Playing in the snow is a very old Adirondack tradition, but it took a while for this activity to become more enjoyable than practical.
Depending on the level of development where people lived, skiing and snowshoeing was simply the way people got around in the winter. Local indigenous people, like the Huron and Algonquin, taught European explorers and trappers the usefulness of the right... [Read More]
The liar drained the last of his IPA (“I want it hoppy, ya hear?”) and rubbed the Saranac Lake Ultra 6er patch on his jeans pocket. It looked brand new because it was. He made a mental note to rub dirt on it, when the time was right.
“So you did Baker Mountain first? Most people knock that off last, being so easy.” The guy with the brown-gold beard had drawn the liar close. He had been passing... [Read More]
For the residents of Saranac Lake, their downtown clock tower is one of the iconic symbols of the community.
It sits high above the entrance to the town hall, at a major intersection which contains important civic buildings. It is diagonally across from Riverside Park, with its bandshell, boat docks, and benches.
This landmark is used when giving directions. Places are "three down... [Read More]
The Knollwood Club was created to solve a late 19th-century problem: going on vacation as someone of the Jewish faith. At that time, many hotels and country clubs were "restricted," as the term was known. Six friends wanted to summer in the Adirondacks together and decided to build their own shared Great Camp. They were:
Louis Marshall, prominent civil rights lawyer.
Daniel Guggenheim,... [Read More]
The Saranac Chain of Lakes packs a lot of special Adirondack fun into six lakes and two ponds. Launch from the town boat dock on Lake Flower and watch the Victorian homes and small family camps fade into the mostly uninhabited Oseetah Lake.
Paddlers here will find plenty of options for exploration. Follow the western shore of Oseetah to discover a river that leads to Kiwassa Lake, or... [Read More]
Longing for an extraordinary nature experience? Consider Saranac Lake's St. Regis Canoe Area, where you can sample most of the outdoor activities the Adirondacks has to offer. It's a giant buffet of absolutely gorgeous woods-and-water luxury.
You can go full Adirondacks and camp here, or you can make the short drive back to town to enjoy all the amenities of civilization at the... [Read More]
The 6ers are what we call the six hike-able mountains that ring the village of Saranac Lake. The Adirondacks are known for its mountain hiking, and it's human nature to create "sets" for achievement purposes. There's the 46 High Peaks that are over 4,000 feet in height. Thus inspired, we have created what has turned out to be a very popular way for people to enjoy our kinder, gentler... [Read More]
Adirondack hiking is rightly famous for its millions of acres of rugged wilderness. Isn't hiking about getting out into nature? Isn't "luxury hiking" a contradiction in terms?
Not when we are hiking at the Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center, a short drive from Saranac Lake. It's hiking in ways the whole family can appreciate.
Known locally as "the VIC," this project was developed in... [Read More]
What are the coolest paddling routes in the Saranac Lake area? That's a tough question, because we are the Lake Country, a paddler's paradise. Canoe, kayak, or even innertube, we have an adventure to fall in love with.
To help with this question, I asked some local guide services about their favorite places. What do they recommend most often? Where are the places that are extra scenic, or... [Read More]
The beauty of this 'Round the Mountain race is... it doesn't have to be a race. You don't even have to be in it to revel in the fun.
It's a great way to kick off the paddling season and get those competitive juices flowing, or be a spectator, cheering the first boats and experiencing the scenic and picnic possibilities along the shores of Lake Flower.
Any time, it can be a more... [Read More]
Of course, when it comes to getting away, "girls" can be any age. Because no matter how accomplished a woman is, she will always enjoy a time away from her responsibilities. The greater the challenges, the more necessary stepping away can become.
It is incredibly rejuvenating to find a welcoming atmosphere, where one can be herself, with her friends, and do fun girl things. I love it!
Here'... [Read More]
When I think of Cris Winters' work, I think texture. Her Pink House Gallery downtown is full of different layers.
Sometimes it is overt, as when she uses multimedia techniques to create a mood or landscape. Other times it is conceptual, where her work suggests depths that are not physically there.
But always, there is a great engagement with nature, which is a constant theme in her work.... [Read More]
Turns out, maple syrup has a connection with Mark Twain. At least it does now.
Mark Twain Mapleworks is a sugarhouse on the shores of Ampersand Bay on Lower Saranac, part of the same complex where Mark Twain stayed for the summer of 1901. It's utterly appropriate, as it turns out. A list of "Mark Twain's Favorite Foods" reads: maple syrup, cranberries, raccoon, garden produce, canvasback... [Read More]
As I got ready for my thrift shop expedition, my husband cautioned me, "Now don't go crazy."
I don't know why he is always asking this of me. I consider my enjoyments to be springing from enthusiasm, and there's nothing wrong with enthusiasm. Like in the photo above, where I found a beautiful purple coat for only three dollars.
Who wouldn't be excited about that?
The lure of saving money... [Read More]
New Year's Eve is a special, even unique, holiday. It is the only one which celebrates both the old, and the new.
It is a time to look backward and forward. To take the stress off of such endeavors, you should also have a good time.
To help with that, Saranac Lake's First Night gives you many choices to celebrate the turn of the year — your way.
It's also a great gift idea. With... [Read More]
The Adirondacks are a geological treasure chest. They are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the world's largest continental shields.
These mountains, rivers, and lakes have the ancient magma, glacial errata, and billion years old rocks that make for fine hunting. Iron ore seams, dramatic sandstone layers, and plenty of igneous minerals add up to a delightful mix of... [Read More]
The first Friday of every month, the galleries of downtown Saranac Lake host art openings, highlighting their featured artists and providing an opportunity to mingle and discuss. My girlfriend and I consider this a favorite activity. It's a great time for us to go off and have a girls' night.
Saranac Lake is an art town. Photography, painting, jewelry, and crafts of all kinds pop up... [Read More]
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]
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]
My favorite thing about fall in Saranac Lake is that it is possibly the best place in the world to revel in the amazing colors of autumn. I spent some formative years in a place with no change of seasons. Now, I love watching the leaves on the trees change colors, and also having so many trees that will happily do that for me.
Adirondack trees are just the right mix of species to provide... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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!
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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... [Read More]
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]
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]
What requires no skill, no scoring, and only a sense of fun?
In times past, many northern communities had a Winter Carnival. Avid Carnival goers would hit balls for distance out on the frozen lakes, despite them being covered with snow. It was called Arctic Golf. This lives on with Tupper Lake's Fire and Ice event, which includes a golf tournament on the snowy golf course.... [Read More]
Every holiday season, when we sing "Jingle Bells," do we want to go for a ride in a sleigh?That can happen.After all, what's the point of having a winter wonderland without as many magical elements as we can gather? Thanks to the amazing draft horse program at nearby Paul Smith's College, Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat can offer lantern-lit sleigh rides.It's a wonderful experience to slide along... [Read More]
Snowmobiling is a highly modern way to have fun in the snow. The first United States patent for a "motor sleigh" was in 1916. Even before that, people were trying to motorize their sleighs, or put skis on their automobiles.
Still, snowmobiles didn't really catch on until the early 1960s, when Joseph-Armand Bombardier came up with what is considered the modern snowmobile. His Ski-Doo was... [Read More]
Are there big cats in the Adirondacks? Really big cats? This is becoming a hot question, and the Cougar Watch Project is going to be working on an answer.
Also known as mountain lion, puma, cougar, or catamount, they were once common in the Adirondacks. When we have a place called Panther Mountain, which overlooks Panther Pond and Panther Marsh, it is a sign that there... [Read More]
We don't need to fear the kayak. Or the canoe.When I bring up paddling as a great way to see our breathtaking scenery, some people look nervous. And they don't have to feel that way. Concerns about "tippiness" seems to come up more often with kayaks than with canoes, but in either case, this concern is groundless. (So to speak.) These watercraft are very stable, especially with kayaks, where the... [Read More]
There's a little patch of the Adirondacks, near Saranac Lake, where we can step into the past. We can also book a stay there.
Apollos (Paul) Smith was an integral part of welcoming visitors to this section of the Adirondacks. In 1859, he founded the Saint Regis House in Brighton (though it was commonly known as Paul Smith's Hotel), one of the first wilderness resorts in the Adirondacks.... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a unique attraction which is readily accessible for almost everyone. It's like a village. Made of boulders.The McKenzie Pond Boulder Trail is just a few minutes from town, but has so much to offer. Whether we are looking for a quick and scenic hike or we are brushing up on our rock climbing skills, this easy trail, which is also easily accessible, is a delightful destination.It... [Read More]
Our gorgeous fall season brings special events which embrace many of Saranac Lake's favorite things. Exploring nature, our love of art, music, and drama, and our amazing history all combine to create a wonderful experience.From morning until night, there's the special crispness of fall air and the technicolor glory of our marvelous autumn season. We not only have the right mix of trees for... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a wonderful farmers market every Saturday in the summer and fall. It's more than fresh local produce, though of course there is plenty of that. We've expanded our farmers market into locally grown meats and cheeses, cut flowers, honey and maple syrup, delicious snacks, and even artisan crafts like pottery and hand-turned fountain pens.Since it is held in Riverside Park, there are... [Read More]
Pendragon Theatre has been delighting the North Country since 1980. They draw from a considerable pool of professional and amateur talent, most of it local. Then they craft productions which range from the best of contemporary drama to well-loved classics.
Since we are all about conservation here in the Adirondacks, we have become adept at taking existing buildings and making them into... [Read More]
If we have a yen for history, we've come to the right place. Saranac Lake has both a celebrated backstory and a devoted group of fans. This makes our local history museum something special.There is the lab itself, which has exhibits detailing the decades when Saranac Lake was an international curing center. There's also the addition built during the Roaring Twenties, which houses rotating... [Read More]
When it was announced that the Hotel Saranac would open again, with a classic refurbishment befitting its historic landmark status, the entire village was thrilled.Then we started getting calls and emails. Was it true? When would the hotel open? Can they make a reservation now? Turns out, the rest of the world is thrilled too.To understand the pull of this extraordinary hotel, we must consider... [Read More]
People often don't realize we have local farms near Saranac Lake. All kinds of crops flow from nearby fields into our restaurants, diners, and delis. This is one of the reasons our local dining is such a pleasure to experience.
North of Saranac Lake, bordered by the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness to the east, and the Saint Regis Canoe Wilderness to the west, there is a broad plateau far more... [Read More]
When spring comes, we can't wait to start the new season's fun outdoor activities. There are a few things to keep in mind to make our early spring ventures more enjoyable.
While there are great advantages:
clear air and high visibility
no bugs in the deep wilderness areas
There are also some cautions:
lower temperatures with... [Read More]
Wondering where to toss that bouquet? Saranac Lake has some amazing places for that dream wedding. Gorgeous wilderness backdrops, charming churches, giant fireplaces, and soaring "Great Rooms," along with picturesque docks and boathouses and wildflower meadows.We also have talented artisans to craft those wedding favors, letter those invitations, make those centerpieces, and help the happy... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has been a fascinating place for a long time. I never know when I'll run into a fun and interesting bit of trivia about its moments of fame. These interesting items can turn up anywhere along the town's history. Here's some from the first half of the twentieth century.revolutionary mop patent“Be it known that I, EDWARD DoBBINs, a citizen of the United States, residing at Saranac Lake... [Read More]
The sap is flowing in Saranac Lake! The Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center has a classic maple syrup operation on the premises. I visited for the first Maple Syrup weekend of the season, but no worries if you missed out - there's still time to plan on visiting for the second weekend! This year it will take place on April 2 & 3, 2016.
The colder areas of the North American... [Read More]
We're spoiled here in Saranac Lake. We have so many cool dining spots a visitor can feel a bit overwhelmed about choosing. Each locally-owned eatery offers a unique take on their speciality, complete with a chef in the back, crafting each dish from scratch.
Since we have three new dining spots people might not know about, I recruited friends and my husband to explore these latest offerings... [Read More]
When I get a free day, there is nothing I like better than finding some comfy seating with a good book. Did you know that Saranac Lake not only contributed to the long history of medical cures? We also contributed to the short history of reclining chairs. So, climb into your comfiest Adirondack chair, grab a hot drink, and prepare to learn a little bit about just how much of an impact Saranac... [Read More]
The complex of buildings at the edge of Saranac Lake is known as "Will Rogers," since that was the name for much of its history. But it started in 1929 as the National Vaudeville Artists' Home; a tuberculosis curing facility for people in show business.
It was a future destination for a tall young magician. He bounded onto the stage in New York City. Before he could begin his act, he felt a... [Read More]
During Saranac Lake's years as a tuberculosis curing center, people got off the train... alone. They had left everyone behind, and were worried that it might be years before they saw them again.Patients had to create a whole new set of social connections for themselves. Some of the new people they met would become close friends. Some of them would be more of a romantic attachment.There was a... [Read More]
I love shopping Saranac Lake's historic downtown. The recent holiday season lured me there, where I found unusual gifts for many of the folks on my list. They were all great hits for the recipients.
Our historic downtown is pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of parking. There's an abundance of benches, dining spots, places for coffee and baked goodies, and a river running through the center of... [Read More]
When we have special dietary needs, it's easy to feel like there is "nothing to eat." But in the Saranac Lake area, we have fresh food prepared in kitchens with real chefs in the back. Our servers will be sympathetic and quick to check with them. We'll fill that plate in no time.
Specialty dining is not just close to my heart; it's close to my stomach. I've been dining gluten free since 2010.... [Read More]
Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport in the world. Because it's so easy, and so much fun. Appropriate for any age and skill level, too.
If we are hikers who don't want to stop getting outdoors just because it's winter, this simple addition to our gear collection will let us hit those same trails in a new way. Whether our trail is packed down or brand-new, snowshoes let us actually... [Read More]
In winter, our friendly forests grow hushed with snow, and our lovely lakes freeze over. We are dedicated to having fun all year 'round, and that includes a few creative options.When people think of our Winter Carnival, they think of our snowy landscape. But there's more to Carnival than that. In Saranac Lake, "ice" is far more than something to throw in our drinks. We have fun with it!ice... [Read More]
In a place with abundant Adirondack wilderness and gorgeous vistas at every turn, it's difficult to qualify different levels of view. We have a long shoreline with Lake Flower, across the street from the Town Hall, and it takes minutes to walk to this view:
With incredible views everywhere a person turns, can I really choose the top five views in Saranac Lake? Well... I can choose my own... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is not the usual shopping. It's a real Adirondack browsing paradise. Instead of big, bustling, and impersonal, we are small, quiet, and very friendly. We offer some items which can be found nowhere else, because they are handcrafted by our own Adirondack artists and artisans.Many of our shopping opportunities are found in our scenic, walkable, historic downtown. Bounded on the north... [Read More]
Here in the Adirondacks, there doesn't have to be much snow on the ground for us to have fun on it. Saranac Lake loves Dewey Mountain, whether we want to cross-country ski or snowshoe. This great destination is right in town, too.
Generations have enjoyed the recreational possibilities of this mountain. With community and town support, it keeps getting better.
a long history
In the late... [Read More]
Tubing in Saranac Lake is fun and friendly. Pretty much, if a person can sit down, they can go tubing - Adirondack style! The complex at Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center (we just call it Pisgah for obvious reasons) is a great place for winter fun, and their tubing hill is a popular attraction.If I'm going out with a group of my friends, tubing is tops on our list of fun activities... [Read More]
When I moved to the Adirondacks in August of 1999, it was after living on Long Island, and working in New York City, for eighteen years. Saranac Lake was a big change for me.But I was seeking change. After years in the workforce, I was going back to school. After only seeing my brother and nephew on visits, I would be living in the same town. They would become guides to my new life.culture shockI... [Read More]
There are many Halloween tales to be told in our corner of the Adirondacks. Some are well-known and some are well-hidden. This particular spooky bit of history is very obscure, even in Saranac Lake. The most well-known figure in the story, John Brown, actually rests in peace at his Lake Placid farm.
But he does not rest there alone.
a bizarre proposal
If a stranger asked if they could... [Read More]
Once upon a time, all an avid hunter needed was an Adirondack Guide and a campfire. The storied abundance of local hunting and fishing were an early attraction bringing visitors to our wilderness. This was especially true once W.H.H. Murray (aka Adirondack Murray) wrote "Adventures in the Wilderness," which was published in 1869.
The six million acres of the Adirondack Park still offer a... [Read More]
Martha Reben was one tough lady. She came to the Adirondacks at the age of twenty-one, to cure in the famous sanitarium in Saranac Lake. But after three-and-a-half years, it looked like she was losing. Her condition was described as "severely debilitated" and she was facing a procedure of last resort where ribs were removed to collapse a lung.At this same time, 1931, Adirondack Guide and boat... [Read More]
One of the fun, and free, options in Saranac Lake is the monthly lecture series held by Saranac Village at Will Rogers. They open their cozy Great Room for talks on all kinds of subjects. So when they announced the lecture for August was to be "Goat Packing, our passport to the back country," I could not resist.
As it turned out, this lecture and slideshow told the story of how challenges... [Read More]
One of the best ways to enjoy our Saranac Lake galleries is to attend an art opening. A gallery opening might sound intimidating, but don’t worry… our gallery openings are just like the Adirondacks: easygoing, welcoming, and fun!
They generally happen on Friday evenings, near the beginning of the month. I've put together four "insider" tips that will... [Read More]
Did you know Saranac Lake has the largest collection of Robert Louis Stevenson memorabilia in the world? Our village in the Adirondacks has a pivotal place in the saga of this famous author's life. Then Stevenson Cottage, where he restored his health, became the home of his legacy.He was one of the most successful writers of the 19th century. Stories like "Treasure Island," "Kidnapped," and "The... [Read More]
July is a wonderful time to visit the Saranac Lake Region. We have so many great events at this time of year. From traditional holiday celebrations and history tours all the way to some great modern talents in music and art, we have enjoyable options for every member of the family.Our Glorious FourthWe love a small town Independence Day. Join us!We start our celebrations with the 4th of... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has wonderful lodging and wellness venues. This year was the first time they were combined in a delightful weekend event. Which created a vortex of healing Adirondack vibrations!The Holistic Health Retreat & Conference was held on the weekend of May 16th & 17th, but I arrived Friday night to relax and enjoy the fine dining at the hosting property, the Lake Clear Lodge... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a wonderful range of Adirondack campgrounds to choose from. Whether it's a full service RV hook-up or a tent in the wildest of the wilderness, we have a full range of very cool spots.
Camping is a great way to really feel the wild places around us. Maybe it's that first cup of "cowboy coffee" as we listen to the loon cry over the lake. Maybe it's sitting around the... [Read More]
Golf and the Adirondacks have had a long and passionate relationship. By the turn of the 19th century, luxury resorts and Great Camps were springing up all over the Adirondack Park. Golf courses soon followed, and Saranac Lake has just the right kind of terrain.Golf in the United States can be traced back to 1828, when Charles B. Macdonald returned from college in Scotland with a set of... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a great place to stretch that vacation dollar. Our corner of the Adirondacks has many ways to help anyone have lots of fun, either for free or as a darned good bargain.
Remember, the Adirondack Park has no admission fee!
Pitch YOUR OWN
Our vast wilderness offers one way of combining luxurious grandeur and inexpensive accommodation. Back-country camping requires a... [Read More]
The area around Saranac Lake is known as the Lake Country of the Adirondacks. Since the whole Park is known for its lakes, what makes us so very special?I'm happy to tell you. There are five good reasons we proudly bear that title. 1. PaddlingWe are a Paddler's Paradise because of our terrain. That must have been some giant glacier. Parts of the Adirondacks were shaped by deep gouges that... [Read More]
Seasons mean so much here in the Adirondacks. It is here, like no other place I’ve lived before, that they delineate themselves as wildly separate and distinct experiences. Each is filled with unique delights that can be obtained at no other time.Saranac Lake is a place which embraces all of them. We have festivals for each season, featuring the way each one is celebrated in the Adirondacks. I’m... [Read More]
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... [Read More]
Spring in the Adirondacks is a wild, overlooked, season. Saranac Lake has many attractions which shine in this special gap between winter and summer. It might not be the first place a person thinks of when the idea of spring break occurs to them, but it can be the last... because there are many good reasons to fit a spring trip to the Adirondacks into our schedule.
It can be worth dodging some... [Read More]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Winter Carnival announces Summer Ice Palace
Saranac Lake, Adirondacks - April 1, 2015 - The overwhelming popularity of Saranac Lake’s historic Winter Carnival has led to the creation of a summer version.
“We realize this is a special challenge,” said Summer Carnival coordinator Ima Gladd-Colby. “But since we don’t get those brutal summer temperatures we... [Read More]
This vacation, bring the dog. Because Saranac Lake is a dog-friendly place.
Wilderness is even more enjoyable with four-legged companionship. If we have ever wondered what it would be like to really wear out our dog, one of our hikes or a paddling visit to an island will let us lean back and watch as they explore every fascinating scent... and we have are a lot of them.
Our immediate... [Read More]
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... [Read More]
Does Bigfoot live in the Adirondacks? Or is he just here for a vacation?
While discussions about Bigfoot can seem rather recent in our United States history, Native Americans have talked about Sasquatch for hundreds of years. Often considered a West Coast phenomenon, sightings have also appeared all over the Adirondacks, from Saranac Lake in the north to a famous sighting in Whitehall, in the... [Read More]
What is Adirondack style?
It is a relaxed blending of the natural world with classic comfort elements. It was developed in the rugged wilderness, when a few innovative people arrived who were not intent on conquering and subduing the forces of nature. Instead, Adirondack style embraces and appreciates it. It is a way of seeking a partnership with nature.
This difference... [Read More]
African-Americans have never made up large percentages in any census of the Adirondacks. But they have also been welcomed in proportions much greater than their numbers. Saranac Lake has long been supportive when it comes to the unique challenges faced by the people of this particular immigrant group.DEPOT ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROADThe Champlain Valley to the East had been settled by a strong-... [Read More]
People love to come to the Adirondacks to hike our forests, explore our ponds, and climb our mountains. But perhaps only Saranac Lake offers this wilderness experience in a compact and versatile package that is right in town.It's the Trifecta, and one of its charms is how we can hike through it, and back, two different ways. The different parts make it adaptable to any skill level, in any season... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a wonderful destination for Nordic skiing. The rolling expanse of our lake country makes for scenic trails which run the whole range of challenges. From groomed cross-country paths with parking lots to beautiful backcountry locations, we have a trail for every taste.
Saranac Lake has a hometown cross-country skiing complex at the edge of town. Half of the... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a long history of building amazing structures from ice as a centerpiece of their Winter Carnival festivities. Throughout the cycles of our village's famous winter festival, the Ice Palace has been both a focal point and a marker of what our Winter Break signifies in our history.At its heart, it is a reminder of how it all started, with the cycle of the seasons. In summer,... [Read More]
The unique geography of the Adirondacks has created some distinctive cultural traditions. The remote location, rugged beauty, and abundant wilderness led the small village of Saranac Lake into ways of life we still observe today.Celebrate with us!WINTER CARNIVALOne thing we must have in our Winter Carnival is the Ice Palace -- our term for the amazing structure we create as a focus for the... [Read More]
It's a challenge to make a new person. We can use help.Saranac Lake was once a worldwide health destination. At the height of the tuberculosis epidemic this wilderness village drew famed doctors, skilled researchers, and celebrity patients. While we are all happy the tuberculosis plague has been conquered, there are still plenty of skilled people who love to help anyone with other health quests.... [Read More]
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... [Read More]
Looking back at 2014 in the Adirondacks, there were so many memories of Saranac Lake. I decided the only way to narrow them down was to look at each of our lovely, distinctively different, four seasons. Each one has its own events, traditions, and activities.Each one has its own special charm.MAGICAL WINTERThe 2014 Winter Carnival “Ice Palace” (the term we use regardless of the structure)... [Read More]
We are a land of many lakes, be they liquid or solid. This gives Saranac Lake an abundance of extraordinary Adirondack ice fishing venues, from large and accessible to small and remote, or anything in between. So we are the place to explore all that ice fishing can offer... even when it gets extreme!
And out there, on the edges, things can get extremely interesting.
Here are the important... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is fortunate in its many geographical gifts. One of them is a bit unusual. We have a wonderful airport.
Most people regard their local airport as a necessary annoyance. It has a long drive to an un-lovely area, and the people are all rushed and harried, and someone sadistic designed the terminal.
But Adirondack Regional Airport is different in many of those ways. I don't... [Read More]
Updated: November 13, 2015When the weather gets chilly, the chilly turn caffeinated. It’s not just the coffee. Hot beverages, like chocolate or cider, are another famous Adirondack tradition we love to share.There’s something special about warming hands around a mug, and warming hearts around a good chat. If the blood is feeling a bit thin, pop into a place where the meal crowd has left, the... [Read More]
Saranac Lake loves the holiday season. We have a lively and dedicated wellness community who support our local farms and advocate for healthy eating. This lets them come up with new takes on old favorites.Very adirondack appetizerIf we haven't been thinking "Adirondacks" when we think "cheese" we haven't been doing it right. Many local farms have used the milk from their cows, sheep, and goats to... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has an unusual war memorial. It is the Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center, located on the mountain at the edge of town. It is a wonderful place to explore this Veteran's Day. Even if we can't ski just yet.At the entrance there is a more traditional monument, a native boulder with a plaque honoring all service members. While Saranac Lake has been sending its children... [Read More]
so much more than a beautiful viewTop things to do when you don't feel like being outsideWe love our Adirondack outdoors. We love our changeable mountain weather. But sometimes, they just don’t go together the way we planned it. Still, many weather challenges are not as daunting as they might appear.A misty day is easy to dress for and does not disturb a lovely walk in the woods. If it's a... [Read More]
Home on the Range - or the local Ski Slope to be more specific!
Like many Adirondack towns, Saranac Lake has a hometown ski hill. Here is where local children have learned to ski for generations. Now Mount Pisgah offers family fun with alpine, glade, and cross country skiing, along with tubing and snowshoeing.
Saranac Lake started skiing in 1892 when the first pair of skis came to... [Read More]
Norman Bethune is a famous Saranac Lake artist. His most celebrated work was created here, in the Trudeau Cottage Sanitarium, where he was both a doctor, and a patient. He was also an inventor: the Bethune shears, for thoracic surgery, are still in use today. He was a humanitarian: his many medical patents were donated to the cause of socialized medicine. He was an innovator: he organized... [Read More]
Saranac Lake spent the decades between 1884 and 1954 as a world-famous curing center. Our history of wellness endeavors continues to this day. It all started with Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (statue, above) in 1873. He came to Saranac Lake expecting only to spend his last days in his beloved wilderness. He had tuberculosis, and in those days, it was a death sentence.Except he got better.This... [Read More]
Are there ghosts in the Adirondacks? Does Saranac Lake have a haunted past? Sources say yes, and to be honest, it has a haunted present, too. Many of these old buildings have spooky tales to tell.
I set out with a member of the Adirondack Park Paranormal Society to explore what has been seen - and heard - and felt - in what must be the most haunted town in all of the Adirondack Park.... [Read More]
Mount Pisgah Ski Center is a village mountain with big appeal. Downhill skiing, cross country trails, and fun tubing runs, all in the heart of Saranac Lake.Family Fun this winterOf course, it's a bit too early to actually ski, but preparations start well before the season. The lodge is readied for visitors, logs are laid in the big fireplace, equipment is checked, and trails are walked. There are... [Read More]
Every year Pendragon Theatre, our Saranac Lake live theatre company, chooses a comedy as one element of their summer art offerings. The theme this year (they choose a theme every year) is one close to my heart: that of "Dreams." Then they choose several plays which fit the theme, creating a lineup which includes at least one comedy, drama, and musical each year.
When I... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a long history as a wellness center. Both ordinary folk and celebrities flocked to the town after Dr. Edward Trudeau researched and implemented his "fresh air" cure for tuberculosis. When a drug cure was developed after WWII, this devastating disease no longer shaped the town. But we did not abandon our interest in helping people.Today, there are venues for zero-balancing,... [Read More]
It's an art tour, a scenic drive, and a shopping opportunity, all in one. It's an Adirondack Art Tour! When it comes to scenic routes, Saranac Lake and the surrounding area has some of the loveliest. Whether we drive or bike, in any season, for any reason, our quiet wilderness roads access some of our finest vistas. Every year a local arts guild, Saranac Lake ArtWorks, organizes a tour of... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has an extraordinary place in its history, tucked between the lumbering and ice harvesting of its earliest times to the lure of its gorgeous scenery in the present. At the turn of the 20th Century, it was a world famous center for tuberculosis care (known as Taking the Cure) and research.While there were many local sanatoriums, some people were able to “take the cure” in a private... [Read More]
The Saranac Lake Art Walks are a popular summer activity. Every third Thursday evening, from June to September, our historic downtown area becomes a sidewalk art festival. In addition, there’s many kinds of music, craft vendors, and other fun activities with plenty of Adirondack friendliness and hospitality.Since it was a gorgeous day, we started with an early dinner. We got to watch the artists... [Read More]
It was a unique opportunity to visit the Saranac Lake Laboratory Museum. To kick off an upcoming "Medical Marvels" series, which will feature a exhibit of antique medical devices, the Museum was hosting a series of free lectures. Saranac Lake takes great pride in having been a prominent turn-of-the-century science center, and we offer many such opportunities to explore this side of our... [Read More]
The Saranac Lake area was once home to many Great Camps, the elaborate form of "roughing it" that the very rich enjoyed during the Gilded Age. Time has not been kind to this extravagant tradition. Because of the risk of fire, each room was designed as its own building, and because of their remote locations, many of them burned down, anyway. Between the deep winters and the wilderness itself,... [Read More]
Adirondack Lakes and Rivers Paddles
Kayaking and canoeing in the Adirondacks, especially in the lake country near Saranac Lake, has an abundance of paddling possibilities. We are home to the 18,400-acre St. Regis Canoe Area. This is the only designated Canoe Area in all of New York State, with almost sixty bodies of water to explore, each with their own charm.
This broad and untouched... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a unique performance space which features all kinds of different art, even at the same time. Music, photography, and painting were all on display during a special evening at BluSeed Studios. It had dogs and children dancing and people making new friends. It's an art opening in the Adirondacks.This gathering was to celebrate the return of a local group from a recent visit to... [Read More]
Kayaking & Canoeing Top 10The beauty of paddling in the Saranac Lake area is the abundance of choices. But the sheer amount of Adirondacks on offer can be overwhelming! Here’s some Top 10 Paddling Spots to consider when it’s time to get out that canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard (SUP.)Wonderful WildernessWe have plenty of pristine and gorgeous places where the only human sound might... [Read More]
This is the time of year Saranac Lake area anglers see the ice fishing season taper off… and start thinking about the spring to come. Adirondack iceout! It’s one of the best times to land a trophy trout.The fish start being more active, and more hungry. April 1 is the season opener for most trout and salmon. Panfish like pumpkinseed and yellow perch are open all year. Here’s some tips on wetting... [Read More]
My First 6'er
Mountain climbing is one of the most popular sports in the Adirondacks, and one that is enjoyed year round. In Saranac Lake, it is popular to embark on the journey of Being a 6er. This is climbing the six peaks which ring the village and lend it the distinctive "mountain town" character we love.
On any such challenge, be it hiking or snowshoeing, we must start at the bottom... [Read More]
Sustainable Breakfast with a side of historyDelicious meals are a favorite part of anyone's vacation. The Saranac Lake area of the Adirondacks offers great food with a wellness twist. We love our local farmers, who are known for organic fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs.Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat, a historic old Great Camp, takes these healthy eating principles even further. From... [Read More]
Top Winter Activies List in Saranac Lake NY
Family fun is easy in Saranac Lake. No matter what size, shape, or attention span that family might have.
Whatever the weather, we have activities to help everyone explore winter at their own pace. Share our amazing wildlife up close, slide down a snowy mountain, and ride our indoor carousel.
Don't worry about what to do with the kids. From... [Read More]
Saranac Lake's Top Cool Spots for Ice FishingWhat are the best fishing holes, in the winter? It seems that all of them have some kind of appeal. Ice fishing in Saranac Lake offers so many different places, and everyone has a favorite hard water spot.Finding out where they are… well, that’s not easy! But it helped when I added, “Great fishing that everybody knows about.” Then, I got some sighs of... [Read More]
Building with IceSaranac Lake's Winter Carnival is a wonderful Adirondack festival. One of the strongest attractions happens even before Carnival officially begins. That would be the building of each year's Ice Palace.Festivities began back at the turn of the century, when Saranac Lake was already established as an internationally famous wellness center. Between winter enthusiasts,... [Read More]
With fishing a favorite pastime in the Adirondacks, it’s no surprise that our anglers don’t let low temperatures stop them. Ice fishing, aka hardwater fishing, keeps the fun going all the year 'round.
Saranac Lake is an ideal spot for the sport. It’s dotted with small lakes which are quick to freeze, and dotted with avid anglers who love to get out there. That fishing staple, the fishing... [Read More]
Taking on Ice Fishing in Saranac Lake
Ice fishing is a premier Adirondack sport, and Saranac Lake can lay claim to having some of the best. Our abundance of lakes and ponds, many of them easily accessible, puts us right at the top of hard water fishing places. We also get lots of great winter to freeze them up!
Despite the early freeze, I had managed to not go myself until just the other... [Read More]
Sun Tzu’s Awesome Tips On Art GiftsSaranac Lake is a great place to get art of all kinds & prices, for holiday gift giving. The abundance of galleries and the many local crafts in stores offer variety, but there's still one problem. How do we do this particular kind of shopping for the people in our life?Art just might be the trickiest form of gift, relying as it does on such elusive... [Read More]
Art & Dining = Blue Moon CafeFood and art go hand in hand. A glass of wine, a plate of cheese and crackers, and an oil painting says gallery opening to us. But what about adding a caesar salad, or salmon and cream cheese on a bagel? We can have it all… at the Blue Moon Cafe in Saranac Lake. While the saying is “once in a blue moon,” we can enjoy this local dining favorite every day. At Blue... [Read More]
Artists often work alone, but like everyone else, they can find strength in numbers.This is the thinking behind a membership of artists, galleries, theatre and art related businesses in the greater Saranac Lake area, called ArtWorks. It’s not only a concept. It’s also a place!Saranac Lake has a wonderful, walkable, downtown area which groups most of my favorite shops, restaurants, and galleries... [Read More]
When among the millions of acres of Adirondack wilderness, we feel close to the natural world. Once visited, it has a magnetic pull on our heart which encourages us to return.This principle is embodied in a famous visitor. When I married a Saranac Lake native, his older relatives loved to tell me stories about the man in baggy trousers and wild hair, who always had a smile for the children he met... [Read More]
Who really cares about eating when they are on vacation? Well, everyone of course. If you are like me, you want to hit the best local spots while you’re in town. You want to know where to get a good...