Great Camps Sagamore and Santanoni

Great Camps Sagamore and Santanoni - Pure Adirondacks

For a birthday getaway this past year, we decided to take a mini-tour of some of the Adirondack Great Camps.


The first stop of the weekend was Camp Sagamore to hike a portion of the Sagamore Lake Loop and the Power House Trail via the Big Slope connector trail. 

Map courtesy of Adirondack Atlas

This hike heads into the Blue Ridge wilderness, but not before passing the Great Camp Sagamore National Historic Landmark that was once the Vanderbilt's wilderness estate from 1901-1954.  Beginning at the DEC parking area, we first started by the Sagamore Lake Dam, walking on an old logging trail running alongside Sagamore Lake, catching glimpses of the beautiful camp across the water. 

Meeting up with the Big Slope Trail, we connected to the Cascades Trail. Before heading along the trail, we backtracked a little ways to scope out the ruins of the Power House.

Back on the Cascades Trail, we wound along a creek out to the pretty little cascade of waterfalls that lead into the South Inlet of Raquette Lake.  

After our Sagamore hike, we found a nice campsite for the night, tucked away and up on a hill.  With clear skies and a beautiful sunset, we set up our tent and started a fire. Waking up to a fog that settled over the valleys surrounding us, the next morning we made our way to Camp Santanoni.

Grabbing our mountain bikes and packing some snacks, we set out on the Newcomb Lake Road Trail, a 5-mile former carriage road that extends from the trailhead at the Gate Lodge to Newcomb Lake.  With Lucy trotting along beside us, we biked the gravel trail back to the Camp Santanoni Historic Area - one of the most sophisticated and architecturally interesting surviving Adirondack great camps. 

Arriving at the camp, we wandered around and ended up at the boathouse, where we pulled out one of the canoes and decided to explore Newcomb Lake for awhile. Lucy settled down in the middle of the boat as we paddled around and after turning a few corners, we stumbled upon one of the campsites on the lake.  The beautiful lean-to at the site was complete with some Adirondack chairs, a sturdy stone fireplace, and a very scenic rock ledge alongside the lake.

After soaking up the sun on the rocks, we rounded up Lucy and hopped back into the canoe. Returning the canoe to the boathouse, we got back onto our bikes and rode the 5 miles back out to the parking lot.

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