Come to the Adirondacks. Where every day is Earth Day!
Saranac Lake has some delightful lodging choices in the midst of all our nature. Our properties have often been in the family for generations, were built to fit into unique geographic features, and are all about participating in our Great Outdoors -- from anywhere.
easy being Green
Audubon rarely bestows their highest Eco Lodging rating in North America. This award, the Audubon International Platinum 5 Leaf Status, is only for properties who have met stringent guidelines in energy conservation, natural resource preservation, guest education, and outreach.
There are only six lodging properties, nationwide, who have achieved this level. Two of them are in Saranac Lake.
One of them is in town, on the shores of Lake Flower, Gauthier's Saranac Lake Inn. It is close to downtown's shopping, dining, and events while providing access to the scenery and recreation of the Saranac Chain of Lakes.
The owners have added touches like organic linens and down comforters to their modern amenities to create a warm and welcoming experience, all while staying green. There are complimentary boats to get out on the water, whether that be for fishing or picnicking.
No matter where we stay in Saranac Lake, we will find ourselves near wonderful wilderness. No matter what we choose, there will be some Adirondack experience nearby, whether that is a hiking path through the deep woods, the shores of a body of water, or the view of the ancient mountains.
Lake Flower is a rare (for the Adirondacks) instance of a manmade lake. The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, was such a successful venture that the Saranac River was dammed in 1827 and named for Governor Roswell P. Flower. It was part of creating a transportation network in the years before railroads. But the overwhelming majority of our lakes and ponds were dug by glaciers. They do excellent work.
The crystalline depths and rugged, ragged, shoreline make for an abundance of wildlife niches, which are teeming with life. There are 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams. We are a haven for birdwatching, with 260 species of birds in a unique boreal forest habitat.
Our glorious natural settings can be an integral part of the lodging experience. But of course it is just as important that we humans live here in ways that aren't going to spoil things for the future. And it doesn't matter whether that will be our next visit... or the one where we bring our grandchildren.
Great Camp Traditions
We might not be aware of how much Adirondack Style has spread its influence beyond the Blue Line of the Park. The Great Camp style, from its unique architecture to its accompanying leisure ethic, has shaped American resorts and vacation habits for over one hundred years. It is, above all, an emphasis on fitting into nature, and taking its rhythms into our days and nights to rejuvenate ourselves.
A place that embraces this tradition is Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club. Built a half-century ago in the tradition of the classic Great Camps, it combines its lovely location with the relaxed routines once known as "getting away to the mountains."
These mountains are very special.
The Adirondacks are made of some of the oldest rocks on earth. The soaring Rockies and the charming Appalachians were formed by tectonic movement. Plates of bedrock, moved by forces deep in the earth, smashed into each other in slow motion to form mountain ranges. The Adirondack Mountains are very different. They are not even considered a connected range. Instead, they are a one hundred and sixty mile-wide geologic dome, made up of more than 100 peaks.
Although the rocks are more than 1,000 million years old, the mountains were formed from an upwelling of volcanic activity within the last 5 million years. Which is considered to be quite recent, geologically speaking. And it's still going on. While it's the subject of scientific debate, it seems that the mountains are still rising at the rate of 1-3mm a year.
Better start climbing now.
The Saranac Lake area also offers a chance to stay at an actual Great Camp, White Pine Camp in nearby Paul Smiths. This incredible set of buildings was once the summer White House of President Calvin Coolidge, and boasts an illustrious guest list... and a stellar reputation for its unique charms.
White Pine Camp is designed with such classic elements as separate buildings for boats, tennis, and bowling. It has brainstorm siding, erratic rooflines, and many lovely paths for strolling among the gardens, stone walls, and scenic routes along the shores of Osgood Pond.
Learn more about the history and philosophy of Great Camps by taking the Tour. See our blog post, Roughing it in style: a tour of White Pine Great Camp.
Fifteen minutes away is Hohmeyer's Lake Clear Lodge. It is a classic Adirondack Lodge located on the shores of Lake Clear. It is our other Audubon International Platinum 5 Leaf Status lodging property.
Their full name is Adirondack Resort and Retreat at Hohmeyer's Lodge on Lake Clear. It takes that long a name to encompass all that can happen here at this classic lodge, owned by many generations of the same family.
It is on the shores of Lake Clear, a 940-acre lake that is so famous there's a fishing lure named after it, the Lake Clear Wabbler. In summer, there's boating and kayaking, in winter there's cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, all with equipment provided for the guest's use.
They have a world-famous wine and beer cellar in their classic Rathskeller-style downstairs. Their owner-chef organizes wellness retreats. She serves, and teaches, Old World food that is known for its health-enhancing properties.
It turns out that many traditional, time-honored, methods of food preparation were developed to maximise the nutrition we get from our meals. Bone broths were not only a way to make great soup, it creates unique nutrients that enhance our own bones and strengthen our immune system. Fermented foods are becoming recognized for their important role in our inner biology for maximum health. The Lodge imposes as "50 mile rule" for many of their ingredients that draws from local farms for the freshest and most nutritious meals imaginable.
It is truly a place that nurtures every side of our needs.
This is the magic of the Adirondacks. No matter where we go or what we do, we are doing it in a special place where Mother Nature is holding us close and Father Time sits down and speaks to us gently. We are a special place with special ways of re-connecting with the natural world.
Have a great Earth Day! Remember that it's also Eddie Albert's birthday. He was so instrumental in creating Earth Day they picked that date to honor him. No matter what we call it, it's a day to remember that the Earth is a great place to live.
Snuggle up to it soon!
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