The Adirondack Mountains takes ‘getting away from it all’ to a whole new level. This is the perfect place to do a digital detox and get deep into nature. Here’s an activities guide to the Adirondacks!
Go whitewater rafting
Our first activity was whitewater rafting down the Indian and Hudson Rivers. I’ll admit I was a tad nervous about whitewater rafting, but it turned out to be loads of fun.
We drifted 17 miles downstream navigating various rapids along the way, with the sun on our backs and the cool splashes of water refreshing us. The rafting trip included a packed lunch, so make sure you specify any dietary requirements when you book. Also remember to take sunscreen with you if you can and reapply at lunch time, as it will be a full day in the sun. See the Adirondac Rafting Co. for bookings.
See the lakes
There are multitudes of lakes in the Adirondacks, and they are all absolutely beautiful. One time as I was driving near Adirondack Lake, it poured with rain for 5 minutes then as the sun came back out, I noticed that the water on the road had begun to evaporate into a low mist. I pulled into a parking lot (which was actually just a large patch of dirt off the side of the road) at to catch some photos of it. It was 100% gorgeous.
There are plenty of lake activities to choose from. Canoes are popular and can be borrowed from some motels or rental offices that sit by the lakes.
You can also take a sea plane from the lakes for spectacular views over the mountains. Long Lake has a seaplane booking office opposite the Adirondack Hotel.Where to stay: Great Pines Motel
Walk or cycle to Camp Santanoni
Camp Santanoni is a hidden gem in the Adirondacks! This historic building was once used as a exclusive getaway for the wealthy. Even though maps show a road in, you actually have to park at the Gatelodge (which is now the visitor center) and hike or cycle the 5 mile trail to the camp.
Along the way, you’ll see the remains of the farm complex and cross over honeymoon bridge. Once you get to the main camp, you can explore the historic building. If you walk down to the boathouse, you’ll find canoes to take out on the lake. Remember to take plenty of water and snacks as this will be a full day trip!
Hike up a mountain
I ventured out for a sunset hike to Mt Coney. This is a fairly moderate but short hike – only 0.7 miles to the summit. It was a muddy ascent up to the summit, but the 360 degree views from the top were amazing. Definitely worth going up for sunrise or sunset!
There are honestly a million hikes to choose from in the Adirondacks. The best way to get recommendations is to ask the people working at the reception desk of your hotel as they generally have an excellent knowledge of the area and might even have some brochures on the local trails.Where to stay: Kiwassa Lake Bed & Breakfast
Visit the small mountain towns
The small towns in the Adirondacks are adorable, and Speculator is no exception. We parked by the lake and spent the morning exploring Sacandaga Park and River Walk, which is a great spot for families visiting Speculator. The park has a playground and model town, which features miniature display buildings including a general store, post office, church, and ice cream shop.
Behind the tiny town was an elevated wooden boardwalk that took us through some dense forest and marshland. Sometimes you can see turtles and frogs around this spot!
Speculator is just one of the many small towns that are scattered throughout the Adirondacks – pick any town and spend a few hours exploring.Where to stay: Gore Mountain Lodge
- Ausable Chasm – The Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.
- Waterfalls – Buttermilk Falls is an easy access waterfall near Long Lake, but there are plenty of waterfalls to choose from.
- Wild Center – Learn about the local flora and fauna at this nature center near Tupper Lake, which features a treetop walk.
- Zipline Swing & Climb – An adventure center with a zipline and obstacle course through the trees.