This Highest Highway in New York Will Make Any Driver’s Palms Sweat and Feel Nervous!

mocobizscene – New York is a state with a diverse landscape, from the bustling streets of New York City to the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes. But did you know that New York also boasts the highest highway in the entire state? If you’re in search of a scenic drive filled with natural beauty and the thrill of being on top of a mountain, then New York state‘s highest highway is a must-visit.

What Is the Highest Highway in New York?

The Whiteface Memorial Highway stands as the highest drivable highway in New York State.

The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, also known as New York State Route 431, holds the distinction of being the highest highway in New York. Since its opening in 1936, it has become a beloved state symbol and a popular destination for tourists. Situated in Essex County, this remarkable highway is nestled at the foot of Whiteface Mountain in the charming town of Wilmington. Spanning a mere eight miles, this picturesque route meanders around the mountain, leading you straight to an impressive elevation of 4,867 feet.

History of Whiteface Memorial Highway

History of Whiteface Memorial Highway

When driving up the Whiteface Memorial Highway, it’s important to be prepared for the changing temperatures. As you ascend to higher elevations, the temperature tends to drop, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers to stay comfortable throughout your journey.

In 1910, Governor John Alden Dix of New York and state engineer J.R. Thomas initiated plans for the construction of a highway leading to the summit of Whiteface Mountain. Their goal was to improve accessibility for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts in the area. Despite construction commencing in 1929, progress was hindered by the financial repercussions of the Great Depression. Finally, in 1935, the highway was officially opened to the public and named Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway as a tribute to the veterans of World War I.

Throughout the years, the structure has undergone regular enhancements and repairs to guarantee its safety and convenience.

Why Do People Drive on This New York Highway?

Why Do People Drive on This New York Highway?

In 1980, Whiteface Mountain gained worldwide fame when its neighbouring lake, Lake Placid, was utilized as a venue for the Winter Olympic Games. Consequently, it has become a highly sought-after destination for tourists. Although the entire drive around the mountain can be completed in approximately 20 minutes, there are numerous scenic spots along the route. These stops provide picturesque vistas of the breathtaking Adirondack Mountains, with the added bonus of offering views of Vermont and Canada on a clear day!

If you dare to journey to the summit, you’ll discover a captivating gift shop fashioned like a castle and a food truck to refuel your energy. To experience the most awe-inspiring view, you can either stroll a fifth of a mile along the Alpine Nature Trail or opt for the convenience of an elevator. Upon reaching the pinnacle, you’ll find yourself at an impressive altitude of 4,687 feet above sea level!

Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway Location:

The Whiteface Veterans Memorial, also known as NY-431, starts at the junction of NY 86 in Wilmington and ascends the picturesque Whiteface Mountain in the heart of the Adirondacks.

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MBS Staff
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