New York Trails

Hike Like a 19th-Century New York Baron at Camp Santanoni

A short hike in the Adirondacks leads to a classic 1900s Great Camp and a smaller, but no less beautiful tent camp.

As my friends and I hike past elaborate gate houses and farm buildings, we’re left with one question: “How do I get a place like this?” I’m pretty sure you need to be a 19th-century tycoon with a lot of time on your hands, but this winding trail still lets us dream.

As we near Newcomb Lake we come into view of the full Camp Santanoni; The elaborate Lincoln Log structure sprawls along the shoreline in a confection of peaked roofs, breezeways, and decking that takes wrap-around to another level. In the other direction, the view is even more impressive: Newcomb Lake, over a mile long, is quintessential Adirondacks, dotted with islands and with an undulating coastline of countless bays and coves wrapped in dark green and backed up by rounding peaks. I can see why the original owners and their Albany banking fortune picked this spot. It’s the same reason I made the drive up to spend a night here. Though my digs—a nylon tent just a few hundred yards back down the trail—will be slightly less elaborate, I’ll still get the same priceless view.

Difficulty: 1/5 Overall: 3/5 Duration: 2 days

Turn-By-Turn

  1. The camp’s gatehouse and trailhead is just off Route 28N in Newcomb. Take a moment to wander through the stone archway of the gatehouse and the surrounding buildings before heading north on (closed to vehicles) Newcomb Lake Road Trail
  2. At mile 1, enter the Farm Complex, a mix of buildings on either side of the trail that include a dairy barn, creamery, gardeners cottage, and the ruins of various animal housings and smaller buildings. 
  3. Bear right at mile 2.4 past the trail to Moose Lake. 
  4. At mile 4.3, cross the narrow body of water between Newcomb Lake and Duck Hole, then turn left (north) along the outlet. Choose one of the three designated (first-come first-served) tent sites along the shore between here and the camp, leaving your gear for the night before continuing on. 
  5. Reach the Great Camp at mile 4.7. The most obvious building is the massive Main Lodge, though it’s surrounded by various smaller buildings including an Artist’s Studio, the remnants of a boathouse, and a shop. 
  6. For a little more privacy,  you can snag one of three additional campsites past the Camp, roughly a tenth to a quarter mile from the Main Lodge.
  7. Return the way you came the next morning.

Permit none Contact Great Camp Santanoni  GPX