There are few more iconic American wildernesses than the Adirondack mountains. When I first moved to California from the East coast, a friend asked if I'd like to go hiking in Joshua Tree. Knowing nothing of my new home, I was picturing the Adirondack mountains so imagine my surprise when we arrived! It's taken me a while to appreciate our desert scapes in SoCal so returning to the nature of my youth is always reassuring and familiar.
The Sunfish boat waits for the day.
My family has a house on a lake with a nice dock and loads of boats and water activities and my children have grown up visiting there every summer. It's what we all want for our kids: to have some summer time free from electronics (did I mention that there is no cel service and the internet is inconsistent?) and full of hiking, swimming, fishing, so much freedom and lazy days with nothing but time on their hands. The closest grocery store is 30 minutes away so it's a very safe place when you're feeling a little iffy about stuff like global pandemics.
Nothing like a day on the lake!
My whole family convenes here every summer. Some summers we overlap in just the right way. This summer, in addition to the humans were a parrot and four dogs. Never a dull moment.
Eventually someone will suggest a hike and about an hour later kids dogs and adults are piling into the many cars to get to the trailhead. I've done all the big hikes back when I had something to prove so I'm really happy reading by the lake but I do love a good waterfall and I had not been to Titusville Mountain State Forest High Falls Trail before.
Weeks of rain made the falls swift but the rocks make them shallow so the kids had no trouble climbing all over the falls after a minor rapid water safety lesson.
The water was really refreshing but the slippery rocks made in necessary to have free hands for quick hold or to break a fall. But I didn't want to miss a moment of pics either which is why my Meredith Pocket Belt with gold painted wings came in SO handy. I didn't lose a thing and my phone didn't get wet.
The nearest towns are Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid all of which offer rainy day activities, dining and shopping when the parrot is eyeing your puzzle pieces. Saranac Lake (Bloomberg, really but on the way) hosts Hex and Hop Brewing which has a really nice outdoor tasting room. Bring bug spray! I also love Red Canoe Antiques as it never fails to deliver something I haven't seen before.
Plattsburgh is your go-to for chain stores and the obligatory Target and Best Buy but just outside the main town is Red Rooster Market which is an antique mall with individual sellers kiosks so you get a wonderful variety of the weird, wonderful and bizarre...and of course: old. Also notable is if you drive past the chain stores into old town Plattsburgh, you'll find a wonderfully sleepy area with several cute shops and restaurants worth exploring.
Finally I would be remiss not to mention Smoke Signals, a yummy bbq restaurant near and dear to my family. Table for 15 please! As that comes with a wait even with a reservation, I highly suggest Upstairs Grill for a drink and delicious appetizers. With an outdoor balcony that overlooks beautiful mountain vistas (and Smoke Signals) you just can't go wrong.