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For Release: Wednesday, January 4, 2017

DEC to Hold Three Weekends of Santanoni Winter Open Houses

Unique Opportunity to See the Inside of Great Camp Buildings During the Winter Months

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding three Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend open house events in 2017, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The events, which open this historic property to the public for recreational opportunities, grow in popularity each year.

The open house events will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January 14-16; President's Day holiday weekend, February 18-20; and the weekend of March 18 & 19. 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, including new panels installed in 2014.

"The public is invited 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 during any of the three weekends," Commissioner Seggos said. "These open house events 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. The increasing popularity of the Winter Weekends demonstrates our efforts are effective in bringing visitors to the North Country."

The three Winter Weekend events are hosted by DEC, AARCH, the town of Newcomb and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (ESF) Adirondack Interpretive Center.

Amenities can be found in the nearby community of Newcomb, where the WinterFest in the Heart of the Park is being celebrated on January 14, coinciding with the first Santanoni Winter Weekend.

"Great Camp Santanoni is as beautiful covered in winter snows as it is in mid-summer," said Newcomb Town Supervisor Wes Miga. "Please join us for our WinterFest in the Heart of the Park celebration on Saturday, January 14, or any time this winter - Newcomb is festive winter-long. 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."

Winter Weekend attendees can ski or snowshoe the 9.8-mile round trip from Camp Santanoni's Gate Lodge Complex and pass the Farm Complex to the remote lakeside Main Lodge Complex. The trip provides a moderate physical activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. The Adirondack Interpretive Center will provide free snowshoes at the Gate Lodge for any visitors needing them.

"Newcomb is a fantastic town, rich with history, recreation and educational opportunities," said Paul Hai of SUNY ESF's Northern Forest Institute, which manages the Adirondack Interpretive Center. "The winter weekends at DEC's Santanoni Preserve have been great events for introducing people to this unique State resource and the town of Newcomb. Collaborations like this grow our town while increasing visitors' and residents' appreciation and understanding of the Adirondacks. ESF is excited to be a partner in this program and we look forward to working together on more initiatives and creative ideas highlighting the diverse experiences people can enjoy in Newcomb."

During the weekends visitors can visit both the Gate Lodge and Main Lodge of Camp Santanoni where they can view displays about the great camp and take interpretive tours with Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) staff. While visitors are welcome at Camp Santanoni all year, the buildings are not typically open to the public during the winter months.

"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. "We thoroughly enjoyed providing a place to warm up and interpreting the camp's rich history and architecture to them."

Visitors can also warm up in the Artist's Studio, a stone building near the main lodge on the shores of Newcomb Lake. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available, although visitors are asked to bring their own cups.

In addition to the popular 9.8-mile round trip from the Gate Lodge to the Main Lodge, cross-country skiers and snowshoers can traverse the half mile-trail from Camp Santanoni to the nearby Adirondack Interpretive Center and ski or snowshoe their 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.

Robert and Anna Pruyn began work on Camp Santanoni in 1892 and eventually constructing more than four dozen buildings on 12,900 acres including a working farm, the Gate Lodge complex, a huge rustic Main Lodge and other buildings situated on Newcomb Lake. Camp Santanoni remained in private ownership until 1972.

During the last several decades of state ownership, the camp has gradually been restored through a partnership between DEC, AARCH and the town of Newcomb. Camp Santanoni is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark and is considered by many to be the classic Adirondack Great Camp.

Reservations are not required. Please contact AARCH at 518-834-9328 for more information on the winter weekends.

More information about Camp Santanoni is also available at DEC's Camp Santanoni Historic Area web page or the Adirondack Architectural Heritage (link leaves DEC's website) website; more information about the town of Newcomb and the WinterFest in the Heart of the Park can be found at the Town of Newcomb (link leaves DEC's website) website; and, more information about the Adirondack Interpretive Center (link leaves DEC's website) can be found on ESF's website.

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