In the Adirondack Experience It, Region, public lands comprise 95 percent of the county - spanning one million acres of forest, mountains and lakes. It is one of the only areas in the entire Adirondack Park where you can charter Adirondack float plane rides with a licensed Adirondack guide for a backcountry camping or fishing trip.
In Blue Mountain Lake, the namesake mountain and lake can be seen from Adirondack Experience - The Museum at Blue Mountain Lake's grounds. Known as the "Smithsonian of the Adirondacks," the museum spans several manicured acres and boasts multiple buildings filled with historic treasures.
Incredible Wilderness Recreation
For centuries, this region has been a haven for outdoor recreation. Find scenic hiking trails that skip the crowds but not the spectacular views, paddle deep lakes and cast a line for native fish species.
Hudson River whitewater rafting is a top activity throughout the summer and is especially popular during spring's "big water" season. Melting snow and ice create Class IV-V rapids on sections of the Hudson River - creating whitewater conditions comparable to those found in the Western United States. As the seasons mellow, so do the rapids and conditions are perfect for families and groups who want the thrill of shooting the rapids on calmer waters.
An abundance of Adirondack fresh water fishing can be found on the region's deep lakes. Fish for Lake Trout, Land-locked Salmon, and Bass along quiet coves, shaded inlets and stretches of riffle. Paddle secluded waters and cast a line or fly fish with on scenic rivers and enjoy the peaceful serenity of a day spent in the Adirondack Experience It! Region.
In summer, enjoy sandy beaches on lakes throughout Hamilton County, including the Inlet Beach which provides lifeguards and sponsors family-friendly events.
Adirondack Boreal Birding Opportunities
The vast stretches of pristine forest, coupled with canoe trails and mountain peaks create ideal habitats for several species of boreal birds. Each June, the Adirondack Wild hosts the Adirondack Birding Festival, which includes guided bird watching expeditions, lectures and educational talks. Travel to the mountain top habitat of the Bicknell's Thrush, paddle through wetlands and glimpse water birds such as Great Blue Herons and Scarlett Tanagers. One of the best places for birding, paddling and backcountry hiking is the Moose River Plains, which spans nearly 50,000 acres.
In winter, the region is transformed by snow into an expansive winter wonderland. More than 750 miles of snowmobiling trails wind through towns and villages, along roadways and offer easy access to restaurants and gas stations. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are big winter sports in the Adirondack Experience It! Region, and several ski centers offer groomed trails. Ice fishing is also a big draw for sportsmen and pike, pickerel, tiger muskellunge and walleye are in season all winter long.
Scenic Hiking Trails
Waterfall hikes can be found in profusion throughout the region. From Auger Falls, to Buttermilk Falls - find beautiful scenery perfect for any hiking trip. Historic firetowers are located on several Adirondack Peaks, including Blue Mountain and Pillsbury Mountain. Some of the most popular hikes in Hamilton County include:
- Blue Ledges in Indian Lake
- Baldface Mountain in Indian Lake
- Castle Rock in Blue Mountain Lake
- Chimney Mountain in Indian Lake
Adirondack Experience It! Culture
Hamilton County is home to several of the most historic and cherished Adirondack Great Camps. It was here, in the Village of Raquette Lake that William West Durant first conceived of Great Camp Sagamore. Soon, America's wealthiest families were traveling north from New York City to enjoy the Adirondacks in their "Great Camps." These massive compounds were built in the "rustic aesthetic," mimicking the surrounding wilderness, and offering every conceivable luxury. Visitors are welcome to visit Great Camp Sagamore and The Hedges on Blue Mountain Lake for special events or an overnight stay, and Camp Pine Knot is open to visitors for tours certain times of the year.
The Adirondack Region's Great Camp tradition is cherished in this region. Many of the historic camps were built on Raquette Lake, and visitors can glimpse these architectural treasures aboard the W.W. Durant Cruise Ship. The Raquette Lake Navigation Company offers scenic boat rides around the lake from June through the fall foliage season.
For more information about the Adirondack Experience It! Region of Hamilton County, visit www.AdirondackExperience.com.
- Adirondack Museum
- Raquette Lake
- Great Camp Sagamore
- Hoss' Country Store
- Scenic Float Plane Charters
- Long Lake Annual Antiques and Vintage Show
- 27th Annual Piseco Lake Triathlon
- Arts in the Park July
- Durant Days
- Lake Pleasant Bicentennial Weekend
- Adirondack Museum Rustic Furniture Fair
- Adirondack Fabric & Fiber Arts Festival
- 2012 Great Adirondack Moose Festival
- Adirondack Museum Fall Festival