Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DEC to Host Three Weekends of Santanoni Winter Open Houses

Rare Opportunity to See the Inside of Camp Buildings During the Winter Months

Three Winter Weekend events will be held for the fifth consecutive year at Camp Santanoni, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

The events will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January 16-18; President's Day holiday weekend, February 13-15; and the weekend of March 12-13. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest and view interpretative displays.

"As in past years, visitors will be able to enjoy winter outdoor recreation with their family and friends, while immersed in the beautiful wilderness setting and the rich cultural heritage of the Adirondacks," Acting Commissioner Seggos said. "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 this wondrous part of New York State."

A 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski or snowshoe excursion traverses from Camp Santanoni's Gate House complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex. The trip provides a moderate physical activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

The Winter Weekend Events continue to grow in popularity each year, more than 400 people attended last year. Visitors can enjoy the wilderness surroundings while being immersed in the rich cultural history of the Adirondacks. Amenities are provided in the nearby community of Newcomb. The Winter Weekend Event in February will once again coincide with Newcomb's Winter Carnival which will be held on February 13.

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 log and stone building near the main lodge on the shores of Newcomb Lake, will be open as a warming hut. Bring your own cup to enjoy free coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The Adirondack Interpretive Center will provide snowshoes at the Gate Lodge for any visitors without their own.

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," said Newcomb Town Supervisor Wes Miga. "Great Camp Santanoni is as beautiful covered in winter snow as it is in mid-summer."

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. during the Winter Weekend Events.

"ESF is excited to partner with DEC, 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."

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.

"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, more than 300 people made the ten mile round-trip outing into Santanoni. We thoroughly enjoyed providing a place to warm up and interpreting the camp's rich history and architecture to them."

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 including 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. Contact AARCH at 518-834-9328 for more information on the winter weekends. More information about Camp Santanoni, the Adirondack Interpretive Center and the Newcomb area may be found at:

  • Contact for this Page
  • DEC Region 5 Office - David Winchell
    1115 NYS Rte. 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Raybrook, NY 12977
    518-897-1248
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions