Adirondack Cure for Cabin Fever

If you've got Cabin Fever, the only prescription is... Saranac Lake!

Cabin Fever was first officially called that back in 1838. It describes the psychological reaction to being cooped up indoors without interesting things to do. Irritability, restlessness, listlessness, and even paranoia can be symptoms of Cabin Fever. According to a paper in Psychological Science, February 2008, it can be alleviated with "The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature."

We don't make this stuff up. It's science! If you are experiencing this disorder, don't hesitate. Get yourself to a place where there's lots of gorgeous outdoors and lots of fun things to do.

A place like us.

we are the cure

March is a great time in the Adirondacks. The days are getting longer and sunnier. The temps are moving up. Yet there's still plenty of snow to play in.

Looking for inexpensive ways to craft some time off? We are an excellent choice. Many places have lower rates than on the weekends, and we do not close our wilderness. Ever.

Our Lake Clear Beach in winter. Blue sky, mountain air, pristine snow. Check!

We have plenty of nature to explore, try Lake Clear Beach for an easy afternoon jaunt. It has a parking lot that gets plowed out, several paths along the shore, and a beautiful shoreline for scenic vistas.

Those looking for an adventurous challenge will find Haystack Mountain to be an excellent choice for this time of year. The early going is bisected with many brooks and streams and the final push will call for some ice cleat action.

It's still ski season, and we have both flavors. Enjoy downhill and tubing at Mount Pisgah and cross-country and snowshoeing on the groomed trails of Dewey Mountain.

The Great Outdoors was an essential part of Saranac Lake's cure history. We have a wonderful array of wellness practitioners who are happy to continue the Cabin Fever Cure with some yoga, meditation, or nutritional consultation. 

Spring is for learning

We have plenty to do mid-week. The Saranac Lake Laboratory Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, year-round. Browse the many exhibits that detail the very beginnings of the science of bacteriology.

Here is where Dr. Trudeau developed his approach to the care of tuberculosis patients, a regimen that emphasized as much fresh air and exposure to nature as possible. This is reflected in the design of the lab itself. It was practical to have a lot of natural light, but it was also beneficial to stay in touch with the cycles of nature.

This lab has been restored to its state when world-changing research took place within

The Laboratory Museum is part of our self-guided walking tour that's wonderful for explorers and architect buffs. It winds through our historic downtown with its many shops and dining spots. Our sidewalks are cleared with a little snowplow so they are always walkable. Whatever the weather. 

There's always a nature tour on the schedule at the Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center. Don't forget to stop by the Sugar House. Because it's that time of year.


This is when the sap rises. Ever wonder where that expression came from? It's the maple trees warming up as spring approaches. Visit while the trees are being tapped.

We make the finest Maple syrup in the world. Because we baby our trees.

Every Saturday of the Maple Weekends offers a morning Sap to Syrup Workshop. There's a tour of the sugar bush itself, a demonstration at the sugar house, samples and recipes of maple confections and baked goods. It's the living art of maple sugaring, and New York is a major producer of this vivid, and versatile, ingredient.

Our maple syrup offers up a wonderful scent that isn't soon forgotten. Boiling sap just isn't like anything else, come find out for yourself.


After a full day of activities, our midweek fun doesn't have to end. Every Wednesday in March, we have the Cabin Fever Film Festival. This year, it's being held at Will Rogers.

When it was built in 1928, Will Rogers Memorial Hospital was intended for treating patients with tuberculosis who were in the entertainment industry. By 1974 it languished until it was reborn as a an independent living facility, Saranac Village at Will Rogers. The many performance spaces are excellent venues for the stream of artists, performers, and events which are hosted there.

Will Rogers is a unique collection of Tudor architecture and performance spaces

Last week, it was "Tarnished Angels" directed by Douglas Sirk. We arrived early enough to chat about the film with some of the audience. One attendee asked me, "What is the big deal about this director?" I was happy to tell her.

Sirk fled Germany in the late-thirties because he could not support the Nazis, especially since his wife at the time was Jewish. By 1942 he was in Hollywood making "Hitler's Madmen" but he is best known for his lush melodramas of the 1950s, such as "All That Heaven Allows," "Magnificent Obsession," and "Imitation of Life." It took a few decades for critical regard to build up. Now he's recognized as a master of scenic design and ironic social commentary.

"You're an artist," I said. "Look at how he arranges all the objects in the frame." After the film, which featured Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone (all Sirk favorites) and a script by William Faulkner, I asked her what she thought. "I think I saw what you mean," she said. "Everything was so beautifully arranged."

Every film is accompanied by an opening cartoon. This night, it was a "Jetsons" offering that was supposed to be short... but wasn't. The audience was asked if we could bail on it, and we all were agreeable. Some things aren't as good as we remember.

Not every Cabin Fever choice is an art house favorite. This year includes "China Clipper" with Humphrey Bogart, the W.C. Fields classic "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break," and the low-budget inspiration for the classic comedy "Airplane," the Canadian production of "Zero Hour!"

Will Rogers, revered by his fellow performers

For a frugal, yet fantastic, getaway to the Saranac Lake area, take advantage of the lower rates and inexpensive enjoyments we offer midweek. Our thriving community has made a specialty of curing all kinds of things for over a century.

We have the cure for Cabin Fever.

Explore our abundant learning opportunities. Get midweek deals on lodging packages. Our events calendar offers fun most days of the week!

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About The Author

Pamela Merritt's picture
Pamela Merritt finds a library's reading room as exciting as a hike through the forest. She met the Adirondacks in 1999 and declared it "home." She's been collecting stories ever since. She declares summer's hiking and kayaking blends beautifully into winter's snowshoeing and reading to create four great seasons of enjoyment. Her published works display her eclectic range, from How-To cat care manuals to literary short fiction.

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