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Adventures in the Adirondacks

Destination: Adirondacks State Park, NY

Adirondack State Park in northern New York is unique. At over 6 million acres of both private and public land, half of it wilderness, larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined. Diverse ecosystems exist here: alpine and sub-alpine zones, boreal forest, and lowland lake systems, providing suitable habitat for black bears, deer, bobcats, beaver, fishers, and numerous bird species - even moose are returning to the region. The human history is no less fascinating. Over the years it has been the home of farmers who struggled to scratch a living from thin soil and harsh winters, miners and loggers who participated in the exploitation of its natural resources, Adirondack guides renowned for their skills in the woods,and wealthy industrialists, builders of the famous Adirondack Great Camps. In autumn, after the summer crowds have departed, the invigorating weather and brilliant foliage make the Park an ideal location for a vacation that is both active and relaxing. Maximum group size: 12;

Highlights

  • Kayaking on the Moose River and Raquette and Lower Saranac Lakes
  • Climbing several Adirondacks Peaks, including Blue Mt and Cascade Mt, one of the Adirondack High Peaks
  • Learning about the unique private/public partnership that keeps this area "Forever Wild"
  • Enjoying crisp fall air and changing foliage
  • Listening to the haunting call of the loon

Departures and Prices

September 15 to September 22, 2019
$2395.00 - FULL
Join Waitlist

Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Seven nights lodging in double occupancy rooms, most of which do not have en suite bathrooms
  • All activities on the itinerary, including kayak rental and shuttles and a visit to the Wild Center Museum of Natural History
  • All meals from dinner Sunday to breakfast the following Sunday
  • Transportation once you arrive in the Albany, NY airport (ALB)

What's not included: Travel to and from Albany, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and travel insurance.

Details

Each day includes 3 to 5 hours of activity and the variety of activities (e.g. hiking and kayaking) require a good all around fitness level, so this trip requires being in good physical condition. As the hiking trails in the Adirondacks tend to be quite challenging because of their footing and steepness, the difficulty may be greater than the mileage would indicate. The trip is rated 3. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaging in aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5.

On this trip we will be primarily kayaking and hiking, with visits to the Blue Mountain Museum and time to explore the historic town of Lake Placid. No experience in kayaking or hiking is required. However the trails in the Adirondacks usually have both rocks and roots and can be both steep and challenging.

We will be staying at three very different places during this trip. The first two nights will be spent at Four Seasons Cottages on Fourth Lake. We will then stay at Great Camp Sagamore, one of the original Adirondack Great Camps, in one of the 9 bedroom lodges that we will have to ourselves. We will finish the trip with three nights at Trails End Inn.

Please Note: These are locally owned Inns and Camps, very indicative of the Adirondacks. There will be a mixture of single and double occupancy rooms, and a mixture of rooms with bathrooms ensuit, and bathrooms available in shared hallways. Aside from roommate requests, the rooms will be randomly assigned. On this trip we can offer 2 single supplements which will guarantee a private room throughout. A single supplement will not, however, guarantee you a private ensuite bathroom.

We can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions but, depending on your specific circumstances, we may ask you to bring supplemental food. Please call the office if you would like help planning.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Our trip begins today at the Albany, NY airport where we'll pick you up at 3:00. After loading our gear into the vans we'll drive 2.5 hours to the west central part of the Adirondack State Park. This State Park is unique: bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, it is a mix of publicly and privately owned land, and over half of it is wilderness. We'll only see a small section on our way to the Four Seasons Cottages, located on Fourth Lake just outside the town of Old Forge, NY. Fourth Lake is part of the Fulton Chain, a string of eight lakes between Old Forge and Raquette Lake. It is one of the more popular canoe routes in the Park and we are likely to see paddlers with their canoes full of camping gear paddle past. After getting checked in we will go out to dinner and watch our first sunset over the lake. Overnight Four Seasons Cottages D
DAY 2
Wake up to the haunting call of the loon and the mist slowly rising off the lake, and then take your morning drink down by the dock and relax in a traditional Adirondack chair. We will enjoy a hearty and delicious breakfast prepared by the guides, just what we need to get ready for a day of kayaking on the Moose River. The Moose is a slow moving flatwater river that winds through beautiful, classic Adirondack landscape: towering pine trees, low shrubs, and kingfishers darting back and forth across the river. There is one short carry with an easy trail around a rock garden, just enough to give you a taste of the experience. We'll start our paddle with some instruction on the basics of kayaking to help make your trip more enjoyable. We find that even experienced kayakers often benefit from reviewing the correct way to paddle so that you use more of your core muscles and less of your arms. The Moose River is an excellent kayaking river, whether you're a first time paddler or have years of experience. We'll be on the beautiful North Branch of the Moose River, exploring the Adirondack wilderness, and enjoying the splendid scenery as we paddle along with the gently moving current. Our paddle will be about three hours total and along the way we'll stop to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Depending on our time and energy, on the way back to our cabins we can hike up to the fire tower on top of Bald Mountain. Although only 2 miles round trip, it's a steep hike and leads to stunning views of the Fulton Chain. Fire towers were originally built for the purpose of spotting new fires, a task that is now largely accomplished by aerial surveillance. Many are still open to hikers, however, and their location always assures great views. As the guides cook another delicious dinner, you can relax at our lake side cabin. Overnight Four Seasons Cottages B, L, D
DAY 3
After another morning breakfast by the lake, we pack up our things and drive north to Blue Mountain Lake for some more hiking. Blue Mountain also has a fire tower on the summit, this one with a 360 degree view of the lakes, forests, hills and mountains - including some of the High Peaks, the area where we'll be in a couple of days. This is a 4 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 1550 feet, with some steep areas and a beautiful path that traverses bare rock, large roots, and wet soil. We will hike through spruce, balsam fir, paper birch, mountain ash, and maple, before coming to the clearing and the tower, where a picnic lunch will reward our efforts. We will then drive back to Raquette Lake where we will be staying at the Great Camp Sagamore. Sagamore was the private wilderness estate of the Vanderbilt family from 1901 to 1954. Like all of the Adirondack Great Camps, it was designed by William West Durant, a fascinating character in his own right. Although his success as a businessman was up and down, he was known for his ability to design wilderness estates for wealthy families that integrated luxury (for the time) with a rustic feel, a magic that is still apparent today. Tonight we'll have dinner at Sagamore. Overnight Great Camp Sagamore B, L, D
DAY 4
We'll spend today kayaking on Raquette Lake, the second largest lake in the Adirondacks. Our paddle will offer some shore line cruising, history of the lake, and the camps that grace it. Raquette Lake is known for having 99 miles of shoreline and after you see some of its many bays, inlets, and islands, you'll know it's true. Along the way we'll stop for a picnic lunch and to stretch our legs. Returning to the Sagamore in the afternoon, we'll have time for a tour - with 27 buildings on the National Historic Register, it is a fascinating place. We'll make sure to have some free time to enjoy the wonderful surroundings. After dinner, we'll have a campfire and relax in a traditional Adirondack Lean-to, the perfect setting for telling stories. Overnight Great Camp Sagamore B, L, D
DAY 5
After breakfast we leave Sagamore and head north. Our first stop is the Adirondack Museum, widely regarded as one of the best regional museums in the country. It showcases how humans have interacted with the mountains over the years. After spending a few hours there we'll continue to our afternoon hike, Coney Mountain. At 2.2 miles and a relatively gradual incline, this is one of those trails where you are amply rewarded for relatively little effort, including 360 degree views of Tupper Lake and the High Peaks. Tonight we'll have dinner at a restaurant before continuing on to Keene Valley and our new home for the next three nights. Overnight at the Trails End Inn. B, L, D
DAY 6
We've now arrived at the part of the Adirondacks with the highest peaks. You may have heard of the High Peaks Wilderness area - this is where most of the higher peaks, including New York's highest, Mt Marcy, are located. To be considered a "high peak", the summit has to be over 4,000 feet - and Cascade Mountain is one of those peaks. This is a 4.8 mile RT hike that will take about 4.5-5 hours, gaining 1940 feet in elevation before reaching the summit at 4098. If it's a clear day the view is 365 degrees and goes on forever. We'll relax with a picnic lunch on top. If that isn't appealing, another excellent choice is Baxter Mountain, which also offers outstanding views. It's a mostly moderate, 1.2 mile hike to the first summit, beginning at a moderate grade then climbing over switchbacks with a few steep steps to the first open rock. It's an out and back hike, 2.4 miles total with 770 feet elevation gain.

Whichever climb you choose, you will have some free time in Lake Placid. You can check out some of the shops on Main Street, visit the Olympic Museum and see the famous rink where the "Miracle on Ice" hockey game took place, or simply enjoy a walk around Mirror Lake. Tonight we'll have dinner at the ADK Cafe before returning to Trails End Inn. Overnight at Trails End. B, L, D
DAY 7
This is our final full day in the Adirondacks and Rooster Comb Mountain is a fitting finale. A 5-mile round trip hike, it gains 1750 feet of elevation on its way to the summit at 2788 feet so we will feel quite accomplished. Like most of the mountains in the Adirondacks, the hike includes some steep sections, traverses, and a (very) few flat sections with rewarding views at the summit.

Tonight we'll have a final farewell dinner back at Trails End Inn, celebrating our accomplishments and camaraderie of the past week. Overnight at Trails End. B, L, D
DAY 8
We hope by the end of the week you have fallen in love with the Adirondacks as much as we have, and you won't be ready to leave. But unfortunately it's time, and after breakfast we'll pack up for the two hour drive back to Albany. We'll have you back by 10:45AM and you can plan to fly out anytime after 12 noon. B

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "Did this trip meet your expectations?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

Group dynamic was fantastic. Hiking gave me great confidence to challenge myself more here at home in western Pa. Improved my kayaking strokes and technique. Accommodation were excellent. Local folks were very friendly and welcoming.

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


Highlights-Climbing a high peak; visiting a camp; “low water” moose river kayaking; meeting great people; great, knowledgeable guides!

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


Kayaking on still lakes.

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


Love the combination of exercise and learning history. The fact that our guides were living where they were guiding was an unexpected plus.

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


Feeling of accomplishment hiking some really challenging mountains.

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


It is beautiful country and I enjoyed the hiking, kayaking and where we stayed.

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


This was one of the best trips I've ever been on and while I expected it to be a great trip, it was even better than I'd hoped. It's hard to pick just a few highlights. The guides were amazing, the group was a ton of fun, and the hikes were spectacular. I still can't get over how cool it was to stay at Camp Sagamore. I'd been expecting just another lodge and really didn't know anything about the great camps. What a surprise! It felt like staying in a museum and I learned so much. The rooms were cozy, the beds were comfortable, the food was good, and the staff here was great. It was also very cool that we had the unique opportunity to paddle to Bluff Point to check out another camp. This helped me understand just how remarkable it is that Sagamore has been preserved the way it has and is open to groups like ours.

Adventures in the Adirondacks 9/16/2018-9/23/2018


  1. Where do we eat?

    Your guides will prepare some of the meals and others will be either at your lodging or at restaurants where you can order off the menu. Before you leave in the morning you the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I have never kayaked before, is this the right trip for me?

    This is a great trip for both new and more experienced kayakers. The first day there will be instruction on safety and basic kayaking strokes. The boats are stable and the guides are experienced kayak instructors.
  4. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
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