The Five Towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub have a lot to offer, regardless of the season. And with so much to do, from shopping to hiking to eating to exploring history, it can be hard to narrow down exactly what to see.
Of course, the hiking, paddling, and snowshoeing options are virtually endless, and fishing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling opportunities also abound. On top of all the recreational options, there are quaint towns and shops to explore, ridiculously good food to eat, and lots of non-wilderness adventures to be had.
While the choices are hard, here are five stops - one in each of the five towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation area - that are sure to please. So load up the car and stock up on salty and sugary road trip snacks (or better yet, take-out lunch from one of the area’s fantastic eateries) and hit the quiet, winding roads near the headwaters of the Hudson River.
During the heyday of the Spaghetti Western, a western-style theme park opened in the town of North Hudson. As the decades rolled on, the crowds thinned but the land, and most of the old buildings, remained.
Then, a few years ago, the town partnered with New York state to re-imagine the beloved Frontier Town theme park. And so was born the Frontier Town campground and day-use area. While still a work in progress, the current incarnation of the park is welcoming to equestrians and families looking to camp or just spend the day.
While campers can choose sites in the Prairie Junction, Blacksmith, or Stagecoach sections of the campground, daytrippers can go for a short hike or enjoy the playground or day-use area along the shore of the Schroon River.
Ok, so now you’ve been in the car for a little bit, and while the scenes and wildlife have been fun, it’s time for a break. The kids are getting antsy, everyone is a little sweaty, there's candy stuck to literally every seat, and who the heck knows what that smell is that’s coming from the back seat.
Luckily, the town beach in Minerva was founded almost 100 years ago, and it’s been providing joy and summer fun to locals and visitors ever since. With a roped-off swimming area, floating dock, and wide, sandy beach, the beach is a great place to spend lunchtime or a whole day.
In addition to the swimming and splashing, there is also a snack bar and boat rentals, plus a picnic area and campsites if you just can’t drag yourself away. Town is also just a quick walk away so if you need anything from the general store, like sunscreen or beach toys, they’ve got you covered.
Want to check out an actual ghost town?! Sorry, but Newcomb isn’t it. With lots to do in Newcomb, it feels like it should be hundreds of miles from a ghost town.
But it’s not! The former town of Tahawus is not only loaded with history, but there are ruins and buildings dating back hundreds of years. And on top of that, there are interpretive trails and signs that help explain both the natural and historical features of the area.
If you’re looking for a little more leg-stretching, Tahawus is also home to numerous state hiking trailheads that lead to a fire tower or the famed High Peaks Wilderness Area.
Long Lake, the lake, is aptly named. And while the lake and village are both worth exploring, there’s a lot of fun to be had right at the center of town, just a short walk from the lake.
The intersection of state routes 30 and 28N is a surprisingly bustling place for a quiet mountain town. Get a cone of soft serve at Custard’s Last Stand or The Park, browse for souvenirs across the street at Hoss’s, or take a walk to the town park. There are also some great options for lunch here, so park the car and take a stroll around!
If you really don’t want to leave, then check out the town beach and book a scenic flight on one of the sea planes that call Long Lake home.
Just a little farther down the road is Indian Lake, another hamlet and lake that share a name. While the lake is home to boating and camping adventures galore, the village is just as lively as a smallmouth bass on a warm summer morning.
With a surprisingly large variety of restaurants and shops, the main business district is always worth a stop. From sandwiches and pizza to sit-down dinner and wine, lunch and dinner (or something in between - Dunch? Linner? Lunner?) are easy to take care of. Add to this the unique shops offering Adirondack everything from souvenirs and homemade quilts to maple syrup and outdoor goods, and Indian Lake is a town that won’t soon be forgotten.
For a longer adventure, take a look at one of the many outfitters that offer whitewater rafting trips on the Indian and Hudson rivers. It’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day!
Regardless of the duration of your stay, the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub is a must-visit destination in the Adirondacks, and with a wide variety of towns, food, attractions, and adventures, everyone in the family will find something to love!