Experience autumn like you never have before in the Adirondacks
With one of the longest foliage seasons in the Northeast, fall colors are always at peak in the Adirondacks. Spanning more than six million acres, the Region is home to the largest protected natural area in mainland USA. I had an innate desire to explore the lakes, mountains and fall festivals that make this area special. As an urbanite I wanted to get in touch with nature for once.
This autumn, I challenged myself to go camping. Well…not quite camping – GLAMPING. For those that have never heard this term, it means glamour camping. Enter, Adirondack Safari; luxury glamping at it’s finest. Guests are provided a fully equiped safari style tent with beautifully designed interior complete with furniture, heating and a real bed. With assurance that I would be both “in touch with nature” and have a Tempur-Pedic bed, I was off to explore autumn in the Adirondacks - a dazzling forest of color.
To get the most out of the weekend, we headed upstate on Friday morning. After settling into our beautiful campsite and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed to Adirondack Extreme. It is the United States largest aerial treetop adventure course. They have over 1.5 miles of thrilling aerial adventures including wobbly bridges, climbing walls and swinging surprises. This is no spot for the weak at heart; we challenged our mind, body and spirit as the linear park got progressively challenging. Check out our video here.
After a fun, yet strenuous couple of hours we were hungry and stopped by Bistro Tallulah for dinner. Located in downtown Glens Falls, the restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Shawn Whalen. The cuisine is eclectic and creative. Casual Spanish, French and New Orleans traditions influence it. We had simple, yet elegant food that was packed with flavor. There is also an extensive wine list for wine lovers!
To get to the launch point, we had to ride in an Austrian Pinzagauer military off road vehicle. The whole ride is about 15 minutes and it’s very bumpy, but it made the journey to the top of the mountain more interesting. Once we got to the top and entered the zipline loading area, we were strapped to harnesses and lifted off the ground and shot down the mountain. Normally, the views from this point are stunning, however, it was foggy the day we went so we couldn’t see the beautiful mountains and lakes in the distance. That didn’t stop us having a blast as we sped by on our way down. Check out our video here.
An hour and a half north from Adirondack Safari, you’ll find the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks; Ausable Chasm. It’s far but a “must visit” if you’re visiting the Adirondacks. There is simply nothing else like it.
Hike, float and/or climb as you go back in time and experience one of the oldest natural attractions in the United States (est. 1870). The area is massive and we immersed ourselves in everything we could. Throughout the five hours, we explored Rainbow Falls, Elephant’s Head, Column Rock, Hyde’s Cave and the tranquil Mystic Gorge. Every moment of Ausable Chasm was awe-inspiring.
When you’re there, make sure to check out their adventure trail. This was by far the most beautiful and memorable adventure trail we have ever done. Throughout the experience, we traversed rock, climbed boulders, crossed over and learned about the unique history of the area. To ensure your safety, you’ll be paired with an extraordinary guide. I’m still dreaming about this experience. The views were unparalleled to what you get with a standard entry to Ausable Chasm so make sure you sign up for the adventure trail. Click here to see stunning photos of our full experience.
For dinner, we headed to the grocery store to pick up firewood, charcoal and BBQ materials to cook on the campgrounds. Adirondack Safari supplies guests with a fire pit, tiki lights and a BBQ so we were ready to grill a delicious camp side meal. To make our lives easy, we grilled hot dogs, sausage and steak. As the food was sizzling, I noted how perfect it was to camp in the fall. There are minimal mosquitos, less people and the chilly temperatures make the campfire cozy and welcoming. Plus knowing that I was going to sleep in a beautiful tent with a king size Tempur-Pedic mattress and a room heater helped ease my camping woes. Adirondack Safari is the ideal answer to anyone who is hesitant to camp.
It was a true lazy Sunday. We woke up amongst the trees and birds chirping, and drifted over to the smoky haze of the campfire. Fried eggs came first, then bacon and sausage.
Like clockwork, right as we finished eating it began to rain. It was time for indoor activities. The Adirondacks boast over 40 breweries. I knew this would keep us busy for hours. They even have tours, such as Hobby Trails Brew Bus, that will escort beer enthusiasts to multiple breweries in one day. Next time we visit, we’re definitely going to check that out, however, this time we decided to brewery hop ourselves since we had a DD (designated driver). What better way to end our journey than with a pint of local beer while the gazing over a dazzling forest of color?
First stop was Adirondack Pub & Brewery for six 4oz beers made only 30 feet away. They brew more than 25 all-natural, non-pasteurized craft ales conditioned and bottled on-site and offer tours on select days during the week. It was a great local spot with low prices. For the beer flight it was only $10!
Next was Davidson Brothers Brewing Company. It is a brewpub that opened in 1996 and part of the microbrewing revolution. Their signature series is a Scottish Ale, an Oatmeal Stout, a British Brown Ale, an Irish red and a traditional IPA. Order their ample 6-beer sampler and try 6-oz of any of their beers. You choose!
Our last stop was Coopers Cave & Ale House. They offer traditional English-style ales, porters, and stouts. A family-owned and operated company, sample brews made from some of the finest ingredients available, including specialty malted barley. Here you can choose any six of their beers for the flight. Their signature flavor is a blueberry beer. It was unique and flavor filled.
After three incredible breweries, and 37 more to go, we said, “See you next time” to the Adirondacks. It was a beautiful, action packed weekend filled with delicious food, awe-inspiring sites and unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re visiting the area, make sure to check out VisitAdirondacks.com. They have tons of information on things to do, restaurants, lodging and much more.