The term “High Peaks” generally refers to the heart of the Adirondacks, where 46 of the region’s highest peaks can be found. Just west of the Champlain Valley, the High Peaks are loosely bounded by Elizabethtown to the east, Wilmington to the north, the Franklin County line to the west, and Newcomb to the south. At the center lies Lake Placid.
Many hikers come to the High Peaks region intent on climbing all 46 of its highest summits and thereby becoming a “46er.” The tradition dates back to the early 1920s, when two young brothers, George and Robert Marshall, climbed to the top of Whiteface Mountain with their guide Herb Clark.
Upon reaching the summit, they made a pact to climb all the peaks in the park measuring 4,000 feet or more in height. Later, it turned out that some of the peaks on their list were under 4,000 feet, but no matter, a pattern had been set. Today, hikers come from all over the country to carry on the tradition.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition