Great Camp Sagamore will host two guided snowshoe hikes of the grounds February 15 and 16 as part of Raquette Lake’s Annual Winter Carnival. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to see the National Historic Landmark in the winter, a season when the former Vanderbilt family owners traditionally visited.
The free, guided hikes depart from the camp’s barn parking lot at 10 a.m. both days and conclude two hours later with hot cider in the Reading Room of the Conference Building. Guides will lead groups through the camp grounds to see building exteriors, then trek to different portions of the newly designated Great Camps Historic District that includes Sagamore.
Spencer Morrissey of Cranberry Lake will lead the Saturday hike around the grounds and on the trail that circles Sagamore Lake. Morrisey is a long-time Adirondack resident and outdoor enthusiast. The Sunday 16 hike will be led by Walt Linck, an Adirondack Park Agency natural resources planner, outdoor educator and former Sagamore staff member. Linck’s hike will include a trip out to see some of the historic ruins connected to the great camp, such as the sugar shack, farm meadow and powerhouse.
Great Camp Sagamore is a National Historic Landmark located just south of Raquette Lake in the central Adirondacks. It is an iconic example of Great Camp architecture and was recently featured on a PBS special, Sagamore Lodge: America’s Great Camp. The camp was built by William West Durant in 1897 and sold to Alfred G. Vanderbilt I in 1901. The property originally encompassed over 1500 acres – today it is 19 acres and contains 27 historic buildings under the stewardship of the non-profit Sagamore Institute. The camp is open for tours, overnight stays and Road Scholar programs from late May through mid-October. The two guided hikes February 15 and 16 are the only time the grounds will be open to visitors this winter.
There is no charge for the hikes and no reservations are necessary. Guests should plan to bring their own snowshoes and are advised to allow extra travel time for Sagamore’s four-mile driveway. To reach the barn parking lot from which the hikes depart, take the right fork about 3.5 miles down Sagamore Road and turn left after the bridge. Restrooms will be available in the Conference Building at the end of the hike.
For more information about the hike call Great Camp Sagamore’s winter office at 585-285-3724. For directions to camp and general information about tours, events and programs, visit online at www.greatcampsagamore.org.