The second highest peak in the Adirondacks sits at 5,114 feet in elevation, the only other peak over 5,000 feet besides Marcy. Algonquin Peak was first referred to as “Mount McIntyre” in 1836 or 1837. Archibald McIntyre, the inspiration for the name, dominated the ironworks enterprise as the founder of the McIntyre Ironworks in the village of Tahawus. After McIntyre’s death in 1858, the company fell apart and Tahawus became a ghost town.
Adirondack surveyor Verplanck Colvin named the highest peak in the McIntyre Range “Mount Algonquin” around 1880. He chose the name to honor the first Native American tribe to claim ownership to the Adirondack Mountains. The Algonquin tribe lived in the St. Lawrence River Valley (directly north of the Adirondacks) and claimed the St. Lawrence watershed, which included the northern Adirondacks, as their hunting grounds. The Iroquois tribe disputed this claim as part of a one-hundred-fifty-year period of conflict between the neighboring tribes over domination of this corner of North America. While the Iroquois nearly exterminated the Algonquins from the region, Colvin hoped to pay tribute to this annihilated tribe through the naming of this peak.
A party led by Emmons completed the first known ascent of Algonquin in the summer of 1837, just three days after the group became the first to climb Mount Marcy. Though the last section of Algonquin features a steep and rocky scramble above the tree line, the peak is a very popular one. Not only does it boast amazing views from the bald summit, but its trail from the Adirondack Loj is only a 8.6-mile round trip, making it six miles shorter than Mount Marcy.