FIND| ‘The Lake Placid Country: Trampers’ Guide,’ 1922
A detail of a map from “The Lake Placid Country: Trampers’ Guide.”
When I was the editor of the Lake Placid News, we ran a series of feature stories on historic hikes — walks along forgotten trails around the northern Adirondacks. One of my writer’s key guides to this series was “The Lake Placid Country: Trampers’ Guide.” I recently acquired a copy of this little piece of Adirondack history.
At left, the cover of “Trampers’ Guide.”
Published in 1922 by the Adirondack Camp and Trail Club, an offshoot of the Lake Placid Club, the guide was assembled by T. Morris Longstreth, a prolific travel writer whose work includes a long list of books on the Adirondacks, among them the great “Mac of Placid.” “Trampers’ Guide,” features 60 hikes of various difficulty in and around Lake Placid and the surrounding High Peaks. Longstreth’s writing is terrific in its simplicity and accuracy. Many of these hikes could be similarly described today. The book also includes a few automobile drives, a suggested canoe route around Placid Lake and a wonderful introductory passage that includes this gem:
“Lake Placid has an exhaustless wealth to offer. It is a wild Eden with a little arboretum of knowledge in the center; or rather, it is a nucleus of civilization set within a beautiful wilderness dedicated to adventure.”
The greatest treasure of the “Trampers’ Guide,” though, are the wonderful maps that are appended to its pages. My copy has four, though it have had included more when it was published. The best map, which details trails around the village and Mirror and Placid Lake, is attached to the book’s cover as an endpiece. The others detail the Ausable Lakes in St. Hubert’s, the Heart Lake area and the roads and highways around Lake Placid.
Does anyone know more about Longstreth? Neither the Times’ nor the Lake Placid News’ archives yielded an obituary. Does anyone have any other maps from this guidebook?
Take a look at these maps: