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Winter is the time of year most families retreat indoors and say goodbye to the endless adventures of the outdoors. Camping gear is packed away and not thought of again until next spring. But what if all that could change? 

Winter camping is an exciting way to enjoy the outdoors, even in those cold months. It can also be a great family bonding experience! To make the best of your winter camping getaway, we have compiled a list of winter camping hacks, to help keep you warm and your spirits up! 

Water Bottle in Sleeping Bag: boil water and pour it into water bottles. Place the bottles in the bottoms of sleeping bags and it will warm your toes all night!

Extra padding: air mattresses, yoga mats, and any other padding is great to put in your sleeping bag. This will add more insulation between you and the ground, making it that much easier to fall asleep comfortably. 

Dance party: Having a dance party is a great way to warm up and get the whole family laughing and having fun! 

Sleeping close together: family camping is perfect for the winter because more people = more heat. 

Wear less to bed: sleep in only a warm base layer, this allows the sleeping bag to fill up with heat, instead of your clothes absorbing it all.

Bring lawn chairs: avoid sitting in the snow by bringing lawn chairs for the whole family! That way when you gather around the campfire, you can stay warmer. 

Store water bottles upside down: water freezes from the top down, placing them upside down will allow for the water at the bottom to freeze first, so you can still drink it!

Open vents: before calling it a day, open the vents of the tent. This will prevent condensation from freezing on the tent overnight. 

For the best camping experience, bring your family to the Old Forge Camping Resort! Set in the Adirondacks and open all year long, it is a great place for the whole family. They have heated restrooms and showers, kitchen stations for tent and cabin campers and 24-hour security! Not only will you and your family feel safe and comfortable at Old Forge Camping Resort, but you will be surrounded by non-stop fun too! 

For more information, check out our site!

 

 

Why stop doing what you love because of the weather? The winter can be one of the best times to explore nature, but there’s a lot to prepare for in such a cold season. Being someone who can brave the frigid temperatures won’t cut it out here – it pays to be prepared for the wintry outdoors. Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, there are many things to be aware of in order to enjoy your time on the snowy trails. Here are a few things to keep in mind while hiking during the upcoming winter months. 

Do’s

1.) Be sure to research your location.

Hiking locations can vary considerably between the summer and winter months. Be mindful of the lack of daylight hours and how long you will be. Certain parts of the trail may be closed off due to extreme weather conditions and some trails may be closed altogether. It pays to find a location that is the right fit for you. 

2.) Check the weather before you head out for your expedition.

This one seems like a given. However, weather can change without expectation in the blink of an eye. You want to be aware of the precipitation, avalanche reports, daylight hours, and wind speed. There’s no need to be a winter weather expert, but make sure to do your research. Snowy conditions can be scary, so it is always good to know when to draw the line and postpone your hike.

3.) Invest in the proper gear that will withstand the elements.

Not only will you want to pile on the layers, but you will also need quality, durable clothing in order to stay warm and comfortable as you trek through the snow. A good rule of thumb: You do not want to have on too many layers. A top, middle, and bottom layer will keep you warm and give you accessibility.

Your main priority is your safety – white-outs and avalanches do happen, so make sure you are prepared for anything and everything. An ice ax, gaiters, goggles, and snowshoes are always good to have. 

4.) Take the same precautions as you would in the summer.

Just because you cannot see the sun does not mean that it isn’t there - make sure you pack sunscreen! The sun reflects off of white snow and the higher up you trek, the stronger it will be. Make sure you stay hydrated, well-fed, and don’t forget your sunglasses– even if that isn’t your priority in the cold weather! 

 

5.) Bring supplies to eat and cook.

Simply put, your food will freeze. Plus, you want to prepare for the possibility that you may get stuck in a storm. (We don’t want to think about it, either, but better to be safe than sorry!) As with any form of exercise, you want to fuel your body so that you do not feel fatigued during your hike. 

There’s no need to pile on the pots and pans, but make sure to bring some matches and non-perishable food for the day. Liquid-fuel stoves are recommended for cold temperatures and are more helpful than a canister. It is also smart to bring a windscreen and heat exchanger to help make cooking easier. 

 

Don'ts

1.) Do not go alone.

It is a good idea to share the trip with a few nature-loving friends with you as well. It wouldn’t hurt to have varying skill sets to prepare you for all kinds of potential problems. You never know when you’ll need your buddy who is well-versed in snow travel or your sister who is a genius with route finding to help you out in a pinch! Make sure you keep pace with the slowest in the group so you all stay together – you don’t want to lose one another out there! 

2.) Do not underestimate the elements.

Hiking in the winter is a completely different experience than in the other seasons. There are extreme risks associated with the winter that you should be prepared for. The snow can make visibility difficult and the low temperatures can present new challenges that you will not have to worry about the warmer weather. Consider going on a shorter trail or limiting your outdoor exposure time. If you see the weather start to take a turn for the worst, be prepared to turn around and call it a day! 

3.) Do not rely on your cell phone for emergency help.

Though it is always good to have, cell phones cannot protect you against low temperatures and dangerous conditions. Moreover, you may not be able to receive service on your hike. Personal locator beacons and snow saws may not be on your shopping list, but it pays to be prepared. 

4.) Do not forget the basics. 

Though it’s important to put emphasis on the equipment you need specifically for the winter, it is crucial to not overlook your basic amenities. Be sure to pack a map, guidebook, compass, first-aid kit, waterproof matches, any medications you may need, and a Swiss-army knife on your trek. Winter hiking certainly is different than warm weather hiking, but not too different. 

5.) Don’t forget to leave your plans with a friend or family member.

It is always important to let someone know where you are in case of an emergency. Make sure you inform someone of your plans for your hike and try to stick to them as closely as possible. Also, sign a hiking register, if available. Make sure you have everybody’s phone numbers, and that someone apart from the hike knows how to contact you. Most importantly, let someone know when you leave and when you return.

Wondering what gift to buy your outdoor loving friend? The one who spends every weekend in the Adirondacks, hiking, fishing, skiing, and just about everything else they offer, then you have come to the right place! We have put together the perfect gift guide for those Adirondack fanatics! 

Adirondack embroidered throw blankets, hand-crafted mugs or bowls, or an Adirondack themed calendar for the new year are perfect for those friends who love decorating their homes with all things Adirondacks. You can even purchase dog toys for the animal-loving friend!

Book a relaxing getaway at one of the lodges or inns of the Adirondacks, surrounded by nothing but beautiful scenery and providing the best comfort, your friend will never stop thanking you! If going away for the weekend doesn’t work, a bottle of wine from one of the Adirondacks wineries can be a lovely substitute. From the peace of their own home, they can enjoy a part of the Adirondack experience. www.watersedgeinn.com

Tickets for skiing resorts, white water rafting, or ice skating, are all fun gift ideas for your friend that keeps on going! At McCauley Mountain Ski Center, in Old Forge, your friend can ski or snowboard and enjoy a beautiful ride on their scenic ski lift! 

Old Forge is also home to Enchanted Forest Water Safari! Give your friend the gift of unlimited visits for the whole summer, with their Season Pass! 

We all know it as one of the most important aspects of any vacation: The food. Wherever you go, there are delicious restaurants and diners with a warm meal that is sure to leave you wanting to come back for seconds. In Old Forge, the great scenery and fantastic family fun are coupled with amazing places to grab a bite to eat. Be sure to explore and fill your belly with some of the delicious food that Old Forge has to offer!

 

 

Five Corners Café

A crowd favorite, Five Corners Café is a small, eclectic restaurant located on State Route 28 in Old Forge. Their menu is consistently reviving itself to suit the changing seasons. The presentation is outstanding and plan to be greeted by attentive, kind service. With a wide selection of beers, wines, and food choices, Five Corners is sure to please your whole group!

 

 

Billy’s Italian American Restaurant

With a wide array of Italian meals, Billy’s Italian American Restaurant ensures good prices and plentiful portions. No wonder it is well loved by locals and visitors alike! Located on Main Street, you will have no hassle stopping in after a long day of hiking or lounging by the water. Billy’s also gives back to their community by hosting Donation Dinners each season. 20% of all sales are donated to different community organizations to thank them for their hard work. What’s better than a restaurant that serves great food and stands behind a great message? 

 

 

Slickers

Established in 1984, Slicker’s offers a wide selection of takeout and dine-in food choices. Try their homemade chowder or chili or join them for their Shrimp Happy Hour! Some even argue that Slicker’s is home to the best pizza and wings in Old Forge! See for yourself and stop in on your next trip up North! 

 

 

Adirondack Dog House

Did someone say hot dogs?! Located right next to Enchanted Forest Water Safari, the Adirondack Dog House offers a diverse variety of hot dogs, French fries, and sandwiches. There is no better way to end your day! The Dog House offers various specials and any topping you can think of to make your hot dog suit your taste. Have you ever heard of guacamole on a hot dog?! You’ll have to stop in and see for yourself! 

 

 

Ozzie’s Coffee Bar

Looking for a cozy little coffee shop to sit outside and enjoy coffee or a bite to eat on your trip to Old Forge. Ozzie’s Coffee Bar is your place! Offering baked goods, soup, salads, sandwiches, and (of course!) great coffee, revel in relaxation at this little lunch spot!  

There’s a never-ending debate on which type of environment is a more desirable to be—the city, or the countryside, or in our case, the Adirondack Mountains. Although there are some things that the city offers like restaurant opportunities, sports arenas, and career opportunities, we’re confident that in the end, the ADK is a the more desirable place to be. It’s got the breathtaking views, the peace and serenity, and the fresh air, which we’re going to discuss.

With that being said, here is our compilation of the top 4 advantages that makes being in the Adirondacks more enjoyable than being in the city, although there are plenty more! Enjoy!

#1 Getting Around

When you’re in the Adirondacks, you can kiss cramming yourself into a jam-packed subway car goodbye. Even though traveling via the subway or other public transportation methods might seem easier, it’s not a pleasant experience trying to get around the city. In the ADK, there are more relaxing ways to get around town. You can take a boat across the lake or hike up the nearest mountain. In the winter seasons, you can bust out the snowmobiles, snowboard, or skis for a more exuberating way to get around! Even if you have to drive, forget about all the traffic. There’s usually another route, so you won’t be late. You’re more in control, and there’s plenty of free parking!

#2 Pollution/Air Quality

Take a deep breath. Don’t worry—that’s the fresh air you’re smelling, not the garbage that you can’t seem to get away from in the city. Not only does city air smell bad, but it’s terrible for your health! You can read more at http://tinyurl.com/cityairquality, where Laurie Winkless explains it further. 

Because we’re surrounded by trees, and other natural air filters, you can breathe in confidence that the air you’re breathing isn’t tainted by car and factory exhausts. 

#3 Peace and Quiet  

Let’s talk about sleep.

Sounds of the city keeping you awake? Can’t seem to get away from the cars, trains, and sirens? You’ll never sleep so peaceful than you will in the Adirondacks. Instead of the bright car and skyscraper lights, you have to close your shades just to get away from, the twinkling stars are your nightlight. And without all of the buildings and streetlights, you can actually see the stars! Not only do the stars help, but you have the calming waves or crickets to lull you to sleep. For the full experience of sleeping in the Adirondacks, check out Old Forge Camping Resort!

Stressed out?

When you’re stressed out, the city is the last place you want to be. You’ve got to walk fast, keep up with transportation and, again, can’t get awake from the noise. That’s the not the case here. In the ADK, you’ve got an endless array of ways to relieve the stress of the everyday grind. You’ve got many different lakes that you can sit by or take a boat out on to reflect and get your head on straight. You’ve got the gorgeous views to help you take you take your mind off whatever’s going on. You can take a peaceful hike and explore to free your worries. Being so close to nature can really give you that peace of mind. Take your pick!

We saved our personal favorite for last:

#4 Views

When it comes to sight-seeing and outdoor enjoyability, nothing beats the Adirondacks. The fall foliage during the autumnal months, the mesmerizing snow-covered peaks in the winter, and the gorgeous greenery the rest of the year will knock you off your feet all year long. Whether you’re on top of a mountain looking down, or down by the lake at Water’s Edge Inn looking up, rest assured, you won’t see anything like it anywhere else.

In conclusion

Being in a city offers some conveniences, there’s no doubt about it. But for a more enjoyable experience, you’ve got to go with the Adirondacks. Getting around is much more relaxing and easier than navigating your way through a busy city. The air quality up here is so much better—not only the way it smells but the benefits it has on your body! You’ll get the most rejuvenating sleep in ADK, no doubt about it! Get away from the lights and noise of the city and sleep like you never have before in the mountains. The sights and views in the Adirondacks are to die for! In the city, you see buildings, huge groups of people, and nonstop traffic. In the ADK you get stunning views of foliage, awesome mountains, and wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else.

 

Old Forge Relaxation Under $50

It’s been a rough week and you want to escape. Only problem is, with the added expense of school supplies, soccer cleats and scout uniforms, you don’t have a lot of handy cash. No problem, head out to Old Forge and you can have a great time for under $50.

The vast trails and endless scenery of the Adirondacks is always free and you simply cannot match the beauty of nature’s fall palette. 

 The best way to see the foliage is from above, with The McCauley Mountain Scenic Chair life ride. During the fall, you can witness nature's amazing show as the colors of the Adirondacks change. Pack a lunch for a picnic at the top and watch the deer as they wander in and out of the trees. Adults: $6; Juniors 6-16: $5; Seniors/Active Military: $5; Kids under 6: FREE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For something to eat, make a stop at Ozzie's Coffee Bar, located on Main Street. In addition to a wide selection of café drinks, you can enjoy breakfast, paninis, cold sandwiches and soups and salads. They also serve wine and beer. 

 

For a quiet, relaxing break, head to the Montezuma Winery, 3050 State Route 28, and enjoy tasting some wines specially created for the Adirondack’s. Tasting fee is only $4 per person or $6 to include a souvenir tasting glass. 

 Take in a modern movie in a classic historic setting at the Strand Theater at 3093 Route 28. Enjoy first run films in this movie house, built in the 1920s and lovingly maintained in its original opulence. 

 

 

 

Ahhhh, Fall. It’s here, there’s no denying it. Fall camping offers many rewards, including less-crowded campgrounds, increased wildlife spotting, and outdoor recreation pursuits best experienced in the cooler months. While the season brings colorful foliage and cooler temperatures, it also brings a wide variety of amazing foods to supplement your camping.

Cooler temperatures call for heartier cuisine, and simplicity is key when your cooking outdoors. 

The ultimate, undisputed champion of one-pot cooking is chili, a savory combination of meat, tomatoes, onions and beans, all slow-simmered with a variety of seasonings. Bear in mind, however, that the opportunities for variations of the ingredients is limitless, you just can’t go wrong. Load the pot early, let it simmer then enjoy the satisfaction as you sit bundled up near an early evening fire.

Your favorite stew recipe can almost always be recreated in the outdoors.  

Use a Dutch oven to allow your stew to simmer longer.

Fall is the time for squashes, butternut, acorn, and of course, pumpkin. These hearty and delectable gourds can be prepared in any number of ways but their finest hour is when they are roasted over an open flame then simmered into soups.Want to take less time and have more variety? Then try “hobo packs.” Simply wrap favorite combinations of meat, fish, vegetable and seasonings in heavy aluminum foil and place directly over the fire. These easy to make meals also allow for everyone in your camp to enjoy their own combination.

 For dessert, try a berry cobbler. Pick your own berries or buy a bag of frozen berries. Mix them with sugar and cinnamon, and top it with store-bought crust dough. Cook your cobbler in a Dutch oven or even over a campfire on a grill.

Close your day with the year-round campfire favorite of s’mores. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it’s sad for most to see the summer months say goodbye, the start of school and chillier weather tells us that fall has finally arrived! Now, camping during ANY season is an amazing time, but fall camping presents some unique activities and scenery that we just can’t get the rest of the year.

We’ll soon have those brisk mornings, gorgeous fall foliage, the comfort foods we all know and love, all while you’re bundled up in cozy clothes—it’s no secret why autumn camping is a must for any outdoor enthusiast!

Here are the top 5 reasons why we love fall camping in Old Forge:

1. Perfect weather

Like we mentioned before, fall is one of the best seasons to camp simply because the weather is ideal! You have the brisk mornings you love to wake up to, warm sunny days topped off with cool crisp nights. The storms of summer are a thing of the past, so you’re left with clear sunny days filled with bright skies and puffy clouds perfect for day-long exploring through trails or on the water.

2. Less (or no) bugs

Say goodbye to burning citronella candles, swatting at mosquitos, and the smell of bug repellent. RV travelers and tent settlers can be comfortable with the doors open or unzipped without worrying about the pesky flies.

3. Campfire-cooked comfort food

Comfort food is a fall camping staple—cooking at the campsite is just one of the best parts that makes up the fall camping experience. When the cool evenings come, warm up at camp with the comfort foods best made over a fire.

4. Cheaper camping rates

Often, summer is the peak season for camping areas and parks (state and national), which translates to less expensive off-season rates and fewer crowds. Nothing beats having an open camping area nearly all to yourself!

We saved the best for last:

5. Adirondack fall foliage

Anywhere you go in New York promises to be beautiful, but in the Adirondacks, specifically Old Forge, shamelessly display the most gorgeous fall foliage than anywhere else in the state!

Just imagine:

You wake up on a crisp, still fall morning, unzip your tent or open your RV door, and take in the breathtaking spectrum of reds, oranges and yellow trees. Is there any better way to start the day? As you explore the beautiful Adirondacks whether you’re hiking, fishing, or paddle boarding, a lot more timeless with the Adirondack fall foliage in the background.

While fall in the Adirondacks is synonymous with brilliant foliage, the autumn months also mean hunting season. Hunting is permitted on all state lands, giving hunters a considerable amount of geography for their sport. Be considerate of private lands and, as always, exercise safety and caution.

 

Fall Hunting Seasons

 

Bow Hunting Season

Archery season for deer and black bear opens September 27 (regardless of the year) and continues through the next-to-last Saturday in October.

 

Deer and Bear

Deer and bear season commences on the next-to-last Saturday in October and continues through the first Sunday in December.

 

Muzzle-loading Season

Muzzle-loading season for deer and bear is the seven-day period ending on the day before the regular season begins.

 

Early Bear Season

Early bear season starts on the first Saturday after the second Monday in September through the day immediately preceding the opening of muzzleloading season.

 

Coyote

Coyote hunting is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. New York State is home to approximately 20,000 to 30,000 coyotes, with an abundance in the Adirondack Park.

Coyote hunting is referred to as predator hunting because it falls under the same hunting techniques as hunting foxes and bobcats. It is extremely challenging they are so cunning and adaptable to their surroundings and situations. So much so that the Native Americans have said that coyotes will be the last survivors on the earth because of their skills.

 

 

Here is our list of the Adirondacks best-kept secrets!

 

Ozzie's Coffee Bar

Locals vote Ozzie’s as the best coffee in town! They also have sweet treats, amazing scones, delicious paninis, salads, and wine by the glass. And the best part? All their cold sandwiches are named after bodies of water in Old Forge!

 

Jack Greco's Custom Furniture

They specialize in Hickory furniture featuring an Adirondack lodge collection, porch rockers, artisan lighting, as well as rustic frames, poly furniture for the patio or dock, stained glass, and much more!

 

Toboggan Inn

The Toboggan Inn is the place to enjoy homemade comfort foods in a quaint and charming Adirondack atmosphere! For over 80 years, the building has provided locals and travelers alike with good food and memorable experiences. In honor of its rich history, they reestablished the restaurant's original name.

 

Payne’s Air Service

Located on Seventh Lake in in Inlet, NY, they offer scenic tours, fly-in wilderness fishing, hunting, and camping trips. See the Adirondacks by air with an ADK pilot as your guide!

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