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Longstreet Highroad Guide to the New York Adirondacks (Longstreet Highlands Innactive Series) Paperback – April 28, 1999
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1) the organization of this book is really confusing. Although the book includes lots of maps, there isn't a great overview of the entire Adirondack region. For example, information on attractions, trails, etc in the Lake Placid area is scattered over several discrete sections. This makes it difficult to plan a day out if you know where you're going to be basing yourself. This book also does a poor job of cross-referencing between the maps and the text.
2) Trail information is to be taken with a grain of salt. One set of directions was so confusing that we ended up giving up, and once we were unable to locate a trailhead at all. The directions given in the guide tend to look very precise (indicating, for example, tenths of a mile), but in the field are not very useful. The descriptions of trails are also not especially useful. The Heart Lake loop at Adirondack Loj, for example, is described as "easy", implying a walk that is friendly for kids, etc. In terms of length (1 mile) this is accurate, but in terms of terrain (lots of root knots in the trail, low lying areas that stay muddy for many days after the rail, some steep inclines/declines) it's not "easy". Although we haven't tried any of the longer trails listed in this book, based on our experience I would be very very wary of using this guide alone to plan an all-day hike anywhere in the Adirondacks.
3) Fees. Although the guide indicates where fees are collected, it does not indicate what specific prices are. The Adirondacks are expensive -- the parking fee at Adirondack Loj (advertised as a good starting point for several walks) is $8 or $9, High Falls Gorge costs almost $10 per adult and $7 per child, etc. -- and the book doesn't do a good job of indicating this to people unfamiliar with the area.
I guess this book is useful as an overview or for someone trying to identify what they might like to see in the Adirondacks. As far as a practical field guide to the area, however, this is only marginally useful. Interested travelers would be advised to do some homework -- especially on trails, even the so-called easy family hikes -- outside of this guide.