Looking for summer relaxation? Consider an Adirondack lake beach, for a delightful blend of the familiar and the exotic.
The familiar is the expanse of sand and sun, and the availability of picnic treats from beachside vendors. What might be different is the super-slow lap of the waves, and the fringe of forest at the far edge of the water.
Whether we are new to Adirondack summer traditions or seeking to explore our usual places, the charming Minerva Town Beach has everything we need for a fun family outing.
Of course, people have been swimming in our lakes for many centuries. The Adirondack natural sand beaches are great for sunning and sandcastle action.
There's the lovely lake, but also some easy hiking trails, two playgrounds, a tennis and a basketball court, and even horseshoes. The lake does not allow motorized boats, so it's a fine paddling spot, with a boat launch and rentals.
Explore the three small islands in the lake.
According to the Adirondack History Center:
In 1931 and 1932, the town built a dam across Jones Brook creating an artificial lake, a beach and a playground. The beach is named for Francis Donnelly who first became Town Supervisor in 1934. He was part of a large Irish clan arriving in Minerva in the mid-19th century. Donnelly served as Supervisor until his death in 1980, a total of 46 years.
Fun fact: Mr. Donnelly holds the world record for the nation's longest serving town or county official.
Summer is the best season for picnics, of course, and Minerva Town Beach has a lot of picnic tables with a gorgeous lake view. Choose from beachside or along the shore in the wooded areas on either side.
The beach snack shack is The Stand at Minerva Lake. Eat indoors or out, with classic Adirondack ice cream stand fare. They offer bacon cheeseburgers and fries and frozen treats, but also specials like shrimp tacos, beer-battered fish and chips, and a grilled chicken Caesar wrap.
And worms. But those are for fishing.
Forget anything? Mammy & Pop's General Store is right in town and has you covered along with all kinds of summer needs like beach toys and sunscreen. They also have a deli, so you can pick up that picnic lunch.
See all the shopping choices in the area.
This is one sweet little gem of a beach. It is set away from the town, on its own road. So the only sounds are children playing, happy birds, and the wind in the trees.
It's not just a beach, though. It is a delightful recreation complex, with lots of room for hiking, paddling, and scenic picture taking.
Go further and camp there too. Choose from 56 lovely tent sites, with public bathroom access and hot showers. Each site has their own fire pit and picnic table, and are separated from the beach area by the basketball and tennis courts. A row of trees screens them from the road and parking area.
Minerva is nestled among some of the loveliest nature areas in all the Adirondacks. The south is bordered by the Indian River and Boreas River which flow into the Hudson. The northwest is dominated by the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest and the wonderfully imposing bulk of the mountain itself. The beach itself is on the shores of Minerva Lake, which was formed by damming Jones Brook for the lumber trade, in the early 1930s.
This place has a little bit of magic.
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