Simply Stunning: A Weekend (or More!) at Great Camp Sagamore

Simply Stunning: A Weekend (or More!) at Great Camp Sagamore

Live the Adirondack Great Camp experience

Picture it: Sagamore Lake, 1918. Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt has invited you to her palatial, bark-trimmed summer estate. You spend your days playing croquet on the lawn, bowling in the covered (yet outdoor) bowling alley, enjoying exquisite dinners with fascinating companions, fishing, and paddling. At night you snuggle under wool blankets on big, fluffy beds made of tree branches with a fire roaring in the stone fireplace. Now picture this: Sagamore Lake, 2024. You're doing all of these things, and more, except that you didn't need to get a coveted invitation to indulge. You just needed to drive to Raquette Lake and relax. Tucked away on a sublime lake in the wilderness of the Adirondack Experience, amid gorgeous forest, Great Camp Sagamore is a truly unique treasure in the Adirondack wilderness: a preserved Great Camp, now open to the public for history tours and memorable overnight stays. It's not a hotel, but a completely unique way to be immersed the life of a Great Camp. Now that you're picturing it, let's explore!

Two red Adirondack chairs on a small porch overlook a calm lake and trees.

What is Great Camp Sagamore?

Well, in one word: heaven. In a few more words, it is a gem of classic Adirondack architecture and a complex of unique, historic buildings, twenty-seven of them, in fact! The Sagamore complex includes the lakeside Main Lodge, with it's bark-trimmed porches and big lake views; the Dining Hall, which has seen many meals over time, with guests from high society to movie star Gary Cooper; the Wigwam, a cozy, rustic furniture-filled lodge tucked into the woods with porches overlooking a burbling stream; individual cottages to create a home away from home; the playhouse, where many an evening has been spent by friends and family around the fire, and where today many programs enjoy the relaxed space. The complex also includes the area that would have been utilized by the camp's staff: the barn, where now workshops host classes in carving, packbasket making, and boat-building, plus history displays; the schoolhouse, where the children of camp staff, who lived on the grounds, began their education.

A rustic barn now displays history interpretation panels and displays.
In other words, time spent at Great Camp Sagamore means immersing yourself in an entire world of Adirondack splendor, relaxation, history, and adventure.

Uniquely Adirondack experiences

One of the hallmarks of Sagamore's summer season is the selection of curated, themed weekends that offer travelers and visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in Adirondack history, arts, crafts, and music, with old friends and new. A program weekend is an amazing way to revel in the comforts and relaxation of Sagamore, plus it also means you can do something extra special with your spouse, a dear friend, or even your grandchild. Going solo? No problem! Travelers who meet at weekends such as the Anne LaBastille Women's Writing Weekend find that they become fast friends and stay in touch, even years after their first visit!

Paddlers in silver canoes depart from a small row of docks on a sparkling blue lake with wooded shoreline in the background.

These program weekends, which often have a creative, educational element, include lodging (anywhere from two to five nights, depending on your program), three meals a day in the incredible Great Camp Sagamore dining room, use of canoes and kayaks, history tours, use of the historic bowling alley, swimming, any educational instruction, and more!

Among the incredible opportunities coming up in 2024:

  • Grandparent-Grandchild Camp. One of the most popular, this recurring program gives multiple generations the opportunity to gather together, play, explore, and create incredible memories together.
  • Black Fly Beer Camp. Grown-ups only! This one is for the connoisseurs. Enjoy beer tastings, brewing lessons, presentations from Adirondack brewers, plus a dinner cruise in nearby Raquette Lake.
  • Plein Air Painting Workshop. The Adirondacks are known for inspiring generations of artists, so why not join that grand tradition in one of the most beautiful spots around? Spend five nights exploring your talents and the stunning landscape under the guidance of an expert.
  • Durant's Gilded Age Camps. History lovers, this one is perfect for you! Enjoy historian-led tours not just of Sagamore, but of William West Durant's other Adirondack creations, private Camp Uncas and Pine Knot, as well as a luncheon on a replica steamboat on Raquette Lake, sunrise paddling, and more.
  • Stargazing. Whether you're a seasoned stargazer or don't know your Big Dipper from your Cassiopeia, this is an experience for you! Enjoy the camp's dark skies with presentations on telescopes and binoculars, learning the wonders of the night sky, and guided stargazing!

A brightly lit room is filled with smiling grandparents and grandchildren making colorful crafts.

A close-up of the two lanes of an antique, historic outdoor bowling alley.

A group of people stand in a semi-circle on a history tour at an Adirondack Great Camp.

Vacation simply

In recent years, Great Camp Sagamore has also offered "Simply Sagamore" weekends; instead of joining an education program or event, visitors can simply relax. Great Camp Sagamore isn't just one building, it's an entire complex and there are many ways to fill your day. Your days are up to you, from total relaxation and quiet time to endless outdoor adventure.

  • Take a hike! Great Camp Sagamore has 12 miles of hiking trails, for those wanting to stretch their legs and take in the extraordinary scenery. The trails are also a wonderful way to do some birding.
  • Cool off in Sagamore Lake. Paddle before breakfast, or go for a dip whenever you like, the opportunities are there, all day, every day.
  • Get playful. Want to play croquet? You can do that here!
  • Relax for a moment, or two, or twelve. Sagamore is abundant with porches and perches, all with the camp's distinctive red Adirondack chairs. You might like to sit on the porch of the Main Lodge and watch the water for loons, or find a quiet, shady spot overlooking the brook to indulge in a good book.

A curved dining nook is filled with windows overlooking a blue lake. A round table sits in front of the windows.

Simply Sagamore weekends include your lodging, with a range of choices, use of the boat house, bowling alley, and three fantastic meals a day in the Dining Hall. Seating is family-style, at big tables, giving visitors the opportunity to make new friends and get to know other travelers from near and far. The Dining Hall isn't a restaurant, but rest assured that all of the meal options are hearty, full of flavor and fresh ingredients, and crafted with heaps of Adirondack hospitality.

A weekend at Great Camp Sagamore means taking time away from our busy everyday lives; chances are, your cell phone won't work here, but think of it as a gift. Instead of screen time, you have me time, "me paddling a secluded lake" time, or family time with a splash of paddling, pancakes, and historic perfection.

Great Camp Sagamore is located close to stunningly scenic Raquette Lake, where you can enjoy more lakeside dining, boating, and historic boat tours of the lake and its own historic camps and sights.

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