Rare Opportunity to See Inside of Historic Camp Buildings During Winter Months

Three Winter Weekend events will be held for the sixth consecutive year at Camp Santanoni in the Adirondacks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The events will take place during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, January 19-21; Presidents Day holiday weekend, February 16-18; and the weekend of March 16-17. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest, tour the buildings, and view interpretative displays.

"As in past years, visitors will be able to enjoy winter outdoor recreation with their family and friends, while immersed in the beautiful wilderness setting and the rich cultural heritage of the Adirondacks," Commissioner Seggos said. "Events like these are part of Governor Cuomo and DEC's efforts to work with local communities to increase tourism and economic activity by showcasing this wondrous part of New York State."

The Winter Weekend Events grow in popularity each year. Visitors can enjoy the wilderness surroundings while being immersed in the rich cultural history of the Adirondacks. Amenities are provided in the nearby community of Newcomb. The three Winter Weekend events are being hosted by the Friends of Camp Santanoni and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (ESF) Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC). The Friends of Camp Santanoni is a partnership between DEC, Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the Town of Newcomb, and the thousands of people that love this special place and believe in its preservation and use for public education, recreation, and inspiration.

"We are happy to work with our partners, DEC, AARCH and SUNY ESF to build on the history and natural beauty of our town to provide tourism destinations that people want to visit," said Newcomb Town Supervisor Robin Deloria.

"This partnership between DEC, Newcomb, AARCH and SUNY-ESF continues to be a powerful, creative, and fun model for promoting Adirondack communities and our unique cultural and natural resources" said Paul Hai of SUNY-ESF's Newcomb Campus, which manages the Adirondack Interpretive Center. "Newcomb is a fantastic town, rich with history, recreational and educational opportunities. Collaborations like these winter weekends provide new experiences for those who know us, while introducing Newcomb to the next generation with many activities for youth and families. We love expanding visitors' and residents' appreciation and understanding of the Adirondacks."

"We are delighted to be part of these winter open house weekends again and look forward to welcoming skiers and snowshoers at this very special historic site during a very beautiful and peaceful time of year," said Steven Engelhart, Executive Director, AARCH. "This will be the sixth year we have offered these opportunities to visit Santanoni and, last year, over eight days, more than 650 people made the ten-mile round-trip outing into the Main Lodge. We thoroughly enjoyed providing a place to warm up and interpreting the camp's rich history and architecture to them."

A 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski or snowshoe excursion traverses from Camp Santanoni's Gate Lodge complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex. The trip provides a moderate physical activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

During the three Winter Weekend events, cross-country skiers and snowshoers will be able to visit both the Gate Lodge and Main Lodge of Camp Santanoni, view displays about the great camp, and take interpretive tours with AARCH staff. While people may visit Camp Santanoni 365 days a year, the buildings are not typically open to the public during the winter months.

The wood stove heated Artist's Studio, a log and stone building near the main lodge on the shores of Newcomb Lake, will be open as a warming hut. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own cup to enjoy free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The Adirondack Interpretive Center will provide snowshoes at the Gate Lodge for any visitors without their own.

Staff from ESF's AIC will be hosting a Wildlife Animal Tracking program at the Farm Complex from 1 pm to 2 pm on Saturday, January 19. This is a fun learning experience for families and children of every age.

In addition to the popular trip from the Gate Lodge to the Main Lodge, cross-country skiers and snowshoers are encouraged to take the half mile-trail that connects Camp Santanoni to the nearby AIC's 3.6-mile trail system. The center's buildings will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Winter Weekend Events.

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. Over the last several decades of state ownership, the camp has been restored through a partnership between DEC, AARCH, and the town of Newcomb. 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.

Reservations are not required. Contact AARCH at 518-834-9328 for more information on the Winter Weekends. Additional information about Camp Santanoni, the AIC, and the Newcomb area is available at the DEC Camp Santanoni website, Adirondack Architectural Heritage website, Adirondack Interpretive Center website, and the town of Newcomb website. Online link to this press release.