Our Family Staycation

Last summer feels like a lifetime ago, but I was just sitting here thinking about the “staycation” my husband, along with my kids and niece, took while his brother was here visiting from North Dakota. While I had to sit out most of the fun because I was working, I loved hearing my kids excitedly tell me about all of the adventures they went on. They hiked mountains, climbed fire towers and paddled rivers.  I was so glad they got to spend time outside and exploring our amazing home.

Pillsbury Mountain 
Pillsbury Fire Tower

Located down the Perkins Clearing Road in between Indian Lake and Speculator is Pillsbury Mountain. If you can make it all the way to the trail head driving (high clearance, all-wheel drive vehicles recommended!) the hike to the tower is only 1.6 miles.  Views are limited until you climb the tower, but once you reach the top you will be able to see Snowy Mountain, the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, and the Cedar River Flow! They did this hike on a gorgeous blue bird day and could see for miles from the top of the tower!

West Branch of the Sacandaga River Kayaking the West Branch of the Sacandaga River

Later on in the week, they took a couple of kayaks we already owned as well as a few rented from CampStore and headed to the put in by the trail head to Good Luck Lake on Route 10 in Arietta. For this trip my father and father in law joined them, making this a big family outing! The sun shone on them all day as they paddled and fished. My 10 year old was so excited to tell me all about learning to master a single kayak by herself. After a few hours of paddling, they stopped to have a little lunch on the riverbank. Once they finished, they continued on down the river. Thanks to some pre-planning and the rearrangement of vehicles, they were able to hop off the river at the recently improved access to the West Branch of the Sacandaga River just south of the Shaker Place pull off, avoiding having to paddle back up stream. This trip awakened a love of kayaking in my children and was the inspiration of the purchase of our very own tandem kayak.

Kane Mountain Kane Mountain in the rain

On another day, they headed back to lower Arietta to take a crack at Kane Mountain. This fairly easy summit can typically be done in about three hours as a loop, or as and out and back hike. This day they weren’t so lucky with the weather! Once they got to the summit, it started to rain quite hard so they ended up having lunch under the shelter of the cab of the fire tower. Even through the rain they had great views from the top of the tower. The kids were less than amused by how soaked they were by the time they got back to the car, but they had fun nonetheless!

Adirondack Experience Museum on Blue Mountain Lake The chair in front of the Adirondack Experience Museum on Blue Mountain Lake

To round out the staycation, we took a trip to one of my favorite places in the Adirondacks- The Adirondack Experience Museum on Blue Mountain Lake! Luckily, our trip coincided with their annual Rustic Furniture Fair. We got to check out all of the awesome exhibits as well as window shop for some of my dream furniture. We had a delicious lunch at the Lake View Café, where the views did not disappoint. We rounded out our trip with a mandatory stop in the gift shop where you are sure to find an awesome souvenir.  We also made sure to stop and get the traditional photo on the giant chair outside before we left.

While we don’t yet know what this summer is going to bring, I hope my family’s experiences have inspired you to start thinking about your next trip to the Adirondacks! In the meantime, be sure to visit the Adirondack Experience Museum on Blue Mountain Lake virtually as they are not planning to open this season. Just remember that no matter how this summer plays out, when the clouds clear and the dust settles, we will be here!

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