Saturday, May 1, 2010

Things to Do Near Schroon Lake, NY

The Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce has two websites dedicated to the region:
Schroon Lake Chamber
Schroon Lake Region

The Beacon Magazine ran an article about things to do near Schroon Lake, NY in 2011.
Fort Ticonderoga - Well-preserved Revoluntary-era fort that guarded the passage between Lake Champlain and Lake George. Easy to spend half a day here if you want.

Natural Stone Bridge and Caves - Located at the southern end of Schroon Lake its actually surprisingly interesting notwithstanding all of the gawdy signs. The river here dives underground creating many interesting geological formations and spelunking opportunities. Probably the best rock shop in the Adirondacks.

Gore Mountain Recreation Area - Gore Mountain has two parts: (1) the recreational area and (2) the mining area. The recreational area is a massive ski resort in the winter and a mountain biking mecca in the summer.

Gore Mountain Garnet Mines - The mining area is an interesting tour of old garnet mines which were used to coat sandpaper. You can take a cheap tour where they give you 30 minutes to sift sand for garnets down in the pit. You keep what you find.

Whitewater Rafting - There are several whitewater rafting opportunities in the area. The Hudson River has excellent whitewater in the spring (bring a wetsuit) and decent whitewater in the summer. The trip is 17 miles and takes all day. If you want something less adventurous, check out the Sacandaga River west of Lake George. They even take kids.

Adirondack Extreme Adventure Park - Recently opened.  Be prepared to spend four hours suspended above the forest floor zip lining, obstacle coursing, balancing, and being very challenged. 

Upper Hudson River Railroad - This is a recently restarted scenic railroad that runs from North Creek about 30 minutes west of Schroon down to Hadley and beyond. This railroad used to transport Manhattan's wealthy up to the hinterlands of the Adirondacks, but was abandoned for a few decades. The line follows the banks of the Hudson River.

Lake George Boat Tours - Lake George has several great tours on large boats that leave from the main town. They range from an hour to longer.

Prospect Mountain at Lake George - If you are really lazy and don't wanna hike, you can drive up this moutain about 1,500 feet up and look out over the lake. Great view.
Fort William Henry at Lake George - Another old Revolutionary-era fort that preserved the passage between Lake George and the Hudson River. Has some interesting exhibits.

The Sagamore Resort - Massive old posh wooden frame hotel on Lake George in Bolton Landing about 30 minutes from town. Interesting place to poke around.

Saratoga National Battlefield - Revoluntary battlefield run by the National Park Service about 90 minutes from town on the northern end of Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Race Track - Grand old racetrack in Saratoga Springs. Races start around noon and run until around 5:30 every day except "Black Tuesday." Fun way to blow a day making $2 bets (or more if you know what you're doing).
Canoe Schroon River - Annual Surovell Family tradition. You can rent canoes cheap at the Schroon Lake Marina, put them on top of your car and drop them in at the Alder Meadow Bridge (2 hours), Route 73 Bridge (3 hours), or the Schroon Falls Bridge on U.S. 9 (4 hours). Slow, meandering, sand-bottom river. The segment between North Hudson and Schroon Falls is Class II Whitewater.

Ausable Chasm - Seems cheesy from the brochures, but is a very interesting geological tour, and cool boat ride where the Ausable River shoots down a narrow chasm. Nature walks around the rim of the chasm are interesting as well. It located about an hour north a little bit off the Northway before you get to Plattsburgh.

Split Rock Falls - Rob Surovell's favorite spot in the Adirondacks. Is a set of 3-4 falls where the Boquet River dives down through a narrow gap to New Russia, Elizabethtown and beyond to the St. Lawrence on land once owned by descendants of the Judge Learned Hand. Absolutely beautiful place. Daring young people like to jump into pools of the waterfall, but people have drowned during high water. There is no sign for it, but it's kind of obvious if you know where to look - about 1.5 miles North on 9 at its junction with Route 73 on the right just after the road goes over the Boquet River. Read this New York Times article on the Falls.

Roaring Brook Falls - Roaring Brook dives 500 feet off the shoulder of Giant Mountain about 1.5 miles west of Chapel Pond on Route 73 heading towards Keene Valley. You can hike to the top of the Roaring Brook Falls - the trailhead is at the bottom of the hill on Route 73. Water Skiing - You can rent a ski boat by the hour, day, half-day, etc. from the Schroon Lake Marina. Lake Placid - Check out the Olympic Training facilities, shop, or just hang out. Lots to do here.

Whiteface Mountain - Former site for the Olympic downhill races and is a ski facility in the winter. You can hike or drive to the top.

John Brown's Farm - Homestead of the most famous Abolitionist in the history of the United States. Is located just east of Lake Placid off Route 74.

Montreal - Montreal is only about 2.5 hours up the Northway.  If you're going to go, make sure you bring a passport.  There are new rules in effect.  Old town Montreal might as well be in Europe.  Great place to take a day trip or and overnight.

The Wild Center - Very cool, new museum in Tupper Lake. Focuses on the natural history of the Adirondacks.
The Adirondack Museum - Nice very well done museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Focuses more on the people history of the Adirondacks - logging, camps, boating, mining, hunting.
The Shelburne Museum - Located just over the Crown Point Bridge in Vermont. Very cool museum that focuses on North Country life. Has a very neat dry docked Lake Champlain steamboat that you can tour. Always reminds me of the Titanic.
Penfield Museum - A little, but very interesting museum about 20 minutes east of Schroon Lake north of Route 73 in Ironville. Focuses on the former iron forging history of the town and the old now-defunct town of Hammondville that made many of the Union Army's canons during the Civil War. They also claim to be the site of the first industrial application of electric motors in the United States.
You cannot come to the Adirondacks and not go hiking. The best way to tour is to buy a book. We use the Ten-Part Discovering the Adirondacks series. There are literally hundreds of hikes in the Adirondacks and people hike all seasons of the year.
Hikes Near Schroon Lake
Severance Mountain - Easy 1 mile hike 5 minutes from Town of Schroon with 800 foot ascent and views of Schroon Lake, Paradox Lake, and Pharoh Mountain.
Gull Pond - Short 1/2 mile level hike 20 minutes east of the lake with picturesque cliffs over a pond and great fishing and camping.
Spectacle Pond - 1.5 mile level hike 25 minutes east of the lake with picturesqe pond.
Big Pond - Decent sized pond about 5 minutes up Hoffman Road west of town. 1.5 mile level hike. Good fishing and camping.
Pharoah Mountain - 2,000 foot mountain the dominates the eastern side of the lake. Looks like a pyramid, steep sides with little vegetation. Moderately difficult hike.
Putnam Pond - Great camping site with about 10-15 hikes possible about 20 minutes east of town off 73 between Schroon Lake and Ticonderoga.
Bushwack to State Road - About a 90-120 walk through the woods from Talichito to the State Road. Take a compass or a GPS.
Hikes Further Afield
Lake George Area - There are a ton of great hikes that give you tons of beatiful views of Lake George.
Keene Valley Area - The Mecca for hiking in the Adirondacks. Trailheads for many High Peaks start here.
Adirondack Loj - Launching point for most hikers from Lake Placid. Lots of people and foot traffic out of here, but great launching point for the High Peaks.