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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
- 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.
- 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.
- Bear right at mile 2.4 past the trail to Moose Lake.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Return the way you came the next morning.
Permit none Contact Great Camp Santanoni GPX