Lake Tear of the Clouds

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Lake Tear of the Clouds
Adirondack Mountains, N.Y.- Lake Tear of the Clouds by Stoddard, Seneca Ray.png
by Seneca Ray Stoddard (late 19th century)
Location Essex County, New York
Coordinates 44°06′24″N 73°56′09″W / 44.10667°N 73.93583°W / 44.10667; -73.93583Coordinates: 44°06′24″N 73°56′09″W / 44.10667°N 73.93583°W / 44.10667; -73.93583
Type tarn
Primary inflows unnamed streams
Primary outflows Feldspar Brook
Basin countries United States
Surface elevation 4,293 ft (1,309 m)

Lake Tear of the Clouds (44°06′25″N 73°56′09″W / 44.1069°N 73.9359°W / 44.1069; -73.9359) is a small tarn located in the town of Keene, in Essex County, New York, United States, on the southwest slope of Mount Marcy, the state's highest point; it is both the highest lake in the state and the highest hydrologic source of the Hudson River,[1] via Feldspar Brook and the Opalescent River. The Hudson River as named actually begins several miles southwest at Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York.[2][3][4]

The lake was discovered in 1872, by Verplanck Colvin while he was surveying the Adirondack Mountains. He wrote:

Far above the chilly waters of Lake Avalanche at an elevation of 4,293 feet lies summit water, a minute, unpretending, tear of the clouds — as it were — a lovely pool shivering in the breezes of the mountains and sending its limpid surplus through Feldspar Brook to the Opalescent River, the well-spring of the Hudson.

On September 14, 1901, then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was at Lake Tear of the Clouds after returning from a hike to the Marcy summit when he received a message informing him that President William McKinley, who had been shot two weeks earlier but expected to survive, had taken a turn for the worse.

Roosevelt hiked down 10 miles (16 km) on the southwest side of the mountain to the closest stage station at Newcomb. He then took a midnight stagecoach ride on twisting roads to the Adirondack Railway station at North Creek, New York where he learned that McKinley had died. Roosevelt took the train to Buffalo where he was sworn in as President.

The 40-mile (64 km) route is now designated the Roosevelt-Marcy Trail.


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