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Visit the Adirondacks for a Rare Winter Treat

One of the greatest of the great camps will be open to visitors on snowshoes or cross-country skis for three special weekends this winter.

Photo courtesy NY Department of Environmental Conservation
Photo courtesy NY Department of Environmental Conservation
Three days off would give you ample time to enjoy the outdoors, get up close to New York's history and find a fireplace to hibernate by.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will open Camp Santanoni to the public during the upcoming Martin Luther King holiday weekend, Jan. 18-20, as well as the President’s Day holiday weekend, Feb. 15-17 and the weekend of March 16-17.

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest and view interpretative displays. A 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski or snowshoe excursion traverses from Camp Santanoni’s Gate House complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex. The trip provides a moderate physical activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, according to the DEC.

You don't even need to have your own gear: the Adirondack Interpretive Center will lend snowshoes to visitors at the Gate Lodge. Adirondack Architectural Heritage staff will offer tours of the Great Lodge and skiers and snowshoers can rest and warm up at the Artists Studio. Bring your own cup for hot chocolate!

"Camp Santanoni is one of the most sophisticated and distinguished of all of the surviving great camps. It was one of a few to employ whole log construction and rustic styling in detail. It also contains some of the finest examples of local Adirondack craftsmanship in construction, architectural detail, finishes and decoration. In addition to being listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places; Camp Santanoni is a National Historic Landmark. Camp Santanoni is the only great camp entirely in public ownership and stewardship," says the DEC's website.

This is the third year the state has opened Camp Santanoni for a few winter weekends. The first year, 250 people took advantage of the opportunity; last year, the visitor tally rose to 350.

“We are happy to work with our partners, DEC, AARCH and SUNY ESF to build on the history and natural beauty of our town to provide tourism destinations that people want to visit,” said Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon in a press release. “Great Camp Santanoni is at least as beautiful covered in winter snows as it is in mid-summer.”

Directions: From Adirondack Northway (I-87), Exit 26 at Pottersville; West on 29 (Olmstedville Road) through Olmsteadville to 28N; Northwest on 28N to Newcomb.

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