An Adirondack You for 2015

Saranac Lake is a great place for learning and renewal. As a new year begins, let's make plans now for special ways of revamping ourselves. We can use the village's unique Adirondack charms to meet our personal improvement needs.

New Year's Day has a tradition of being the holiday where people decide they are going to make themselves do things they don't really want to do. By the end of January they've given up all pretense of doing them. May I suggest a different approach? Why don't we resolve to do things we actually want to do? In a way we will enjoy!

This ups our odds, incredibly, that we will actually do these things.

Here are three wonderful suggestions for renewing ourselves this year:


New Year's Resolutions are all about craving that sense of self-improvement. A great way to fulfill that craving is to learn a new skill. It might be surprising how many ways Saranac Lake has to teach our visitors something, but then again, learning is something we do here - all the time.

Bluseed Studios has wonderful art workshops going on. Make your own special mug in their varied ceramics classes. Create one-of-a-kind scrapbooks with recycled papermaking. Surprise a special someone with a songwriting seminar. Make a unique gift with a guided sewing or crafts workshop. In addition, they have a full roster of artists and musicians who exhibit and perform there, which makes it a magical place to grow our creative nature.

The Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center also has a learning mission. They offer many Interpretive Walks based on owls, mushrooms, the night sky, and more. Workshops include how to make a Birch Bark Basket, recognize wildlife tracks, and safely build a fire. There's a ski club and the Sunday afternoon Ski & Music sessions in the winter, Student Conclave and Maple Weekends in the spring, and expanded hikes with an emphasis on birding and wildflowers in the summer. Glory in the fall with classes on quilting and foliage recognition, along with their Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival, which demonstrates the skills of pioneer times.

a VIC workshop demonstrates "know your mushrooms!"

Our late summer Adirondack Plein Air Festival is a marvelous time to revel in the varied skills of rendering nature onto canvas and paper. This four-day festival fills our village and the surrounding wild with landscape artists intent on capturing a "moment in time." There are ample opportunities to observe, take classes, and then acquire a slice of heavenly nature.

Best of all, we can craft a custom getaway built around a particular interest. Between the classes, local galleries, chances to meet other artists, and the wonderful wilderness for inspiration, it will be an incredible vacation which can renew creativity for years to come.

Bookmark our Learning Opportunities page to make sure you won't miss that dream opportunity.

wilderness wandering

 Another great way to make a New Year's Resolution that winds up being kept is to resolve to do something we love... in a new way.

For example: You love to climb mountains... in the summer. But they can be just as much fun in the winter. That's what our Winter Sixer program is all about. With the right equipment and a helpful guide, the exhilarating rush of summiting can be ours, year round! A Winter's Hike up Baker Mountain describes the delights of an accessible peak, right near town, which offers outstanding views for its height.

a delightful option in any season: Moody Pond & Mount Baker

Maybe we've paddled a pond or two, but always dreamed of a longer trip. There's no better place to explore for a day, days, or a week in the wild than our many linked routes in the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness or Saranac Chain of Lakes. 

Paddling lets us move smoothly and delicately through the wilderness, faster than hiking, and thus able to see and do more. If we've been yearning for "more wild" yet are not quite ready for bushwhacking, a canoe trip is the right, next, move.

For a photographer, our pristine forests, lakes, and streams are never more beautiful than when they are outlined by the blazing colors of autumn. If we feel we've shot as much as we can of our roadside beauty, it might be time to go farther. Choosing one of our many glorious hikes will give us new vantage points and reveal unknown delights.

It's wonderful to have our hand held when we take that first, new, step. Contracting with a guide will give us the specialized equipment, knowledge, and support to stretch ourselves in the pursuit of adventure. Explore our Adirondack Guides page for an easy way to plan that Trip to Remember, year after year.

zenning out

All too often things get piled onto our To Do List, when they really belong on the Must Make Time For list. The time we should spend de-stressing, relaxing, and just BE-ing feels like it's been put off indefinitely. Which is a terrible shame.

If our ideal resolutions include exploring health & wellness, Saranac Lake is an extraordinary destination. From yoga on an outdoor deck to getting a massage on a scenic boat trip, the gifted professionals in our wellness community would love to craft a New You. Get a consultation about diet and nutrition, take a meditation class, or formulate a gentle exercise and awareness routine that could turn out to be the best souvenir you've ever taken home.

Most of us have a classic book we'd love to take the time to read. If that's our idea of self-improvement, removing ourselves from the environment that hasn't helped us do that so far is a great move forward. Once we decide that time for ourselves is highly valuable, we have permission to explore the many shelves at Moose Maple Books and More.

From classics to local history, from poetry to the best books of time past, this bookstore/rustic furniture craft store is a delightful destination all by itself.

Riverwalk: perfect park for perusing the printed word

Where to read that book? We have a town-wide park system which has plenty of benches, soothing vistas, the ripple of water, and the wind in the trees. Weather not quite right? We have many places to sit and enjoy a hot beverage.

The classic reason for not doing such simple, yet highly enjoyable, activities is that they "don't seem special enough" and "we can do them at home." But they are very special, and the best way to get them started is in a special place. And if we can do them at home... why don't we?

This year, try something new. Pick a place to stay, pick a time of year, pick an amazing event. And it will be easy to keep these New Year's Resolutions!

Race, jam, dance and more in January
An Evening Sleigh Ride in the Adirondacks

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