For Release: Monday, January 13, 2014
DEC to Hold Three Weekends of Santanoni Winter Open Houses
Rare Opportunity to See the Inside of Camp Buildings During the Winter Months
Building upon the popularity of the previous two years' Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend events, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will once again open this historic property to the public for recreational opportunities, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
The events will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January 18-20; President's Day holiday weekend, February 15-17; and the weekend of March 16-17. 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 the past two 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," Commissioner Martens 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. The increasing popularity of the Winter Weekends demonstrates our efforts are effective in bringing visitors to the North Country."
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.
This year's Winter Weekend events, the third year the events have been held, are expected to continue the trend of being more successful than the previous year. In 2012, more than 250 visitors enjoyed themselves at one of the three weekend events. Last year more than 350 visitors came to enjoy winter outdoor recreation with their family and friends. Those attending were amazed by the wilderness surroundings while being immersed in the rich cultural history of the Adirondacks.
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," said Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon. "Great Camp Santanoni is at least as beautiful covered in winter snows 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. on all three days of the Winter Weekends in January and February and on the Saturday and Sunday of the March Winter Weekend.
"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, we had more than 300 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."
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:
DEC Camp Santanoni website
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (link in right column)
Adirondack Interpretive Center (link in right column)
Town of Newcomb (link in right column)