Lake Placid - New York ~ Adirondack National Park ~ Winter Olympics 1980
Before the 19th century, the wilderness was viewed as desolate and forbidding. As Romanticism developed in the United States, the view of wilderness became more positive, as seen in the writings of James Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The 1849 publication of Joel Tyler Headley's Adirondack; or, Life in the Woods triggered the development of hotels and stage coach lines. William Henry Harrison Murray's 1869 wilderness guidebook depicted the area as a place of relaxation and pleasure rather than a natural obstacle.
Financier and railroad promoter Thomas Clark Durant acquired a large tract of central Adirondack land and built a railroad from Saratoga Springs to North Creek. By 1875, there were more than two hundred hotels in the Adirondacks including Paul Smith's Hotel. About this time, the Great Camps were developed.
Early in the 1900s, recreational use increased dramatically. The State Conservation Department (now the DEC) responded by building more facilities: boat docks, tent platforms, lean-tos, and telephone and electrical lines. With the building of the Interstate 87 in the 1960s, private lands came under great pressure for development. This growing crisis led to the 1971 creation of The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to develop long-range land-use plans for both the public and private lands within the Blue Line.
In consultation with the DEC, the APA formulated the State Land Master Plan which was adopted into law in 1973. The plan is designed to channel much of the future growth in the Park around existing communities, where roads, utilities, services, and supplies already exist