Add all that together, and it was difficult to narrow it down to a Summer Top 10. It was good I did not add those activities within 25 minutes and include Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, that would take several blogs!
#10 Explore the New Rail-Trail
The Trail literally goes through our 25 acres. It connects our own nature trails and we are in the geographic center of this 38 mile trail. From the Lodge, you can go west and go through the incredible St. Regis Canoe region and stop by its many ponds and back-country trails. Bring a back-pack lunch from the Lodge’s Old World Kitchen Store and CSA and take-in pristine nature in the “forever wild.” Continue on and connect to the Fish Creek and Rollins Pond Campgrounds and visit Knapps Trading Post. If you are a biking enthusiast, you can go all the way to Tupper Lake, visit this historic hamlet and the Wild Center.
If you go east from our property you head within walking distance to Charlie's Inn, the historic railroad station that serves lunch, also the 1892 Bar & Grill just at the other end of our Great Camp. On a bike, you can travel to the village of Saranac Lake, and if you are game, go to Lake Placid, home of two winter Olympic games.
#9 Visit one of the Oldest Adirondack Fish Hatcheries
Again, going west on the rail-trail about three to four miles, you will reach one of the Adirondacks oldest fish hatcheries. There is a small interpretive building connected to an immense area with multiple large tanks for raising fish. This hatchery is responsible for stocking the waters in the St. Regis Canoe Area and beyond.
While you are there, explore neighboring Little Green and Little Clear Ponds. It is absolutely pristine and as part of the St. Regis Canoe area, there is no motorized access. There are also walking and backcountry biking trails which surround them.
#8 Fish the Sportsmen Lake: Lake Clear
Lake Clear has a long history as a sportsmen’s lake going as far back as the 1800’s. It became so famous, they developed a famous fishing lure in its namesake: the Lake Clear Wobbler. The lake has an inlet and an outlet keeping the water flowing - Lake Clear!. We have a map of the “local fishing spots,” and NYS DEC stocks the lake. Pike, salmon, trout, perch are just a few of the fish variety.
If you are a serious fisherman, the connecting steam that takes you to Lake Clear Outlet is a hotspot with the locals.
#7 Walk/Hike the Jack Rabbit Ski Trail and the New Paul Smith’s College Nature Trail
The Jack Rabbit Ski Trail which is a cross-country ski trail in the winter goes through Lake Clear to Paul Smiths on the northern route and towards Saranac Lake, Lake Placid all the way down to Keene Valley.
A nice little trail, is the new one created by Paul Smith’s College that is right off our property as well.
#6 Paddle Lake Clear
Lake Clear, approximately 1,000 acres and about 65 feet deep at its lowest point, does not have a state boat launch on it, that, and a combination of nearly one-half of the lake being in the Forest Preserve as forever wild, means that while the resident’s have motor boats, you will often see more loons than people. You can paddle from our lakefront to local “Lake Clear beach,” or go directly across the lake to Lake Clear Outlet where wildlife abounds.
With your stay package at the Lodge, we provide canoes, kayaks and sup boards.
#5 Healing Woods Escapes
Chef Cathy has been the Executive Chef for over 25 years, is an occupational therapist, an energetist, and from a family who operated the Lodge during the “Cure Cottage days,” While most consider natural resource extraction and tourism as prime Adirondack economies, wellness is one of the oldest.
Located in what became known as the “Healing Woods, our place in the sylvan woods and on the water with nature trails and artisan lodgings spaciously set apart highlighted by a family built Lakeview Retreat Center, is ideal for a rejuvenating escape.
Take it all together and you have the natural setting for nature-based wellness experiences from Cathy’s own Nutritional Energetics program to 30 minute cooking demos before dinner. There is something for families, couples or groups.
This summer, offerings include the 10 Essentials of a Wellness Kitchen, the Importance of the Colors of Food, an Introduction to Nutritional Energetics and the Cosmic Kitchen, Your Gateway to Holistic Health. Please see our events calendar for the latest offerings.
#4 History of Beer, Food & Spirits
The Lodge is now the longest operating Great Camp in the Adirondack Park, The family has operated it through the pioneering period, the Cure Cottage Days, the era of the Great Camps and today’s farm to fork. With my background as a founder in the Adirondacks sustainable development movement, I reached out to a whole congregation of organizations and businesses to create a History of Adirondack Food. We trace the roots of Adirondack foods back to the indigenous peoples as well as cultures all over the world.
There is also an opportunity to taste and explore the History of Beer as well as Spirits in our 1920’s Speakeasy.
#3 Sunset Stagecoach Rides
Cathy’s family started the Lake Clear Lodge in 1886 as a stagecoach inn, With an original 1800’s stagecoach led by a local farm, Lucky Clover Farms with their draft horses, Fly and Jasper, relive the Adirondack pioneering days. The farm takes you through our nature trails down to the beach, which is a wonderful picture-taking experience.
Beware though, you may be robbed, it is the 1800’s you know!
#2 Great Camp Dining Experience.
I am taking heat from my wife, the Executive Chef, why this is not #1 and I explained to her, you can take the food down to the lake and experience the sunsets described below and have your cake and eat it too!
Seriously, there are only a handful of original Adirondack Great Camps left that are still open to the public. It is not just about the food, but a culinary experience that begins with the secret password to our 1920’s Speakeasy and Hidden Beer & Wine Cellar, dinner in the 1886 Stagecoach Dining Room or the Lakeview Great Camp, and meanderings to one amazing sunset beach. The food is a savory blend of original Adirondack tastes from Chef Cathy’s pioneering family fused with my family's Old World seasonings. Combine that with her emphasis on local farms (we are also a CSA) and the fact that the kitchen is an anachronism where hand-stocked soups, slow roasted cooking and hand-made Old World desserts highlight the palate and you have one iconic Great Camp delight.
#1 Sunsets at Our Beach
I wish I had the words to explain how magical and mystical the sunsets at our beach can be. Our lakefront faces west right into the St. Regis Mountain Range and as the sun nestles in its bosom, and with the clouds being painted a rainbow of colors, you can feel your mind, body and spirit re-connecting. The indigenous peoples claimed it was a spiritual place and we have numerous wellness practitioners who claim it is a portal.
The only thing we know for sure is that the lake attracts amazing wildlife from our resident bald eagle to a contingent of loons, never mind the fish jumping on those calm nights. To get an idea, check out our webcam on our website. We believe it is one of the most spectacular mountain-lake sunsets in the world.
Now, can you imagine if I added the experiences you can do within 25 minutes of the Lodge?