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Old 03-31-2014, 02:15 PM   #1
mnormand
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Tourist question - byways

Hello to all, first post here.

Considering a flight to Albany for vacation July 12-20, First part would be Adirondack byways for self driving tour and nice B&B stay for 3-4 days. Wife likes to shop the unusual and interesting small shops of arts/crafts/etc. I like outdoors and playing music. We would consider very short observation type hikes, possibly short paddles, as we're 56yrs, average shape, just hit the high sightseeing points of the areas.

Then back to Albany midweek and down to Catskills for 3-4 more B&B days, I'll go to Grey Fox music fest for 2 day trips, while wifey shops and drives the area. I hope to get in some good bluegrass jamming somewhere on this trip. Bringing mandolin.

My main question is are the byways and travel routes choked up with motorcycles and/or RV's and such like in Yellowstone and other super popular summer areas? (Of course we could contribute to that as well with our touristy rental car driving, LOL)

Any flies/knats/mosquito problems in days/evenings during mid July?

Never been to this area, all is new to us. We are reconning everything quickly as we should be booking soon.

Thanks much, regards to the forum.
Mark
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:30 PM   #2
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Come visit! You'll love it!

No traffic problems like the western parks. Summer is the busy season, but the only big motorcycle event is Americade (big convention in Lake George) and that's in June so you'll avoid it. Weekends are busiest, mid week is quieter, even in summer.

The worst bug is the Adirondack Black Fly, but that season is roughly "Mothers Day to Fathers Day" and will be largely over in mid July. There are mosquitoes, but they are not bad, as long as you avoid swampy areas.

If you select a couple specific routes, folks here can provide numerous ideas for shopping, dining, and short sight seeing type hikes.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:42 PM   #3
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Welcome Mnormand,
I would suggest the Keene Valley/Lake Placid area.
Not far from I87, pleanty of options for scenic drives, short hikes, and shopping in Lake Placid. I can't help with B&B's, or the Catskills, but I'm sure others can.
Good luck. Welcome to the Adirondacks, they are a special place!
Jam on!
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:43 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

A route to consider from Albany Airport would be to head north on I-87 (the Northway) to spend the first night in Saratoga. Technically, it's not the ADK's, but fits the bill in what you're looking for as far as quaint shops and music. NYC Ballet is in town if you're into that.

From there, I'd head back north on I-87 and drive up to Exit 30 and Rt. 73 to the Lake Placid area. Stops along the way in Warrensburg for shopping/browsing and sightseeing in the high peaks region along Rt 73. Chapel Pond parking area is pretty cool and has a few trails (very steep climb to Giant's Washbowl Pond).

It's easy to spend a day sightseeing in and around Lake Placid. There are some very good short hikes around there too that can either take you to a remote pond or a smaller peak with good views. Some of the other forum members are more familiar with that area than I am. I imagine canoe rental shouldn't be a problem either.

From Lake Placid, I'd head over to Rt. 30 in Tupper Lake via Rt. 86 and Rt 3. Once on Rt. 30, head south and a good stop is the Blue Mt. Lake area. The ADK Museum is really a class act and you'll get a good dose of local culture there. Again, if you've got the time and the weather permits, a hike up Blue Mt is spectacular. A shorter, smaller hill is Castle Rock; again stunning views of the lake.

From there, work your way south down Rt 30, stopping in Indian Lake and Speculator. You can cut back to Saratoga on Rt. 29 just outside the ADK's in Vails Mills or continue to the NYS Thruway (I-90) in Amsterdam. That'll point you to back to Albany.

While this route doesn't show you every nook and cranny of the ADKs, it'll give you a starting point and a good example of what the area is like. Like TCD said, bugs really aren't a problem except near swampy areas and it's likely to be just mosquitoes and deer flies. As for the traffic, you might get stuck behind a slowpoke, but again, the weekends are the big traffic time.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:26 PM   #5
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TM, Good post!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:38 PM   #6
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Tick Magnet made some great suggestions.

I love the drive between Tupper lake and Warrensburg (via Blue Mtn Lake and Indian Lake). It passes through lots of great little towns, each with it's own feel. Be sure to visit Hoss's in Long Lake, the ultimate Adirondack craft and gift store, but all the little towns have great gift and craft stores. Lake George has outlets if you're into that sort of shopping.

Remember, it's the size of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Glacier national parks COMBINED! It's such a huge park that traffic isn't really a problem. except in some of the bigger towns like down town Lake Placid or Lake George, and even there, it's usually not that bad except on major holidays. If it's just a regular week in July you should be fine.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
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Welcome mnormand,
http://adirondackbluegrassleague.com/core/
Lake George and Lake Placid are very commercial and have many small shops. The drive to Lake Placid is very scenic.
http://www.lakegeorge.com/guide/activities-cruises.cfm
A trip to Blue Mt. Lake and a visit to Museum would give you a good perspective of how the ADK's came to be.
http://www.adkmuseum.org/visiting/
The village of Indian lake is just 9 miles away.
http://www.adventuresportsrafting.com/

As far as the catskills http://www.belleayremusic.org/music-...l-concerts.php

http://www.huntermtn.com/huntermtn/festivals/
Since you coming here and have a flare for music visit the town of Woodstock, many little shops and it's a very interesting place.
http://woodstockguide.com/index.html
http://www.towntinker.com/

I could go on and on. If you have any more specifics let us know. There are many hikes and paddles in both area's.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:51 PM   #8
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I like TickMagnet's suggestions a lot, but I'd skip Saratoga and opt for the first night to stay in Bolton Landing on Lake George. I know I'm biased, because Lake George was my gateway drug to the Adirondacks, but IMO, no tour of the Adirondacks is complete without a visit to the "Queen of American Lakes". As others have mentioned, there are outlets just outside the village of Lake George itself on the way up if you want to quench your wife's thirst for shopping. You could also take a drive up the Prospect Mountain Veteran's Memorial Highway to get a view of the lake & the village from above. I'd also recommend a trip up the lake on one of the Lake George Steamboat company's boats -- I believe you can depart from Bolton nowadays in addition to the village itself. IMO, there's no better way to see Lake George than from on the lake.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:11 PM   #9
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I'm not sure what type of music you're into but if you're into Neil Young, i rented a cabin last winter from a diehard "Rusty". He lived in the cabin next door and had a stage set up in his backyard for his annual Neil Young fest. The cabin we stayed had memorabilia and the like. I believe he actually rents two and a half cabins in the area (one is more of a bunkie). The one we stayed in backed on to the ausable river. We watched a fisher (or a marten) ripping around on the shore. I've never seen one of those anywhere else. The guy renting it was named Dave- real good guy!

http://www.adkbyowner.com/listings/VR5110.html
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:03 PM   #10
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If you pass through Tupper Lake, be sure to take in the Wild Center. Its a museum about the history of the Adirondacks, the wildlife that lives there, and forging a better balance between man and our environment. Here's a link: http://www.wildcenter.org/
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:32 AM   #11
mnormand
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Thanks so much to all, great suggestions! Really appreciate the time taken to post those.

We're almost dialed in now... moving four times in 8 nights between the ADK and Catskills accommodations was a little challenging logistically. I could do it with a kid's backpack, but wifey needs 2 large suitcases

Looking forward to this trip!
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:54 PM   #12
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Hey gang, a couple more quick questions, we arrive this Saturday, and staying in Northville for 3 days.

Can I expect to see some kayak rental/short guided tours on some of the larger lakes? Would like to do a short flatwater paddle in the vicinity. It's cost and time efficient for us to do a short guided kayak tour with everything supplied, even though we're experienced.

Are there any ATV half day tours or such as well?

Thanks~!
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Last edited by mnormand; 07-09-2014 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnormand View Post
Hey gang, a couple more quick questions, we arrive this Saturday, and staying in Northville for 3 days.

Can I expect to see some kayak rental/short guided tours on some of the larger lakes? Would like to do a short flatwater paddle in the vicinity. It's cost and time efficient for us to do a short guided kayak tour with everything supplied, even though we're experienced.

Are there any ATV half day tours or such as well?

Thanks~!
You might be interested in a tour boat ride on Raquette Lake, not far from the hike up Blue Mountain and the Adirondack Museum (I most highly recommend the museum).
http://raquettelakenavigation.com/

If you want a guided kayak or canoe tour, check out the NY State Outdoor Guide's Association:
http://nysoga.org/canoetrips.html
One specific recommendation would be St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but there are numerous others to choose from depending on your specific location.
http://www.canoeoutfitters.com/

Thankfully, ATVs are not allowed within the Adirondack Park due to the damage they cause. You may find them elsewhere, but you need a different forum for that.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:34 PM   #14
mnormand
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Thanks for the suggestions! We just might do that Racquette cruise, that looks like it will fit in a day drive to the museum, etc. Sorry about the ATV, I shoulda known better! LOL.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:56 PM   #15
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Quaint little Adirondack towns would certainly include Old Forge and Inlet...and if you venture over to Lake Champlain, Essex and Westport are lovely small towns. If you like natural history, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is a very good museum.
It's been a wet season so far, so an investment bug spray when you get here might not be a bad idea.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:52 PM   #16
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I absolutely hate Lake Placid.. You could get stuck for a long time there..shop shop shop. Pretty town.. In January.
Saranac Lake is much nicer and calmer and you can rent a canoe from St Regis Outfitters. You could hire a guide but its quite nice to get a boat from them..run about three miles out of town and paddle among the many islands of lower Saranac starting from the boat launch on rt 3.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:56 PM   #17
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I would recommend skipping the Blue Mountain hike in favor of the Casule Rock hike to save you time. The ride from Nlue Mountain to Racket Lake is quick, and you can catch a dinner cruse or have a beer at the tap house. While you're there you could take a tour of Sagamore if you have the time. You can google everything mentioned above for more details. Every town has a couple great shops and attractions. The museum us awesome. Have fun and let us know what you think.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:03 AM   #18
mnormand
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Raquette intimate cruise booked for Sunday pm. Hikes noted, will recon that. Last thing we want is more bugs, we already have that here, LOL.

Rental car, so no cartopping, paddling must be at water's edge, etc. Will work in a short paddle somewhere on Monday hopefully.

That dinner cruise was a good find, was about to book Lake George, prefer this much more, works with better with our drives.

Again, thanks to all, should be good to go now!
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mnormand View Post
Raquette intimate cruise booked for Sunday pm. Hikes noted, will recon that. Last thing we want is more bugs, we already have that here, LOL.

Rental car, so no cartopping, paddling must be at water's edge, etc. Will work in a short paddle somewhere on Monday hopefully.

That dinner cruise was a good find, was about to book Lake George, prefer this much more, works with better with our drives.
Depending on how close you are staying Saturday night, you could spend a couple of hours in the morning on Castle Rock, and then the Adirondack Museum for lunch before the dinner cruise.

If there is a choice to make, do not miss the museum! It will give you good reason to return to the Adirondacks once again.
http://www.adkmuseum.org/

http://www.cnyhiking.com/CastleRock.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i0g2V2qgUk

Since you are interested in music, search on google and youtube Adirondack theme folk music by the likes of Chris Shaw, Dan Duggan, Dan Berggren, Celia Evans, and even Kevin Bacon (the actor).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sqg...HrkR3E&index=9

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...8_tGgojiHrkR3E
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:36 AM   #20
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I just want to add a little more detail which may be helpful. The Raquette Lake boat trip is noted for excellent food and you'll not be disappointed. Sagamore is Great Camp Sagamore, directly down a side road off SR 28 opposite the turnoff for Raquette Lake Village. The Sagamore Resort Hotel in Lake George is a completely different place. Finally, since you will be close to Blue Mountain Lake, Blue Mountain Outfitters is convenient--at water's edge--and offers a variety of choices for canoe rentals. You should have a good trip and the black flies should be in remission by now.
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