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Central Adirondacks

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About the Central Adirondacks

The Central Adirondacks are a mid-elevation region of the Adirondacks characterized by bedrock with a moderate-to-high acid neutralizing capacity, which makes this region more resistant to acid precipitation. This region stretches north-south in an irregular shape roughly to the center, slightly to the east, within the Adirondack region.

This region is underlain mostly by anorthosite and alternating layers of metasedimentary rock, both of which are effective at neutralizing acid. This geology protects the waterways here from acidification. The northern part of this region contains numerous large lakes; the headwaters of the Hudson river begin here, and the river flows south out of this reach. Elevations range from 1,450 to 3,360 feet, and the topography consists mostly of low-to-moderate relief mountains and hills.

The region has a humid continental climate with high precipitation; the frost-free growing season averages from 90-150 days.

Historically this region was covered by forests of spruce and white pine, especially in the area around the headwaters of the Hudson river; the original forests have been mostly logged, and replaced with earlier-successional hardwood forest communities. There are also conifer-heavy variants of northern hardwood forests, with sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch mixed with red spruce, eastern hemlock, and eastern white pine. Shallow and saturated soils support black spruce, red spruce, and balsam fir. Lake shores support a mix of eastern white pine and red pine.

This region is sparsely populated but there are some small towns. There is little to no agriculture; this area is mostly used for tourism, recreation, and logging. There is extensive public land, and almost all of the land is forested.

This region is bordered to the west and in one spot to the north by the Acid Sensitive Adirondacks. To the east, in the central region it is bordered by the higher-elevation Adirondack High Peaks, and both north and south of this, it is bordered by the Eastern Adirondack Foothills.

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.