Stories
Traveler & visitor information and tips
A Quick Hike If time to fit in a hike is short, then Mount Baker is always a good bet. After all, it is only about a mile to the summit, and it offers a rewarding view for the effort. And so, with a few friends in town in search of an easy hike, Baker was our choice. Colors and Birds Wren led us up the trail, through a golden beech forest on the backside of the mountain.... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Fall, foliage, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
Amazing Fall Weather Our weather as of late has been nothing short of amazing, and so my friend and I decided to take advantage of our sunny streak by squeezing in an evening paddle after work the other day. That’s one of the best things about living around here – there are so many lakes and ponds to explore that you can easily add a quick paddle in on a busy day. And at this point in the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Fall, foliage, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer, Wildlife
If you have ever listened to music for the purposes of relaxation, you have the beginnings of what the Sound Healing experience is like. A friend and I set out for a session from two different sets of experiences. I'm a fan of soundscape music and an experienced meditator. My friend has never meditated and was not familiar with the full variety of sounds we would experience. We both agreed... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Heritage, Wellness
Submitted by guest blogger: Jeremy Evans On a recent Saturday, my family and I awoke to perfect hiking weather - cool and clear with low humidity. My wife and I chose Azure Mountain because we were looking for a hike that our youngest son, who had just turned 4, could do on his own. He is a big kid and he outgrew our baby pack long ago. Since then, I have carried him when he got tired or... [Read More]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:Fall, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation
My friend Peggy and I had planned a camping trip to Lake Harris but due to a bout of uncooperative weather, we cancelled and Peggy came to visit me for a few days. We figured we could hike, bike, or paddle as long as there weren’t downpours. The first full day of Peggy's visit was cold and rainy, so we spent the day reviewing an overseas bike trip for 2018. The following... [Read More]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Cycling, Dining, Equipment, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Shopping, Summer
Get ready, get set, get lost! Leaving downtown Saranac Lake heading west on Route 86, it’s straight and scenic driving for 8 miles. The only tough part is keeping your eyes on the road because the views are so darn good. After Moody Tree Farm, on your right, yet before the Brighton Mini Mart, on your left, turn onto Hobart Road in Gabriels. Continue down the road until you see the... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Fall, Family fun
One of the premiere pleasures of our Adirondack fall foliage season is taking to our roads for maximum viewing angles. The varied geography here changes from lush forest to scenic meadows, with mountain ranges forming a colorful backdrop to the intensity of the leaves seen up close. Below are some loops that are great for biking, motorcycling, and of course, scenic drives. Our... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Cycling, Fall, Family fun, foliage, Outdoor Recreation
Let's go! My friend, Kathy, and I both love to paddle for as long as the water is flowing - from spring to late fall. Recently we had the chance to meet up for a spontaneous fall outing. We decided to meet at the Cone Cabin, at the intersection of routes 186 and 30 in Lake Clear. I then followed her north on 30 for approximately 1.2 miles to our launch site, an unmarked dirt... [Read More]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Birding, Cycling, Dining, Fall, Family fun, Paddling, Wildlife
It’s that time of year It sometimes takes a bit to get going, but the fall migration in the Adirondacks has been underway for a while, and it has been a lot of fun as of late. Our drippy weather the past few weeks has helped as well — the birds often actively feed down low on such days and are not being flushed south by strong north winds. Walking along Lake Colby A little over... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Fall, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Summer, Wildlife
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Tyler Merriam One of the more unique features of the Adirondacks is the proximity between its lakes and mountains. In some cases, the two are right next to each other with a trail from lakeside to summit, such as Long Pond Mountain in the St. Regis Canoe Area, Castle Rock on Blue Mountain Lake, and, of course, St. Regis Mountain on Upper St. Regis Lake. This creates... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Hiking, Paddling, Saranac Lake 6er
I love the the Roaring Twenties. This was an amazing era in American history, when what we think of as modern life really began. The Saranac Lake Laboratory Museum has a new exhibit which features the experience of staying at a 1920’s hotel. This activity, commonplace to most of us, was relatively new to people back then, along with cars, home appliances, and talking on the telephone.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Exhibits, Family fun, Heritage, Historic Downtown
Editor's note: As the cold-water season quickly descends, our blogger highlights a few extra tips that will come in handy when taking to our lakes to enjoy the fall foliage. Happy paddling!  Blog originally posted in 2013. Not to set myself up with a very corny pun, but I am in the same boat as many of you — I don’t want to stop paddling either. Honestly, why should... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Wellness
Below you will get a small taste of paddling the Adirondacks and the Saranac Lake region during the fall foliage season. With peak season coming fast, you don’t want to waste time planning — just get out there. I have selected four locations of the many available to recommend, so take a gander. There's a backcountry lake, a backcountry pond, a big water lake, and an Adirondack river.... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Birding, Fall, Family fun, foliage, Paddling, Wildlife
Fish Creek is legendary. What started as 20 sites in 1926 is now 355 sites — and all but 15 are on the water! With an almost booked-solid summer season, Fish Creek Pond Campground has broad appeal as it can accommodate equipment from tents to 40-foot RVs. It also comes fully loaded with a picnic area, beach, playground, hiking trails, biking trails, boat launch, recreational ... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:camping, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
The "Highway of the Adirondacks" began a long time before our present two-lane roads. It was much easier to paddle a birchbark canoe through a waterway, which offers fewer barriers than a dense forest. These were the abundant river and lake routes that were joined by varying length of carries, also known as portaging, or as I think of it, the option of "carrying a canoe on your head... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:camping, Events, Fall, Family fun, Heritage, Paddling
I'm telling you a secret. I love Lake Clear. This tiny town, only 10 minutes north of downtown Saranac Lake, has many treasures to explore. Part of the beginning This was a major hub when visitors came to the Adirondacks by train. Even now, it is where people fly in at the Adirondack Regional Airport. The popularity of this area sprang from two factors. One is that this is a particularly... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dining, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Heritage, Outdoor Recreation
Submitted by guest blogger Tyler Merriam. It was an 83-degree summer afternoon when I took my most recent trip to Moose Pond. It is rare to find people who can participate in an impromptu stand up paddleboard trip mid-week. It was because of this that my only paddling companion on this day was the rubber duck who accompanies me on all my paddling trips: Devo Duck. Moose... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:camping, Fall, Family fun, Fishing, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer
We have hit our summer stride! August is a golden month here in Saranac Lake. The days are warm, the air is fresh, and the evenings have enough hours to pack them full of outdoor fun. Hit the open road with Cycle Adirondacks or stay put for Plein Air Festival —either way, we are ready for you! FEATURE EVENTS Adirondack Plein Air Festival, August 14-19: What is plein air? For... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Arts, Cultural, Events, Theatre
Camping is far more than an inexpensive way to stay somewhere. Camping is about living — for a while — in nature. Whether we love the outdoors, want to learn to love the outdoors, or just long to sleep under the stars, Saranac Lake has many unique camping destinations. Make those dreams come true. Choose a level It's easy to choose a backcountry site where it is just us and the... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:camping, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Tyler Merriam Bouldering is a style of rock climbing that is performed relatively close to the ground with no ropes, harness, or hardware. Bouldering usually takes place on — you guessed it — large boulders, though any rock face under 20 feet will do. Characteristics of bouldering include challenging and often violent-looking moves, copious grunting,... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer
My mother used to order me ad nauseam to go outside and play.  “It's good for you,” she’d say.  Turns out, she was right, in more ways than she knew. While her hope was for me to deplete my energy supply in a rousing game of freeze tag, it’s now known that even non-cardiovascular outdoor activity has important health benefits.  This non-cardio experience is called... [Read More]
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Author:Carrie Gentile
Categories:Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer, Wellness
Sean Morgan has rugby in his blood, and this time of year always gets his blood pumping. That’s because the annual Cam-Am Rugby Tournament is drawing near, and 120 teams will descend upon Saranac Lake and Lake Placid to compete. There will be mud, there will be scrapes and bruises, but, most of all, there will be camaraderie, both on and off the field. “I’ve played college ball and semi-pro... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Events, Summer
Of course, no matter how far back a person's roots might go in the Adirondacks, no one's roots go back further than our Native Americans. The Adirondacks were part of the lands of the Six Iroquois Nations Confederacy. The Mohawks are the Keepers of the Eastern Door, the Senecas are the Keepers of the Western Door, the Onondagas are the Fire Keepers and the Oneidas, Cayugas, and Tuscaroras (... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Conservation, Cultural, Exhibits, Family fun, Heritage, Summer
Grab the shades — summer is here! July is filled with warm days, refreshing dips in the lake, plenty of ice cream, and tons of events. From small-town, community bike rides to one of the largest rugby tournaments in the word, July in Saranac Lake is non-stop fun! Featured event Can-Am Rugby, July 28-30: The Can-Am Rugby Tournament was created in 1973 by the Mountaineers Rugby Club... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Arts, Events, Family fun, Historic Downtown, Music, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
Another year of the GABC Every year, the transition from spring into summer in the Adirondacks is marked by the Great Adirondack Birding Festival (GABC), hosted by the Paul Smith’s College VIC. I once again helped lead a couple of trips, and as usual I led the hunt for birds in Madawaska. It is one of my favorite places to explore in the region, and a place that I am always looking for an... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Conservation, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
Are you up for the challenge? Ready to complete the challenge? Grab a delicious meal to fuel your trip then rest your head in one of our cozy lodging spots. [Read More]
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Author:Kim Andresen
Categories:Fall, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, Spring, Summer, winter
One thing about vacationing with children is the constant need for fun activities. There's also the challenge of finding things the whole family can enjoy. There's quite a range of possibility if there's a mix of teens, young children, and different ages and abilities. To help with with that vacation budget, the Saranac Lake area offers a number of free fun activities and events. Some of them... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Cultural, Exhibits, Family fun, Historic Downtown, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
Our Saturday Farmers Markets are an ideal shopping spot to stock that camp, cooler, kitchen, or kitchenette. If you're doing some cooking during your stay, make those meals "vacation quality" by visiting this delightful weekly market at a gorgeous location on the Saranac River. It's not just food. It's not even just the treats and beverages many vendors make available for on-the-spot... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:camping, Family fun, Historic Downtown, Shopping
Saranac Lake is a timeless place. We effortlessly contain a number of historic "timeframes." This is reflected in our eclectic range of available lodging. Our motels are the cozy little motor courts of yesteryear, with owners on the premises, Adirondack themes in the decor, and a history of catering to generations of families. Our Bed & Breakfast places are stately homes from the Great... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Heritage
I am drawn to water like a moth to light. The sound is therapeutic, the movement is hypnotic. Simply put, a day on the water is good for the soul. My love affair with water has lead me to countless towns that hug the water's edge. While the water is a draw, it takes more than that to make a place a cool paddling town. It needs the combo of water galore and water ingrained in day-to-day... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Events, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling
Eating healthy has a rather... challenged... reputation. People can think it means "not tasty." We don't believe in that. We think healthy is also tasty! Here's proof: Locally sourced? Certainly! Few are as devoted to local food as the Adirondack Alps Restaurant (& Ein Stein Pub) at Lake Clear Lodge. (That is their dining room in the picture above.) They have a "100 mile... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dining, Wellness
A changing landscape Spring is an amazing time of transition in the Saranac Lake Region of the Adirondacks. For the past few weeks Wren and I have been exploring it on our daily – and often twice daily – walks, monitoring the changes as they’ve been happening. Even as the woods remained filled with snow, the indications of spring were everywhere. Here are a few highlights of our... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Wildlife, winter
Submitted by guest blogger: Tyler Merriam June is the sixth month of the year — hopefully by then you’ve uncovered your kayaks and pulled the canoe out of the garage. Paddling season has begun in earnest! To help you get on the water, several outfitters and organizations in the Saranac Lake region have teamed up to offer a variety of paddling-related activities and events. Dubbed “... [Read More]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:
The Fast Pace of Spring I know that it shouldn’t, but May always seems to sneak up on me. Or at least it feels that way. The pace of spring accelerates day after day as I reach one of my busiest months of the year and then … it’s May. And before I know it, May is over. And then June is just as busy – that’s just how it works in the bird world. We cram a lot into these months! But before we... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:
One of the fun things about spring hiking is getting first crack at the wildflowers. Some of them bloom quite early. We also need to stay below the 3,000-foot limit which keeps fragile trails and vegetation safe until all spring moisture has drained - which is usually by June. It makes for a better hiking experience for everyone. Here's what to flowers to look for and where to find them.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wildflowers, Spring, Hiking, Family fun, Conservation
The talk on the streets is that "Hot Sara is back!" This joke references the only partly lighted sign that once stood atop Saranac Lake's tallest building: the Hotel Saranac. But a new era is dawning for this important part of the town: February 11, 2017 (the same day of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade,) the new sign was lit up. It spells out the entire name. That's not all... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Historic Downtown, Cultural
Ah, spring in the Adirondacks. Everyone loves it, and for good reason. The sun gains strength, the forest is warm and bright, and the streams and ponds are breaking free of their ice.That's the key thought for safety on the water. Basically, it is remembering that our water bodies have barely melted.For many anglers, the rush of freed water whispers "trout season." These fighting fish love the... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Spring, Outerwear, Gear, Fishing, Family fun, Equipment
The world's first Soap Box Derby started in Ohio in 1934. The Saranac Lake Daffest Derby came considerably later, in 2010. But the basics have not changed. Unpowered cars are launched down a ramp and rely on gravity for their speed.This event is a real crowd-pleaser, and has become an extraordinary part of our Daffest celebrations every spring.To get the lowdown on this new-to-us tradition, I... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Spring, Family fun, Events
Spring is when all of our impatience builds up as we seem more ready than the weather is. This certainly applies to mountain biking, when the sun is shining and we are ready to hit the trails. But what if the trails are still a bit too soggy? The trail stewards won't open them until riding on them will not harm them. What's an avid cyclist to do? Here's four very early suggestions,... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Cycling
Blogger Note: As the warmer weather descends upon the Adirondacks, I can't help but think of all the cool paddling adventures on the horizon. Of course, that has me thinking about all the cool paddling adventures I've had over the years. Here's one from the 2013 archives that I deem worthy of repeating. Soon. The last time I launched a kayak in Lake Flower, I had to carry over a dam and... [Read More]
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Author:Kim Rielly
Categories:Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Fall
Deep SnowIt's spring and the Adirondacks are, predictably, unpredictable. Recently we've had a few amazing snow falls alternating with warm spring days. There's no guarantee how long the snow will last, or if another storm will grace us before the warm weather firmly settles in the mountains. For now, I'll take advantage of the snow that's still here, and although not the popular vote - I wouldn'... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
Is it possible that one of the world's oldest sweeteners could turn out to be one of the healthiest? New research is shedding light on the possibilities of one of the world's oldest treats; maple syrup.Maple has been enjoyed in the Adirondacks for almost as long as people have been here. The very first settlers were Native Americans who treasured maple, both for its natural deliciousness and also... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Spring, Natural History, Dining, Conservation
A Tantalizing ForecastI noticed the prediction for snow over a week in advance — my work and interests require me to check the weather regularly. But then forecasters played with our hearts and minds, increasing the projection for snow the one day, only to drop it the next.Accurately foreseeing the weather (and something as specific as snowfall) is a difficult thing to do, no matter how solid the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Events, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
There’s something special about Saranac Lake, and the village’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is no exception.The parade kicks off the festivities at 4 p.m. It lines up on Olive Street and courses through downtown along the "Emerald Pathway." A tribute to the Emerald Isle and to Adirondack style, marchers include lads, lasses, bands, and clans of the area. As a testament to Saranac Lake’s... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:winter, Family fun, Events, Beer
Bacon. We can’t seem to live without it. Some people even have the brilliantly awesome idea of raising it. I wanted to learn more about the local farm that does just that! The Adirondack region is full of local farms, but there is one down the road from Saranac Lake that I’ve heard raises some pretty unique pigs. Kate Mountain Farm is a 250-acre, biodiverse farm located in Vermontville, just... [Read More]
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Author:Marjorie Waterson
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Shopping, Family fun, Fall, Dining
Here in Saranac Lake, we are all about art. Even when it escapes the gallery and flutters around everywhere. It can turn up in unexpected places.Our downtown area is a great place to hunt for it, too. Along with the hot beverages and fresh, made-on-the-premises, pastry, there's plenty of "food for the soul."Our collection of galleries and shops live to set free a creative spirit. Here's some of... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Shopping, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Cultural, Arts
Deep SnowSnow had been falling here seemingly every day for a few weeks, punctuated by a few big storms which rapidly increased its measure in the woods. With each day, Wren and I had been taking full advantage of the bounty, going on snow-filled walks and practicing our animal tracking skills, while I attempted photos of snowy landscapes.Last week we tried to combine those activities when we set... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
Imagine a snowy mountain that is also in a town. We can go there, get outfitted for trail exploration, visit a mountain that is just wild enough, and come back to enjoy a cup of cocoa at a beautiful little lodge.Well, we have it, only one mile from downtown. It's Dewey Mountain Recreation Area. As they like to say, "Thirteen is your lucky number." Dewey grooms that many kilometers of trail,... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Cross Country Skiing
Submitted by guest blogger/photographer: Elizabeth AbramsIt seems to me, Valentine’s Day has evolved over the last couple of years. When we were younger, it was a time to give friends candy or little gifts in pink decorated shoeboxes. Now, it seems to be about the person courting the girl, bringing roses or chocolates, and spending money on a romantic meal. I wonder what it means to people... [Read More]
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Author:roostadmin
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Cross Country Skiing
Aaaah, February! This is the month of many in the Saranac Lake region! Many what you ask? Events, activities, and attractions, to name a few things!This year in particular is a busy February. We just wrapped up some events from the Empire State Winter Games, and we're smack dab in the middle of the ever popular Saranac Lake Winter Carnival — which is in its 120th year!Next up, ... [Read More]
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Author:Marjorie Waterson
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Dining

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