For many people, September means going back to school. For some New England families, however, it means the start of great camping weather. This time of year isn’t too hot or too cold; it rarely rains, and there aren’t a lot of crowds at the most popular camping spots. Among all of the great places to camp in this region of the country, the Adirondacks is certainly one of the most popular.
The Adirondacks first became attractive among wealthy New Englanders as a vacation spot in the late 1800s. Prior to this time, these mountains were known for logging, farming, and shipping. The Gilded Age, however, brought many wealthy families who constructed what were called the “Great Camps” throughout the area.
Today, some of these Great Camps have been turned into small hotels, while in other areas the land has been restored to its original nature and has a range of lodging options, from primitive camping to RV parks, with cabins, luxury B&Bs, and tent camping spots available, too. These accommodations are both in and around the largest piece of real estate in the Adirondacks: Adirondack State Park.
The state park covers over 6 million acres, of which 2.3 million are forest preserve. The rest of the space consists of over 200 lakes, campsites, and visitor areas -- a wealth of places to explore. The park has more than 2,000 miles of foot trails, making it possible to find a hike that’s right for just about everyone in your party. In total, there are about 2,000 mountain peaks in the state park, but only 40 of these peaks have elevations over 4,000 ft. The tallest mountain is Mount Marcy at 5,344 ft.
There is something for everyone in the Adirondack State Park. Besides hiking, camping, fishing, and rock climbing, you can also participate in different seasonal activities. Early September brings HoBo Fest, a three-day long music festival in Glen Falls. In addition to some great local music, you’ll also learn a lot about the history of trains and railroad culture. At Long Lake, take the time to stop by the Labor Day Barbecue. This festival is famous for its tasty chicken bbq, and the kids will love the fireworks at the closing ceremony.
Mid-September brings several canoe races to lakes throughout the Adirondack region. Spectators are welcome to watch for a while or set up next to the lake and watch the whole day. If boat races don’t interest you, you might want to consider the Rustic Furniture Fair at the Adirondack Museum, next to Blue Mountain Lake. This festival is a gathering spot for artisans from all over the United States to show and sell their handcrafted furniture. You’re sure to find the perfect piece for your home.
By the end of September, the apple orchards are ready to be harvested, which brings the start of several local apple festivals. Our favorite is Apple Fest, next to Long Lake. You can watch everything from the making of apple butter to apple cider, and then bring home some of the treats to enjoy later in the year.