Three Winter Weekend events will once again be held at Camp Santanoni this year, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The events will take place during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Jan. 19 to 21; Presidents Day holiday weekend, Feb. 16 to 18; and the weekend of March 16-17.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the Santanoni historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest and view interpretative displays.
"Camp Santanoni provides an amazing 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski excursion in the Adirondacks," Martens said. "The trail traverses from the Gate House complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex, providing a moderate ski and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
"Events like these are part of Governor Cuomo and DEC's efforts to work with local communities to increase tourism and economic activity by showcasing the recreational opportunities and historic treasures the Adirondacks has to offer."
During the three Winter Weekend events, cross-country skiers and snowshoers will be able to visit both the Gate Lodge and Main Lodge of Camp Santanoni, view displays about the great camp and take interpretive tours with Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) staff.
The Artist's Studio, a stone building near the main lodge on the shores of Newcomb Lake, will be open as a warming hut. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available and the public is asked to bring their own cups.
Also, the Adirondack Interpretive Center will provide snowshoes to lend to visitors at the Gate Lodge.
The three Winter Weekend events are being hosted by DEC, AARCH, the town of Newcomb and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (ESF) Adirondack Interpretive Center.
"We are happy to work with our partners, DEC, AARCH and SUNY ESF to build on the history and natural beauty of our town to provide tourism destinations that people want to visit," Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon said. "Great Camp Santanoni is at least as beautiful covered in winter snows as it is in mid-summer."
"ESF is excited to partner with DEC, the town of Newcomb and AARCH to help expand how Great Camp Santanoni is used," said Paul Hai of SUNY ESF's Northern Forest Institute, which manages the Adirondack Interpretive Center. "Newcomb is a fantastic town, rich with history, recreation and educational opportunities. Collaborations like this grow our town while increasing visitors' and residents' appreciation and understanding of the Adirondacks.
"We are looking forward to working together on more programs and creative ideas in Newcomb."
"We are delighted to be part of these winter open house weekends again and look forward to welcoming skiers and snowshoers there at a very beautiful and peaceful time of year," said Steven Engelhart, Executive Director of AARCH. "Last year, over eight days, we had more than 400 people make the ten mile round-trip outing into Santanoni and we thoroughly enjoyed providing a place to warm up and interpreting the camp's rich history and architecture to them."
In addition to the popular 9.8-mile round trip from the Gate Lodge to the Main Lodge, cross-country skiers and snowshoers are encouraged to take the half-mile trail that connects Camp Santanoni to the nearby Adirondack Interpretive Center's 3.6-mile trail system. The Center's buildings will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all three days of the Winter Weekends in January and February, and on the Saturday and Sunday of the March Winter weekend.
While people may visit Camp Santanoni 365 days a year, the buildings are not typically open to the public during the winter months. Additional open house weekends may be considered based on the popularity and success of these three weekend events.
Construction of Camp Santanoni began in 1892 by Robert and Anna Pruyn and eventually consisted of more than four dozen buildings on 12,900 acres that included a working farm, the Gate Lodge complex and a huge rustic main lodge and other buildings situated on Newcomb Lake.
Camp Santanoni was in private ownership until 1972. Over the last several decades of state ownership, the camp has gradually been restored through a partnership between DEC, AARCH and the town of Newcomb. Santanoni is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. Camp Santanoni is considered by many to be the classic Adirondack Great Camp.
Reservations are not required but for more information, contact AARCH at 518-834-9328.