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The Adirondacks

Airs Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

The view from the shore of Heart Lake, a tranquil and relaxing spot near the ...

Credit: Amanda Bird

Above: The view from the shore of Heart Lake, a tranquil and relaxing spot near the Adirondack Mountain Club's "Adirondack Loj."

The Adirondack Park sprawls across six million acres in Upstate New York. Bigger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Park combined, it is by far the largest park in the lower 48 states. Yet it is the only one on the continent in which large human populations live and whose land is divided almost evenly between protected wilderness and privately owned tracts. This patchwork pattern of land ownership has created an utterly unique place.

The story of the Adirondacks is told through a series of passionate characters, each with a distinct perspective. Through their stories "The Adirondacks" explores this remarkable region and reveals a delicate and dynamic relationship between progress and preservation.

Video Excerpt: The Adirondacks: Carl Heilman - Wilderness Photographer

In this video clip, we'll join wilderness photographer, Carl Heilman, on a journey through the backwoods to capture the stunning and surreal landscapes only found in the Adirondack Park. Carl uses his rotating panoramic camera to recreate the magical feeling of this region and to portray how special and unique it truly is. For more information visit

Video Excerpt: The Adirondacks: Rafting The Hudson

In this video clip, we'll join Gary Staab as he guides us through the boiling whitewater of the upper Hudson River. When things quiet down a bit, Gary tells us about the ancient Hudson River as we enjoy the breathtaking views of the park's natural beauty miles away from any road. For more information about this program visit

Video Excerpt: The Adirondacks: Contested Terrain

Of all the issues the Adirondacks has faced, perhaps none is more central to its future than land use and development. Our guide to this contested terrain is Brian Mann, reporter and editor for NPR’s North Country Public Radio. We’ll follow along with him as he reports on issues of progress and preservation facing Adirondackers on a daily basis. For more information visit

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