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; -73.93583
Latitude and Longitude:

44°06′24″N 73°56′09″W / 44.10667°N 73.93583°W / 44.10667; -73.93583
Type tarn
Primary inflowsunnamed streams
Primary outflows Feldspar Brook
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface elevation4,293 ft (1,309 m)
Lake Tear of the Clouds (late 19th century)

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, the Opalescent River and Calamity Brook.

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:

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-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-mile (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 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 (507 km) Hudson River. [7] [8]


  1. ^ "Natural History of the Hudson River". Archived from the original on September 17, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hudson River
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Indian Pass Brook
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Calamity Brook
  5. ^ "Adirondack Journal — An Adirondack Presidential History". Adirondack Experience. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "Roosevelt-Marcy Byway". NewState Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 4, 2015. External link in |website= ( help)
  7. ^ "Riverkeeper completes first-of-its-kind survey of Hudson River water quality – starting at the source". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  8. ^ "How Safe is the Hudson?". Retrieved 2016-09-10.

External links