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As Fall bursts into the annual colorful display of reds, purples and yellows and the season gives way to cooler air and crisp blue skies, the Adirondack Region boasts one of the finest fall foliage seasons. The region is rich in history, offers a variety of vistas and tempting dining options, which are uniquely the Adirondacks.

 

The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Lake Café Deck

Formerly known as the Adirondack Museum, the Adirondack Experience will take you on an unforgettable, interactive journey that brings the spirit of the region and its people to life. The deck at the café is a great place to check out the Autumn beauty. Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region in 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks.

 

The Top of Blue Mountain Trail

Blue Mountain is one of the taller mountains in the Adirondack Park and one of the most popular hikes in the Hamilton County Region. Affording outstanding views for fall foliage enthusiasts, and a modest challenge to the summit, it attracts large numbers of people all year long. The trailhead is at the top of the long hill past The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Lake. With a summit elevation of 3,760 feet, this destination boasts an incredible panoramic view.

 

McCauley Mountain Chairlift

For those who would prefer to ride to the summit instead of the hike, there is the chairlift ride to the top of McCauley Mountain. The cool, clear Autumn weather affords a profile of Whiteface Mountain and Mount Marcy on the horizon enhanced by the Fulton Chain of Lakes. You can pack a lunch and picnic with wildlife and all the beauty nature offers. Check the McCauley Mountain web site for the schedule of operation.

 

Raquette Lake Navigation Cruise Boat

Captain Dean Pohl will guide you as he navigates one of the most beautiful lakes in the Adirondacks; Raquette Lake. The added bonus that leaf-peepers may enjoy a dinner cruise along with the fall foliage. Raquette Lake Navigation is known for delicious food, attention to detail, meticulously clean and well-maintained vessel offering cruise and tour options for visitors for 26 years.

 

Bald Mountain – Rondaxe Fire Tower

This popular hike of a little over 1.5 miles culminates at the restored fire tower which may be climbed to enhance viewing. The summit area is above the tree line, hence the name Bald Mountain, and can accommodate the large number of hikers you might expect to see. There are many view points along the trail which concludes at the fire tower at the 2,350-foot summit.

The Adirondacks also offers unique attractions for fall such as the Wine Trail, the Wild Center Walk, Fort Ticonderoga, Ausable Chasm and View, which will enhance any leaf-peeping experience. Go to visitadirondacks.com to plan your Adirondack fall foliage tour augmented by any number of destination locations.

Special thanks to Mike Farmer, Publicity Director for the Town of Webb for his contribution to this list of places to enjoy fall foliage in the Adirondacks.

 

No matter where your adventure takes you, enjoy one of Old Forge’s finest accommodation locations, rustic Adirondack experience at Old Forge Camping Resort or rest assured at Old Forge’s premier lodging destination, Water’s Edge Inn.

 

 

It’s time to hit the trails. With the favorable weather and plenty of sunshine, now is the perfect time to hop on a bicycle or slip into some hiking shoes and explore the natural wonders of Old Forge and its surrounding areas.

The first thing to know about hiking or riding in the wilderness is that it is very different than walking around the block or even in your neighborhood park. The excitement and beauty of hitting the trails are what draws people outdoors, but it is important to properly prepare yourself. 

First, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before your ride, and bring enough for the trip. While special clothing is not necessary, dress in comfortable, breathable fabrics. Dressing in layers isn’t a bad idea, and know where you are going, take into account the terrain as it applies to your experience and skill levels.

For Cyclists:

Safford Pond: a 4.5-mile trail that connects Big Moose Lake and Lake Rondaxe. Beginner/Intermediate trail starts on Big Moose Road and ends on Rondaxe North Shore Road.

Seventh Lake Trail: Located in Inlet, this trail runs along Seventh Lake for 4.4 miles. Intermediate difficulty level, with a single track and fairly level terrain. Lots of places to stop and swim or enjoy the lake along the way.

Black Bear Trail to Bug Lake & Morgan's Miles: 7-Mile Inlet and Raquette Lake trail has some flat dirt roads that are great for beginning bikers. There are also some more challenging off-road trails for more advanced riders.

TOBIE Pedestrian and Bike Path

This bike path connects the communities of Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay (TOBIE).

For Hikers:

Bald Mountain is probably the classic hike, perfect for beginners or those not looking for much of a challenge. It is a short hike to the peak and fire tower and offers perfect views of the wilderness and Fulton Chain of Lakes lakes.  

Cascade Lake offers a very nice hiking trail without too much tough terrain. This 6.4-mile loop of trail provides between three to five hours of Adirondack beauty. Cascade Lake is located right off Big Moose Road in Eagle Bay, NY. 

Rocky Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in the Old Forge area. The short distance and easy terrains make it perfect for families and even your dog. 

Moss Lake, located three miles from Eagle Bay is a two and a half mile trek around the lake. This easy hike offers great scenery.

After a day of outdoor Adirondack Adventures, end the evening under the stars at Old Forge Camping Resort or at Old Forge’s Premier Hotel, Water’s Edge Inn. 

Labor Day Weekend may be the ceremonial end of summer, but there is still a lot of Adirondack fun to be had in Old Forge! Take advantage of the three-day weekend by making a reservation at Water’s Edge Inn or Old Forge Camping Resort, both within walking distance to Enchanted Forest Water Safari, which will close for the season on Labor Day, Monday, September 4th.

After a day at the park take the family on the Old Forge Lake Cruises to watch the Labor Day Fireworks from the water. Enjoy the McCauley Mountain Scenic Chairlift Ride and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, both will be in operation for spectacular views of the early colors of autumn in the Adirondack forests.

 

Here is what is going on around town Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 1st: Old Forge Farmers Market - 1 pm - 5 pm; The farmers market is behind the Old Forge Hardware. The market is made up of an average of 15 vendors, including local artisans and craftspeople, offering a range of products and locally grown items.

 

Saturday, Sept 2: Plein Air Art Auction - Join View Arts Center during this exciting evening for the chance to own an original work of Adirondack art, created for and graciously donated to View by some of the region's most highly regarded plein air painters. The event includes the live auction, with more artwork in the lobby by participating artists, consignments, a raffle and more. The event is free and open to the public and all proceeds will go to underwrite programming at View.

Saturday, Sept 2: Falling Leaves Craft Fair - 10 am - 4 pm at the Park Ave Building. This show features hand-crafted items only. Come meet the talented artists! There is delicious food available. Admission of $2 to benefit non-profit charities.

Sunday, Sept 3: Labor Day Weekend Celebration - Music, Automobile Raffle & Fireworks over the Old Forge Pond. In addition to the vehicle raffle, 10 more prizes will be given away, including one $10,000 cash prize, one $3,000 cash prize, five $1,000 cash prizes and three $500 cash prizes. Only 999 tickets will be sold. This event is sponsored by The Central Adirondack Association.

Sunday, Sept 3: CAP-PY Duck Derby - Join in on what is becoming an Adirondack family event. Watch as 3,000 rubber ducks sail down the Moose River. Many great prizes from local sponsors. Sponsored by CAP-21.

Sunday, Sept 3: Live Music at the Old Forge Lake front at 7 pm, followed by fireworks!

Enjoy the many shops and restaurants in the Old Forge area during labor day weekend, many of which will be featuring the end of summer inventory clearance sales! Just because the summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean the Adirondack adventures must! Fall brings a whole new set of adventures to Old forge- including the best leaf peeping in the North East!

We work so hard to prepare when we go hiking – wearing the right gear, packing the first aid kit, spraying the correct bug spray, etc. add kids in the mix and our preparation is kicked into high gear. Knowing that you’re prepared will help make hiking safe and fun!

Have you heard the rhyme “Leaves of three leave them be, leaves of five – stay alive?” It helps us to remember which plants are Poison Ivy. This is a good trick on remembering how to identify (and avoid) this itchy plant. Did you know there are other plants that we should know to avoid? Don’t let poisonous plants ruin your fun - know how to identify them and keep your crew safe!

 

Poison Ivy – Everything about this plant should be avoided, even burning them and inhaling the vaporized oils can cause irritation. Read a full description here.

Poison Oak – Equipped with the same itchy oil that Poison Ivy has and its appearance is similar too. However, the leaves and tips are more rounded. These can be found in path edges, walls, roadways, etc. Read a full description here.

Poison Sumac – Moist grounds like the woods of the Adirondacks is the habitat for this woody shrub. Stems are always red, in summer. Read a full description here.

Tips from avid hikers:

- Layer up! Wear long socks and pants with your hiking boots to help protect your skin from plants, insects, and the sun. As you get hot, remove layers, but try to keep your socks pulled up!

- Watch where you’re stepping to avoid tripping on roots, sticks, and the person in front of you!

- Bring lots of water and snacks, don’t eat the plants or berries. 

 

 

Ever wonder where the people go who experience living in the Adirondacks year-round? Here are our top tips on where locals go! Check out these spots, and say “hello” to our hometown folks:

For food, locals love everything from fast to fancy:

Adirondack Pizzeria – Locals favorite pizza in town, also known as the "Arcade". You can catch all of local kids, families, parents, and even town cops stopping here to eat on their lunch breaks! The Arcade has the best tasting pizza in town! People wait all year long for the summer season to go get a slice of Arcade pizza.

ADK PizzaADK Pizza

Benny's Ice Cream - Great for outdoor seating to watch the cars go by. Benny’s is also conveniently located next to the best miniature golf course in town! Find the locals stopping by here with family and friends for Benny’s famous flavor blasters and razzels!

Benny'sBenny's

Slickers - Best known for their famous French Dips a local favorite. Also try their alcoholic beverage “Bush Wackers”. The locals love them. Many claim that Slickers also has the best wings in town!

Slickers

Frankie's Taste of Italy – Fine Italian dining!  You can catch the locals there for any birthday or special event dinner.

Frankie's Taste of Italy - Old Forge, NYFrankie's Taste Of Italy

Ozzie's Coffee Bar - Perfect place for a coffee and latte with nice outdoor seating.

Ozzie's Coffee

For leisurely recreation, come and hang out at:

Mountainman Outdoor Supply - Where you can find local groups traveling together down the moose river. Stop and tan, eat, and hang out at all of the available sandy beaches.

Mountain Outdoor Supply

Second Lake - The best lake for swimming and linking up boats with friends!

It has the least amount of wind and waves and is great for sun bathing! Second Lake is also great to try out any water sport! The best time you can find the locals Waterskiing is early in the morning or late afternoon when the water is glass. Learn from the locals!

Second Lake Adirondacks

The Strand Theatre – Old Forge’s hometown movie theatre – showing first run, family friendly movies! The Strand Theatre is the best place to go on a rainy day! They have great ticket prices for new movies, amazing buttery popcorn, and all the candy you can think of!

Strand Theatre - Old Forge, NY

It’s summer, it’s hot, here’s where locals take a dip:

Green Bridge - Great swimming and fishing can be found at Green Bridge.

Green Bridge - Old Forge, NY

Second Lake Treasure Island - Park your boat on the sand bar and jump in! This Island is great for a day with the whole family! Come park your boat and take a swing of the rope swing!

Lock and Dam - Grab your friends and take a walk down this mile-long trail. Go for a dip at the end or have a campfire!

Rocky or Bald Mountain – Out two most popular mountains! They are both great for a quick hike with friends. If you’ve lived here all your life, you can basically walk these paths in your sleep. There is no way of getting lost with a local around.

 Bald Mountain Top ADK

Come, sit and have a beer with the locals, you’ll no doubt hear some great stories:

Fulton Chain Craft Brewery – Old Forge’s local Brewery featuring delicious local beers!

Fulton Chain Craft Brewery

Daiker’s Inn - Conveniently located right on the lake! Pull up by boat and have lunch or a drink with friends. 

Daiker's Inn

Back Door Bar -  Good drinks, great tunes and delicious food! This is a local favorite- insider tip- try the Mac & Cheese bites!

Back Door Bar - Old Forge, NY

Screamen' Eagle/Matt's Draft House in Inlet - With over 50 drafts to choose from including domestics and craft beers the variety is almost endless! Top that off with a delicious pizza and "Better than Buffalo" wings and you can see why this is a local favorite! 

Matt's Drafthouse or Screamin' Eagle - Inlet, NY

Cool It!

It’s Hot! Well, it’s summer so the weather is supposed to be hot but that doesn’t mean you have to be hot too. Here’s five places to go and cool off when the thermometer challenges your comfort: 

Enchanted Forest Water Safari - What more can be said? New York’s largest water theme park features more than 50 rides and attractions. In this combination of amusement park and water park, you’ll never run out of things to do!

Nicks Lake - With its bordering forests, you get a true sense of remoteness and tranquility. Peace and stillness prevail here watch for and listen to the call of the loon.

The Old Forge Public Beach - Open seven days a week with lifeguards on duty…after you’ve cooled off enjoy the free adjoining pirate ship playground.

Moose River - Surrounded by pristine Adirondack scenery, the banks and small beaches are ideal for swimming or just cooling your feet.

Old Forge Camping Resort – Conveniently located across from Water Safari, it is nestled in the beautiful and splash-ready Lake Serene.

Fulton Chain of Lakes - The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a 16-mile stretch starting at First Lake in Old Forge. The lake stretches out to 8th lake which leads to a one-mile carry connecting to Raquette Lake. This is one of the most popular boating routes in the Adirondacks. 

Best Ice Cream in Old Forge

Nothing Says Summer like a scoop of Ice Cream! Doesn’t ice cream make everything better – even an awesome day around Old Forge! Here are our top picks for the best Ice Cream in the Old Forge Area! 

Dining at Pied Piper is like stepping back in time to the 50s! This old-fashioned ice cream stand features three assorted flavors of soft-serve ice cream and 20 flavors of hard ice cream. Milkshakes are a favorite and so are floats and banana splits. Relax at a picnic table and watch folks go down the water slides, walk to the edge of Old Forge Pond and sit by the water on a bench, or walk to the dam while you enjoy your ice cream.

With the slogan, "Benny's! Who needs Jerry!" Benny’s Ice Cream will fulfil your cold, creamy desires. Benny’s serves the finest custard around which means you’ll get the creamiest and richest flavor ice cream, they blend egg and a higher milk-fat. All ingredients of this delectable delight are from New York State Dairies and distributors in the Central New York region. Complementary sprinkles will top off your custard nicely!

Served inside Enchanted Forest Water Safari at two locations, Dippin’ Dots is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Next to the Oasis Cafe in the middle of the park and next to the circus area and dry rides, Ice Cream of the Future® awaits you and your crew! Made of tiny ice cream 'dots,' flavors are blended to create offerings such as Banana Split, Cookies 'N Cream, Rainbow Ice, Caramel Brownie Sundae and many more. Dippin' Dots® ice cream is the coldest ice cream around...what an excellent treat on a hot, sunny day! 

Adirondack Pizzeria & Arcade - This Old Forge staple proudly serves soft serve ice cream and Mercer’s hard ice cream, made locally in Upstate NY. You can enjoy hand-spun milkshakes and blizzards, banana splits, hot fudge brownie delight, old-fashioned sodas and floats, and ice cream sundaes all with endless possibilities of toppings! Take home Mercer’s hard ice cream too, pints are available for purchase!

Hiking is a great pastime. It gets you out in the fresh air, and gives you plenty of exercise. It makes you appreciate nature, it makes you healthier, and it makes you hungry.

Because none of the the 2,558 miles of wilderness trails in throughout the Adirondacks feature restaurants or snack bars, it is probably wise to bring some sustenance. 

Planning nutrition for a day of hiking is more than a bottle of water and a granola bar.  Your food and water needs are generally higher than usual on active trips First and foremost, always bring plenty of water, especially on hot days. Pre-hydrate by drinking at least 4 cups of water before a hike so you have less to carry. Then, a good rule of thumb is to plan for about 2 cups of fluid for every hour of hiking.

For day hiking it is a good idea to bring non-perishable foods, so coolers and ice are not an issue. Remember, the more you carry, he harder it is to hike, so choose foods that are relatively lightweight and dense on nutrition. 

The best choices include: 

Trail Mix

Nuts, Seeds, Nut-Based Bars or Nut Butter Packs

Dried Or Freeze-Dried Fruits And Veggies

Energy Bars, Chews Or Gels

Granola Or Granola Bars

Whole-Grain Tortillas

Poultry, Salmon or Meat Jerky

After a day of adventure in the Adirondacks, enjoy an evening under the stars at Old Forge Camping resort or premier accommodations at Water’s Edge Inn in Old Forge. 

 

When getting ready for your ADK water trip, the first thing you need to do is look down. Yes, look down at your feet. First off, cover them. While barefoot in a kayak or boat may seem like a good idea, you more than likely will end up walking on wet, slippery (and even sharp) rocks.  Don’t go cheap, invest in some study sandals or shoes with good tread. Chaco, Teva, and Keen get the job done for sandals, and Solomon makes a great pair of light shoes that dry fast and have great tread. 

Now that your feet are good, consider your skin. Obviously, a good sunscreen is essential, but beyond sunburn, the wind, sand and water can make your personal outer layer quite uncomfortable. Bring a good lotion to keep your skin moist and fresh. 

When you are rafting or boating, your clothes are going to get wet, there’s no way around it. So make sure you have some plastic bags (Ziploc work great) to store those damp items and keep them from getting your other clothes and items wet until you can properly dry them. 

When it comes time to take a break from your river activities, you’re going to want to sit and enjoy the non-aquatic scenery. Half a yoga mat, small old blanket, or tarp make a good ground cover for your timeout. 

Checklist:

Swimsuit: May be worn as a first layer

Shorts: quick drying shorts can double as a swimsuit for men.

Hiking boots, water sport sandals 

Socks: Polypropylene or wool

Shirts: long sleeved is best for sun protection

Sweater or jacket: Fleece or Wool

Baseball cap or visor (with strap) for sun protection

Water bottle 

Sunglasses 

Bandana

Insect repellant

Small towels and toiletries

Sunscreen/ lip balm

Moisturizer/Skin lotion

Wet Wipes

Bike gloves to protect hands while paddling (optional)

Don’t worry if you don’t have your own canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard (SUP) Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge offers daily and multi day rentals.  After a day discovering the beautiful waterways of the Adirondacks, the adventures continue at Water Safari Resort featuring Enchanted Forest Water Safari and Calypso’s Cove Family Fun Park. Complete your stay in the Adirondacks by staying at either Old Forge Camping Resort, or if you prefer even more relaxation Water’s Edge Inn, the premier hotel in Old Forge!

Enchanted Forest Water Safari is New York’s largest water theme park. But with 32 heated water rides for all ages, and speeds, how do you plan your aquatic agenda? Here’s a start…..

The Top Five Water Rides at Water Safari:

Shadow – With two sides to choose from, the Shadow will keep you twisting and turning until the very end. Will they be able to see your shadow from the ground below?

 

Silverback – Our newest double-tube water ride. On “The Silverback” (our shortened name for it) riders experience a 100 foot drop into a large 40-foot-diameter bowl where they circle the bowl dropping out the middle into the splash pool below.

 

Black River – This double tube slide is completely dark until you hit the bottom. This is sure to be the most thrilling 30 seconds of your life! Take the Plunge.

 

Safari River Expedition – This ‘Lazy River’ is a nice way to relax and soak up the sun as you briskly float along under bridges and waterslides.

 

Sawmill – Bring the entire gang to the Sawmill to enjoy waterslides and water sprays together. Parents can take their kids down the waterslides or catch them at the bottom when they come splashing down. As you head up the stairs there are a variety of slides and excitement levels to choose from. Watch out for the 1,000 gallon log that is filling up with water, you never know when it’s going to spill!

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