A Day (or Weekend) in Old Forge

Old Forge is located on the western edge of the Adirondacks. It’s definitely busy in summer. It sort of resembles a beach town, which it is in a way, yet with so much more to offer. On the shores of First Lake in the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Old Forge is the place to find a variety of restaurants, souvenir shopping, go-karts, mini-golf, and ice cream, and nearby you can find adventure outfitters for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, horseback riding, river rafting, and so on. Lots of information is available at the hamlet’s official website, so follow this link for up to date information.

A family favorite is certainly Enchanted Forest and Water Safari, which according to WKTV, was just ranked as the 4th best water park in the USA and 17th in the world by Trip Advisor. Read more here. There are many reasons to love this water park, but here are a couple:

  • The admission price is reasonable when compared with other water parks.
  • They allow you to bring your own food into the park in a cooler and eat in designated areas.
  • The lifeguards actually pay attention and enforce the rules, so it’s safe and fun.
  • It’s clean.
  • When the kids (or you) need a break from the sun, the Enchanted Forest section of the park is an old-fashioned trip through fairy tale land, and it’s well shaded.
  • Many rides have heated water, which is nice for the somewhat cooler Adirondack weather.
  • Their food selections are more varied than many amusement parks, including their buffet-style family dinner at the end of the day.

If water parks aren’t your thing, there are plenty of natural places to swim, particularly First Lake or Fourth Lake. If you’d like to take a boat ride but aren’t up for paddling yourself around, try a lake cruise with Old Forge Lake Cruises. It’s also fun to take a ride on the historic Adirondack Scenic Railroad from nearby Thendara. Personally, I think the Haunted History Excursion sounds the most fun, but we haven’t had the chance to try that one out yet. We did a ride with a magician when our kids were younger, and that was cute and enjoyable.

There are a number of hiking trails, and Bald Mountain is a local favorite with great views of the region from the tower at the top. Alternatively, you could take a ride up the McCauley Mountain Chairlift, which is a ski mountain in winter time, but a nice picnic spot in summer.

If you stay for a long weekend, be sure to check out the Adirondack Experience, a museum that is great for all ages and that gives visitors a great sense of the history of the Adirondacks as a region. Without exaggeration, I can safely say it’s one of the best museums I have ever been to anywhere in the world.

And if you choose to visit Old Forge this weekend and stay over Saturday night, head to View to see Nick Ziobro perform live at 7:30 pm. He is a multi-talented singer and performer who is now based in New York City, but he went to Fayetteville-Manlius High School and has since performed all over the country in prestigious venues. It would be a treat to see him perform live in concert.

Whatever you choose to do, have a fantastic weekend!

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