Weekend Getaway: Elk Lake Lodge, New York 

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If you’re trying to find a refuge from the heat in the city this summer, pass the pine-covered mountains of the Adirondacks, exit the highway at North Hudson, and turn on to a quiet country road. Drive down a five-mile dirt road, and upon reaching a wooden lodge overlooking a glassy lake and the Adirondack high peaks, you’ll have stumbled upon Elk Lake Lodge, a real wilderness resort {far, far away from the bustling city}. There is no luxury or fanfare in the service here. Guests sleep in basic rooms, eat rustic meals, hike during the day, and read by the fireplace at night {so cozy}. However, guests appreciate the serenity and simplicity of the daily routines and many even return every year for decades. Keep reading to learn all about a weekend getaway at Elk Lake Lodge, New York. 

elk lake lodge new york

About Elk Lake Lodge

Elk Lake Lodge has been open to guests for more than a hundred years. Today it is at the heart of a 12,000-acre forest preserve surrounded by a ring of Adirondack peaks. The preserve is centered around two main lakes, the Elk Lake and Clear Pond, and includes a sweeping view of a long stretch of mountain ranges covered by pristine forests. The family who owns the land and the lodge gave up the right to construct private homes there in 2012 and donated the development rights to the state for conservation purposes. That’s also why today the area is free of luxury private mansions, allowing guests to hike in the forest, savor the wildlife, and appreciate the diverse flora along the way {seriously, talk about a picturesque getaway}. 

main cabin elk lake

{Photo credit: @elklakelodge}

The guest house, otherwise known as the “main lodge,” sits right on the shore of the vast Elk Lake. With its half-log exterior and bark-accented interior, the lodge reflects the natural and elegant Adirondack style. The downstairs living room is centered around a large stone fireplace, and there is also a small library in the corner, decorated with different taxidermy birds commonly found in the area. Finally, a side door located the living room leads to an open porch with a sweeping view of the 600-acre Elk Lake and the imposing Adirondack high peaks — be sure to prepare your cameras for this IG-worthy shot. 

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The Rooms at Elk Lake Lodge 

elk lake lodge room

{Photo credit: @elklakelodge}

The rooms here have the same rustic décor as the common space, with wood panel walls and simple log furniture. There are six rooms upstairs of the main lodge, each with two twin beds and a small bathroom with a shower. They are cute and cozy, but some guests may find them a little small. The advantage of staying in them, however, is easy access to the living room, porch, and dining room downstairs. Prices range from $200 to $250 per person per day depending on the date {meals and services included}. 

For for those that prefer a larger space, or have a big group, there are also eight cottages near the main lodge, all with Adirondack peaks and Elk Lake views from different angles. The cottages are spacious and usually come with a big living room, one or two bedrooms, and an open porch or deck. They are also more expensive than the main lodge. Prices range from $250 to $300 per person per night depending on the date and location {meals and services included}. 

Nights end early here, and guests usually go back to their rooms before 9:00PM. The only sounds at night are from the wind passing the pine forests and the rapids in the nearby rivulets {seriously, talk about becoming one with nature}. 

What to Do 

elk lake lodge getaway

Given that Elk Lodge is literally an outdoor lover’s wonderland, there’s no shortage of things to do while visiting. 

Due to the heavy snow in winter, the property is only open from May to October {this varies depending on the year}, but guests will still experience plenty of seasonal variety if they go in different months. In summer, the deep forests provide a cool haven from the heat.

In the fall, during the foliage season, {which is hard to predict}, shades of scarlet, crimson, and glowing yellow leaves are reflected in the mirror-like lakes. Far away from the light pollution in cities, on a clear night, visitors can gaze at the stars while breathing the crispy evening air infused with the aroma of pine trees. No matter when you go, it’s always a good time to forget about the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in nature. Plus, there is no cell phone reception or TV, and there is very limited WiFi on the property, making a visit an ideal time for some digital detoxing.

Go Hiking

Hiking is the best way to explore the area. There are more than 40 miles of private trails for the exclusive use of guests on the property, looping around the clear lakes and ponds, tracing up the lively creeks, or reaching the myriad of mountains and peaks nearby. Hikers can also reach state trails into the Adirondacks’ High Peaks from some of the private trails. Maps and trail guides are provided to guests, in which the length and difficulty of each route are illustrated.

Try Out Different Water Activities 

elk lake lodge lake

With its hundreds of acres of open water, along with countless inlets, bays, and islands, the property also offers all kinds of fun water activities. Kayaks, rowboats, and canoes are available for use at all times of the day. On a sunny summer afternoon, visitors can take a plunge into the glassy lake from the floating dock. Trout can be found all around the lake and it’s not uncommon to catch a two-pound brook trout. 

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The Food

Food — arguably the most important + most interesting part of any getaway. Luckily, for visitors of Elk Lake Lodge, there are plenty of options to satiate any and all appetites all located + prepared right inside the lodge itself. As an added bonus, breakfast and dinner are served in the dining room in the main lodge with a central fireplace and sweeping view of the lake and mountains — it’s dinner {or breakfast} with a view. 

Breakfast + Lunch

Every morning, a big breakfast is freshly made for each guest to their liking. It consists of eggs, French toast or blueberry pancakes, with yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, and coffee. Packed lunches are prepared in the morning to be taken on hikes. Lunches usually come with a deli meat sandwich, a trail mix, a fruit, cut vegetables, and a beverage. 

Tea, coffee, and homemade cakes and brownies are laid out in the living room area from late morning to early afternoon. Later in the afternoon, the kitchen will often prepare a cheese board of local cheddar with grapes and crackers for some prime snacking.

Dinner 

For dinner, the restaurant serves a three-course meal based on a weekly rotating menu of rustic local dishes. A typical meal starts with a hearty bean soup or zesty salad, followed by a main dish such as maple-glazed salmon fillet or barbecued ribs, with roasted sweet potato and coleslaw on the side, finished by a homemade dessert such as apple pie or carrot cake {cue the mouth-watering}. Dietary preferences can be accommodated with advance notice, and a vegetarian main is always available on the daily menu. Wine and beer are available for purchase as well.

Other Tips

elk lake getaway

{Photo credit: @elklakelodge}

Getting There

Getting to the lodge is easy. Elk Lake Lodge can be reached via the I-87 at Exit 29. Follow Blue Ridge Road, and then turn on to Elk Lake Road, to reach the lodge. 

When to Visit

As for the seasons its open for, the lodge is open every year from May to October. Check their calendar for specific opening and closing dates of the year and be sure to book a trip early. The spots tend to fill up quickly for busy weekends.

Have you visited Elk Lake Lodge? What was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments! 


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Yiwei was born and raised in China. She has lived extensively in Beijing and Hong Kong, before finally settling down in New York. She moved to Hoboken after a few years in Westchester and immediately felt at home here. Two years ago, she left her job at an investment bank to travel the world and explore her interests, and has since then taken on a few freelancing gigs in career coaching, college admission consulting, and writing. When she is not wandering wildly in the streets of Europe, Asia, or Latin America, she can be found sipping an espresso in one of Hoboken's coffee shops or trying out restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City area.