When thinking of the Adirondacks, rugged wilderness, endless flowing forests and wildlife quickly come to mind. And if all that land could talk, it would have a lot of stories to tell.
Within the 6 million acres of Adirondack Park in northern New York State, visitors can get to know the history of the region in Hamilton County, where cultural attractions abound.
Here are just a few highlights.
Hamilton County in the Central Adirondacks is known for its Great Camps.
These sprawling and luxurious lodging compounds were designed to blend into the stunning surroundings and became one of the most recognizable architectural styles of the era.
Today, visitors can tour some of the Great Camps by boat and can even spend the night at one of these historical masterpieces.
The Gilded Age Tour
Get transported back to the late 1800s on the Gilded Age Tour, when elite city dwellers escaped to summer in style in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.
The tour has three stops that outline the experience of the Gilded Age. The first stop is the Adirondack Experience: The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. Visitors will learn about unique artifacts that will give them a peek inside the level of opulence that existed during this time. Think lavish train cars and ornate picnic china.
Next, enjoy a two-hour guided tour at Great Camp Sagamore, designed and built by William West Durant, a railroad mogul that was responsible for the Great Camp style of architecture. Nestled in a forest and overlooking a lake, the tour gives guests a chance to experience the magnificence of this time. Guests can explore the many corners of the estate, from dining halls and boathouses to the bowling alley and playhouse.
The final excursion on the Gilded Age Tour is an intimate four-course narrated dinner cruise on the replica steamboat, the W.W. Durant.
Experience the Great Outdoors
If you’d rather get to know the area in the natural surroundings it’s famous for, the forest is your oyster. Hiking, biking, camping or fishing – there are guided tours for all. The toughest part will be deciding which mountains, lakes and woods to see.
When you’re not out exploring the wilderness, spend some time town hopping through the many charming small Adirondack towns. Fine art, antiques, live theater and music all bring their own unique elements of history and culture to the mountains.