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For Release: Friday, January 5, 2018

DEC to Host Three Weekends of Santanoni Winter Open Houses

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

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

The events will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, Jan. 13 to 15; President's Day holiday weekend, Feb. 17 to 19; and the weekend of March 10 and 11. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest, tour the buildings, and view interpretative displays.

"As in past years, visitors will be able to enjoy winter outdoor recreation with family and friends while immersed in the beautiful wilderness setting and the rich cultural heritage of the Adirondacks," Commissioner Seggos said. "These weekends are part of Governor Cuomo and DEC's ongoing efforts to work with local communities to increase tourism and economic activity by showcasing this wondrous part of New York State."

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 wood stove-heated 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.

The Winter Weekend events continue to grow in popularity each year, with more than 400 people attending last year. A 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski or snowshoe excursion traverses from Camp Santanoni's Gate Lodge complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex. The trip provides moderate physical activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

The event in January will once again coincide with Newcomb's 2018 Winterfest, which will be held Jan. 13 and 14. Visit the town of Newcomb's website ( for more information, including links to the schedule of events.

"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 Robin Deloria. "We invite the public to come to the Newcomb WinterFest on before or after visiting Camp Santanoni. We will have meals at the Newcomb Central School, dog sled rides, fat bike and skiing demos, ice fishing, skating, sledding, a square dance, and more."

Staff from SUNY ESF's Adirondack Interpretive Center will be hosting a Wildlife Animal Tracking program at the Farm Complex from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, as part of Newcomb's Winterfest. This is a fun learning experience for families and children of every age.

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers are also 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 all of the Winter Weekend Events.

"This partnership between DEC, Newcomb, AARCH and SUNY-ESF continues to be a powerful, creative, and fun model for promoting Adirondack communities and our unique cultural and natural resources" said Paul Hai of SUNY ESF's Northern Forest Institute, which manages the Adirondack Interpretive Center. "Newcomb is a fantastic town, rich with history, recreational and educational opportunities. Collaborations like these winter weekends provide new experiences for those who know us, while introducing Newcomb to the next generation with many activities for youth and families. We love expanding visitors' and residents' appreciation and understanding of the Adirondacks."

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 at this very special historic site during a very beautiful and peaceful time of year," said Steven Engelhart, Executive Director of AARCH. "This will be the sixth year we have offered these opportunities to visit Santanoni and, last year, over eight days, more than 300 people made the ten-mile round-trip outing into the Main Lodge. 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 events. More information about Camp Santanoni, the Adirondack Interpretive Center and the Newcomb area may be found at:

DEC Camp Santanoni webpage
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (link leaves DEC's website)
Adirondack Interpretive Center (link leaves DEC's website)
Town of Newcomb (link leaves DEC's website)

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