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Eastern Adirondack Foothills

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About the Eastern Adirondack Foothills

The Eastern Adirondack Foothills represent a transitional region between the Adirondacks to the west, and lowlands to the east. This region surrounds the Adirondacks to the east and southeast, and is climactically and geologically distinct from the foothills that surround the same mountains in the north, west, and southwest.

In the north of this region, the underlying rock consists mostly of limestone and anorthosite. The southern portion of this region contains a mix of these and other rock types.

The region has a humid continental climate. Especially in the north of this region, rain shadow causes lower precipitation than is typical for the broader region, although moisture is still high enough to support dense forests. In the northeast, the Saranac and Ausable rivers have cut large valleys through the mountains, leading the more moderate climate conditions from lowland areas to penetrate farther into the foothills than farther south, where this region is a bit more rugged and the transition more abrupt. This creates a bit more climactic cohesion throughout this long north-south region, mitigating the effect of colder winters as one moves north. The frost-free period here averages between 90 and 145 days.

Original forest cover here consisted of northern hardwood forests, with some species from the Appalachian oak forest type at the lower slopes bordering the Hudson Valley and Champlain Lowlands.

This region is sparsely populated, but more populated than the higher-elevation parts of the Adirondacks. Most of the population here is centered along the major roads that go through the region, concentrated in a few small towns along these roads.

This region is bordered to the east along most of its length by the Champlain Lowlands. In the south, it is bordered by the Hudson Valley to the southeast, and the Mohawk Valley to the southwest. At the far north it borders the Northern and Western Adirondack Foothills, a geologically- and climactically-distinct region. To the west, this region borders the higher-elevation Central Adirondacks and the Adirondack High Peaks, and at the southern end of this region, the Acid Sensitive Adirondacks, which also contain a small area surrounded by this region.

References

1. Bryce, S.A., Griffith, G.E., Omernik, J.M., Edinger, G., Indrick, S., Vargas, O., and Carlson, D. "Ecoregions of New York (Poster)", U.S. Geological Survey (2010) Web.