Lake Tear of the Clouds

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Lake Tear of the Clouds
Lake Tear Pano bw.jpg
Lake Tear of the Clouds with Mt. Marcy in the background
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 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, in the Adirondack Mountains. It is the highest pond in the state. It is often cited as the highest source of the Hudson River,[1] via Feldspar Brook and the Opalescent River.

The Hudson River as named actually begins several miles southwest at the outlet of Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York.[2][3][4]

In 1872 Verplanck Colvin described the lake as part of a survey of the Adirondack Mountains. He wrote:

On September 14, 1901, then-US Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was at Lake Tear of the Clouds after returning from a hike to the Mount Marcy summit when he received a message informing him that President William McKinley, who had been shot two weeks earlier but was expected to survive, had taken a turn for the worse. Roosevelt hiked down the mountain back to the Upper Tahawus Club, Tahawus, New York, where he had been staying. He then took a 40 miles (64 km) midnight stage coach ride through the Adirondacks to the Adirondack Railway station at North Creek, New York, where he discovered that McKinley had died. Roosevelt took the train to Buffalo, New York, where he was officially sworn in as President.[5] The 40-mile route is now designated the Roosevelt-Marcy Trail.[6]

In August 2016, scientists from Riverkeeper, CUNY Queens College, and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory gathered water samples at the lake to complete a first-of-its kind water quality test along the entire span of the 315-mile-long Hudson River.[7][8]


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