It is no secret that getting to the Adirondacks can be a challenge. We are a primarily drive-in destination and if you do a search, you won’t find an Adirondack International Airport. Well, that’s not exactly true, there is the Adirondack Regional Airport at Lake Clear, but with less than a handful of flights a day, it doesn’t really count. So what are the best airports for the traveler wishing to visit the Adirondack region?
Given the sheer size of the Adirondacks, locals think in terms of hours when it comes to getting from one place to another. Crossing the Adirondack region takes between 3-4 hours – any way you want to go. What most people don’t know, it is relatively easy fly-in close to our region.
There are several major airports which could serve as ideal starting points for an Adirondack journey. Like most airports all have car rentals, lodging, and dining close or on-site. The saavy shopper can easily find bargain flights from most major cities to these previously unknown Adirondack Airports. For the sake of comparison, Long Lake, NY will be our chosen Adirondack destination.
- Burlington International Airport (BTV) – 130 miles to Long Lake. Surprisingly, Burlington, VT is my favorite place in terms of airports. The airport is small, but well served many major carriers. Most importantly, this means smaller crowds and a generally easier experience. You will need to cross Lake Champlain, the fastest way for the Northern Adirondacks is the vehicle ferry at Grand Isle, VT. This airport would also be my choice for starting a bicycle tour.
- Albany International Airport (ALB) – 119 miles to Long Lake. Conveniently located right off the Adirondack Northway (I-87), the Albany Intl. Airport has loads of shuttle served lodging nearby and is just a short drive to Lake George. Depending on the time of year, one might even try their luck at the races when the horses are running at Saratoga Springs.
- Montréal Trudeau International Airport (YUL) – 155 miles to Long Lake (250 km). That’s right, Montreal which is located in Canada. Sounds crazy, but really it is not far, we go up just for dinner sometimes. For some, adding an international border crossing is too much of a hassle, but for Americans, Canadians, and Visa Waiver Program citizens it’s just a quick border check. The opportunity to explore this cosmopolitan city makes add an unusual twist to an Adirondack vacation. At the very least, you can stock up on some tasty pastries to reward you at the top of Mt. Marcy.
Some other possibilities include: