Mount Marcy

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Mount Marcy
Elevation:5,344 ft (1,629 m)
Coordinates: Template:Coor dms
Location:New York, USA
Topo map:USGS Mount Marcy
Range:Adirondacks
First ascent:1837
Easiest route:hike

Mount Marcy, located within Adirondack State Park, is the highest mountain in New York. The mountain is named after former governor William L. Marcy, who authorized the environmental survey that explored the area. Mt. Marcy is sometimes called Tawahus -- an Indian name that means "the cloud splitter," however, the local Indians, who were few in number, had no name for the mountain. "Cloud Splitter" was an Indian name that whites invented for the mountain. The name "Tahawus" has also been used for other Adirondack features.

The first recorded ascent of Mount Marcy was in 1837 by a large party led by Ebenezer Emmons. Today the ascent is easier due to existing trails that require no technical skills, allowing ascent and descent to be made in a day. The popularity of climbing this mountain virtually assures that there will be no solitary contemplation of nature at the peak during the summer season. At the col between Mt. Marcy and Skylight is the source of the Hudson River, Lake Tear of the Clouds.

Mount Marcy is one of the High Peaks of the Adirondack State Park. The majority of the mountain is forested, although the final few hundred feet is above tree line. The peak is dominated by rocky outcrops, lichens, and alpine shrubs. There are two plaques at the top commemorating the centennial of the climb as well as the mountain summit itself.

The shortest and most frequently used route up the mountain is from the northwest, the Van Hoevenberg Trail, which starts at the popular Adirondak Loj near Heart Lake. From there it is 7 miles (11.2 km) to the summit, a lengthy roundtrip which can nevertheless be done in a day. A large section of the trail is suitable for alpine sking and snowboard on the way down, although there are a few locations where snowboarders will have to take off their snowboard and walk up a little.

Hikers starting up the Johns Brook Trail from the popular Garden parking north of the mountain in Keene Valley have a 9-mile (14.4 km) journey to the summit, and sometimes spend a night at Johns Brook Lodge in the process.

A lengthier southern approach can be made from either of the two major trailheads for the southern High Peaks, The Works or Elk Lake.

Mount Marcy is in the Town of Keene in Essex County.

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