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For Release: Thursday, January 12, 2012

DEC to Hold Three Santanoni Winter Open Houses

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

Three Winter Weekend events will be held at historic Camp Santanoni, located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County, allowing cross-country skiers and snowshoers access to camp properties to rest and view interpretative displays, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

The 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 17-18.

"Camp Santanoni is one of the most popular cross-country ski destinations in the Adirondacks," Commissioner Martens said. "The 9.8-mile round trip excursion from the Gate House complex to the remote lakeside Main Lodge complex is a moderate ski and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Events like these are part of DEC's efforts to work with local communities to increase tourism and economic activity by showcasing the recreational opportunities 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 and will have hot chocolate available. 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.

"This is a great collaboration to extend to visitors of Camp Santanoni some North Country hospitality during these holiday weekends," said Senator Betty Little. "Governor Cuomo and his administration have placed an emphasis on showcasing New York's historical, cultural and natural resources. This event captures all three and I'm hopeful for strong public interest in this fun opportunity."

"This is another great example of state and local governments partnering together to create opportunities that will benefit our residents and provide an economic boost to our communities in the North Country," said Assemblywoman Teresa R. Sayward.

"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 George Canon. "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, town of Newcomb and AARCH to help expand how Great Camp Santanoni is used," said Paul Hai of SUNY ESF's 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."

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 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 but for more information, contact AARCH at (518) 834-9328. More information about Camp Santanoni, the Adirondack Interpretive Center and the Newcomb area may be found at:

DEC Camp Santanoni website

The following website links are listed under "Links Leaving DEC's Website" in the right column:

Adirondack Architectural Heritage
Adirondack Interpretive Center
Town of Newcomb