. And that is exactly what it is; private land surrounded by government owned land that will never be developed. There is limited developable, private land available. This, of course, makes real estate dear, or valuable.

There are many, many miles/kilometers of publicly accessible trails for hiking, biking, skiing, hunting and general enjoying. That is one reason Lake Placid was chosen America’s Best Outdoor Town. For my international readers, this means you can actually go for a free hike on such great expanses of land that you might never see a sign of civilization. You can also hunt on public lands at no cost other than your hunting license.


  1. turner

    (As you know, Joann) I grew up in Lake Placid. After living in China for almost 5 months, I am reminded on a daily basis (by pollution and growth) why they call the US “Mei Guo” – beautiful country. The US is full of beautiful places, but I think the Chinese would call the Adirondacks “Zui Mei Guo” – most beautiful country. With regards to land in Lake Placid… All I keep thinking is “they aren’t making it anymore.”

  2. Ed

    The great thing about all the state owned land in the Adirondacks is it’s accessibility. Most people who live here can ski, hike, bike, hunt, fish, etc., right from their back door, or after a very short drive. It is very easy to “do your thing” without spending time traveling.

  3. Joann

    Even with all your world travels, I am so happy to hear you don’t take your beautiful birthplace for granted, Turner!

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