While filming “Travels with Darley,” I visited the Adirondacks during the winter for snow shoeing, cross country skiing, tubing and downhill skiing and more. I was able to meet and ski with Olympian Andrew Weibrecht at Whiteface around Lake Placid and enjoy a true winter wonderland. But, winter is not the only season that you can have fun in the Adirondacks, nor are snow sports the only ways to start your nature adventure.
With more than 6 million acres of protected landscapes to enjoy, the Adirondack Mountains in New York State offer ample opportunity for adventure. With 46 high peaks, the landscapes range from the dramatic to the serene.
In the Adirondacks, horseback riding is a celebrated tradition and a wonderful way to explore the scenic wilderness during warmer months. What’s more, on June 28, 2019, the Frontier Town Campground opened. The thirty-three well-equipped equestrian camping sites have made this place more equestrian-friendly than ever. Each of the sites have an electrical hookup, hibachi-style grill, two tie stall, and water spigots within 250 feet of the campsite.
Whether you are a riding expert or a beginner, you can find great routes for multiple days of trail riding here. Here are some of the top trails you can choose from near Frontier Town Campground.
#1 Essex Chain Lakes Complex Equestrian Trails
The 19,600-acre Essex Chain Lakes Complex is part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Riding in the central Adirondacks, you can experience the eight lakes of the Essex Chain and a number of other ponds & lakes.
The lands here are mainly low lying hills. Nearly 22 miles of woods, roads and trails are open for equestrian use. Thirteen miles of administrative roads are opene for horse drawn wagons as well.
#2 Boreas Ponds Area Equestrian Trails
Boreas Ponds Area is another great location surrounded by water and preserved forest. The area features stunning views of the Boreas Mountain range, as well as the high peaks, such as Marcy, Haystack, Gothics, and Saddleback.
About 17 miles of seven roadways are open to horses and horse drawn wagons.
#3 Great Camp Santanoni Equestrian Trails
Starting in the late 19th century, Great Camp Santanoni used to be a getaway spot for many of the most successful American businessmen and wealthy families from downstate New York. Thus, it is one of the oldest and largest of the early great camps. Here, you can find many preserved architectural heritage places, prime examples of the local Adirondacks craftsmanship.
As a property now of New York state, Camp Santanoni is a great getaway for all ages and especially for equestrians. Park your equestrian trailer at the Gate Lodge on Newcomb Lake Road, off NY Route 28N. The well-maintained gravel road will guide you to the Main Lodge on Newcomb Lake in 5 miles.
Accessible horse and wagon rides are available at the nearby Newcombe Farm by reservation (518.480.1743).
Of course, when you visit these amazing equestrian locations, don’t forget to practice social distancing and the Leave No Trace ethics. Protect yourself, others, and the lands and water in Adirondacks.