Fun Stuff

Adirondack Vacation

  • August 9, 2010

My wife and I just concluded four days of bliss in a little cabin on Elk Lake, in New York’s Adirondack Park. No cell coverage, no wi-fi, no real connection with the outside world–well, we did get one Yankees game score from the office, courtesy of their satellite link, but that was our single episode of weakness. We were joined by one of my brothers-in-law who, by our great good fortune, also happens to be a rather good amateur photographer. I’ll share some of the fruits of his eye here….

Meals were served at the main lodge; they provided a rather nice breakfast and a four-course dinner each day, as well as a sack lunch for you to take on your day’s adventure.

(You can click any image for a larger version.)

photo of Elk Lake Lodge

The Main Lodge

The lodge also has several (kind of small) rooms where you can stay if you don’t want to spring for a cabin.

We rented one of the several cabins available. Since there were only three of us we went for one of the smaller ones, that they call “Big Tom.” Here’s how it looks standing with your back to the lake:

Big Tom Cabin

Big Tom Cabin

The view from the front porch is simply spectacular:

Lake View from the Cabin

Lake View from the Cabin

Being among the High Peaks meant the sun peeked late over the mountain tops, and if you were up to see it the first light would illuminate a morning mist that soon burned off:

Morning Mist

Morning Mist

Sunset also came early, as the sun dipped back behind the western peaks:

Sunset on the Lake

Sunset on the Lake

The lake and its surroundings are, of course, home to an abundance of wildlife, including several loons (our favorite):

Loon on the Lake

Loon on the Lake

They were often difficult to approach but, if you were especially quiet, you could sometimes drift fairly close before they would dive under and vanish.

From a vantage point in one of the many Adirondack chairs near the dock area, again if you were quiet, one of the numerous local chipmunks or red squirrels might come up close to see what’s what.

The Ubiquitous Adirondack Chair

The Ubiquitous Adirondack Chair

Curious Squirrel

Curious Squirrel

A short walk along the lake shore is certain to turn up other local denizens, like this rather large bullfrog who could always be found somewhere in the reeds not far from the dock area:

Fly's Bane

Fly's Bane

The private preserve around Elk Lake plays host to many miles of trails, from the easy to the somewhat challenging (I’ll post up a scan of the trail map when I’ve had time to get it ready). On our first half-day there we took a 2.5 mile warm-up down to an area called (for reasons that I’m sure are obvious) Duck Hole, and then back. For our first full day we took on an eight mile jaunt down to a smaller body of water named Clear Pond, then climbed to the summit of Clear Pond Mountain (not terribly steep), and then around the pond before returning.

At the Summit of Clear Pond Mountain

My brother-in-law & I at the summit of Clear Pond Mountain. I'm wearing green.

Clear Pond, as seen from the summit

Clear Pond, as seen from the summit. That's Elk lake in the background.

On our last full day we decided to try the hike completely around Elk Lake. By adding in side trips to each of the four landings marked around the lake’s perimeter we tallied up ten miles–not bad considering until this trip we’d not hiked all year! With a stop for lunch and several rest breaks (including at the landings) the hike lasted just over seven hours, and was a blast!

Elk Lake is private, completely surrounded by land owned by the interests that also run the lodge. One of the greatest effects of that privacy is a ban on motorized boats; we place a huge premium on peace & quiet, which that ban provides in abundance. Guests are invited to use any of the several canoes and rowboats provided, and we made a point to avail ourselves of a canoe as the mood took us.

Returning to the Landing

Returning to the Landing

All in all it was a wonderful vacation! Again, thanks go out to my brother-in-law for doing such a great job capturing things on “film.”


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