This perfectly positioned hamlet offers easy access to the Adirondacks.
Known as “Adirondack Base Camp,” the New York hamlet of Old Forge is the perfect place to set off on adventures around the Central Adirondack region and Adirondack Park. The town boasts easy access to outdoor activities, from skiing and stand-up paddleboarding to hiking to the summit of Bald Mountain and biking or skiing on McCauley Mountain. Those who want to set up camp will find plenty of nearby options.
Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness Just west of Old Forge, the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness is perfect for those seeking solitude in a beautiful, wild setting. The area has 35 miles of marked trails as well as five lakes and 16 ponds for fishing. It’s also home to wildlife including moose, black bears, and bald eagles. Just 10 minutes south of Old Forge, Nicks Lake Campground has 112 sites for campers and tents. Black River Wild Forest The sprawling Black River Wild Forest offers an array of recreational activities, from hiking some of its 90 miles of trails to paddling, fishing, and snowmobiling on its lakes. Nicks Lake Campground is at the northern end of the forest. Long Lake Appropriately named for the expansive lake that flows through it, Long Lake is a quiet and pristine corner of the Adirondacks. Naturally, boating and fishing are top activities but in the winter you can also go snowmobiling and both downhill and cross-country skiing. Around 15 minutes southwest of town, Forked Lake Campground has 80 sites. West Canada Lake Wilderness Around 70 miles southeast of Old Forge, West Canada Lake Wilderness is the second largest wilderness area in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Hiking trails vary in levels of difficulty and maintenance and lead through some of the more remote areas in the Adirondack Park. Backcountry camping is allowed and there are 16 lean-tos and 28 primitive tent sites located along the Northville-Placid Trail and connecting trails.
The long, sunny days of spring and summer are ideal for enjoying the trails and water activities on offer, making these the most popular seasons to visit Old Forge and the Adirondacks generally. However, the peak summer season can bring crowds and booked-up campsites, so try to make reservations far in advance. September and October can also get busy with visitors arriving to see the vibrant colors of fall foliage while winters are relatively crowd-free and offer skiing and snowshoeing.