Adirondack Hiking Comparison Study
Comparative Analysis Results: San Francisco is no Adirondack Park.
I had the opportunity this past week to attend a tourism marketing conference in San Francisco, CA. I had never been there before, but I was aware from pop culture that the city is hilly, and that it has trolleys; some with Rice-a-Roni-toting singers.
The great thing about San Francisco is its pedestrian-friendliness. The maps are easy to navigate and major tourist attractions are very accessible on foot or by mass transit.
So when the work part of the day was over, my colleague and I explored a bit of the landscape, and in doing so wondered just why we thought it was necessary to go to the hotel gym at all. We ended up logging 10+ mile-days, and yup; there's hills.
Luckily, being hardy Adirondack women, we were up to the task. After all, I hiked to the summit of Mt. Marcy, the tippety-top of New York State, just last month.
Compared to Adirondack Mountain hiking, however, there is something quite different about "hiking" on paved terrain; hilly or flat. Of course, there are a lot of differences between the two destinations.
No worries; for everyone's convenience, I've compiled a list of the top 10 differences between the outdoor experiences in San Francisco (SF) and the Adirondacks (ADK).
10. ADK: soft terrain. — SF: hard terrain.
9. ADK: trail markers are made of natural wood and individually painted.
SF: trail markers are metal signs accented with traffic lights.
8. ADK: Hikers must watch for moose crossing the road.
SF: Hikers must look both ways for trolleys or power-walking office workers.
7. ADK: 30,000 miles of rivers and streams to kayak. — SF: 52 sold-out Alcatraz boat tours.
6. ADK: 46 High Peaks and scores more! — SF: 50 hills within the city limits.
5. ADK: elevation at the top, 5,344 feet — SF: Elevation at the top, 925 feet.
4. ADK: Trout, songbirds and deer. — SF: Sea lions, pigeons and homeless (oh my).
3. ADK: Fresh, clean, pine-scented air. All the time.
SF: though it's a very clean city, one can't miss the associated "urban aromas".
2. ADK: We have a brand-spanking new Lake Champlain Bridge to the Adirondack Coast!
SF: The Golden Gate bridge is much older.
1. ADK: 6 million acres. — SF: 7 million people.
Overall, I hiked about 1,462,531 miles around the streets of San Francisco in the last week. (Actual numbers look lower in the mirror). The truth is; San Francisco is awesome. And yes, some of those hills offer heart-pounding degrees of difficulty.
But having just arrived back home to the 'Dacks, I realize there really IS no comparison. Hiking in the Adirondacks is definitely up my alley.
Kimberly Rielly is the director of communications for the Lake Placid CVB / Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Twitter: @KRielly