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Notes from the North Country

Weekend snowshoe, ski treks to Camp Santanoni scheduled

In photo: Steven Englehart, executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, discusses the history of Camp Santanoni at the camp last winter.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will host three weekends for people who want to ski or snowshoe to the historic state-owned Camp Santanoni, following up on winter weekend events held last year.

The trips to the classic Adirondack Great Camp will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, Jan. 19-21; President’s Day holiday weekend, Feb. 16-18; and the weekend of March 16-17.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties on Newcomb Lake to rest and view interpretative displays.

“Camp Santanoni provides an amazing 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski excursion in the Adirondacks,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said. “The trail traverses from the Gate House complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex, providing a moderate ski and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors."

Interpretive tours will be offered by staff of Adirondack Architectural Heritage. The Artist’s Studio, a stone building near the main lodge on the shores of Newcomb Lake, will be open as a warming hut. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available, though the public is asked to bring their own cups. The Adirondack Interpretive Center will have snowshoes to lend to visitors at the Gate Lodge off Route 28N.

“Last year, over eight days, we had more than 400 people make the 10-mile round-trip outing into Santanoni and we thoroughly enjoyed providing a place to warm up and interpreting the camp’s rich history and architecture to them," said Steven Englebright, executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage.

The Adirondack Interpretive Center’s buildings, which are connected by ski trails to the Gate House, will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all three days of the Winter Weekends in January and February and on the Saturday and Sunday of the March Winter Weekend.

Construction of Camp Santanoni began in 1892 by Robert and Anna Pruyn and eventually consisted of more than four dozen buildings on 12,900 acres including a working farm, the Gate Lodge complex, and a huge rustic Main Lodge and other buildings situated on Newcomb Lake. Camp Santanoni was in private ownership until 1972, when the state bought it. Restoration efforts are on-going.

Santanoni is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.

Camp Santanoni is considered by many to be the classic Adirondack Great Camp.

Information on Camp Santanoni is available at the DEC web site here.

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