Western Adirondack Lakes Loop

Route Description

Connect from the 1000 Islands-Adirondack Foothills Loop to the Western Adirondacks Loop to explore the some of the most remote and scenic wilderness in the Adirondacks. Along the way, charming towns and villages offer plenty of places to refuel. Highlights along this route include the town of Lowville, which is home to the annual Cream Cheese Festival, American Maple Museum and Tug Hill Vineyards. Enjoy a flight of wines made from grapes grown just a few feet away, and sample an array of locally made cheeses and treats, including the world-famous Croghan Bologna and cheese curds.

Continue north on Route 812 to Bonaparte’s Cave State Forest and enjoy a leisurely stroll on nature trails where, according to local lore, Napoleon’s brother once eluded assassins. From here, head east on Route 3 through Star Lake, home of Benson Mines, and on to Cranberry Lake, the third largest lake in the Adirondacks. Cranberry Lake Lodge offers waterfront lodging, dining and a pub.

From Cranberry Lake, continue to Tupper Lake, home of The Wild Center and festivals including Woodsmen’s Days, held annually in July, and the Mount Arab Masonic Lodge Flea Market in August. From Tupper, head south on Route 30 to Long Lake, stopping at Hoss’s Country Corner to stock up on everything from camping gear to bait, and Adirondack furnishings and rugged clothing items. In Blue Mountain Lake, visit the Adirondack Museum, known as the “Smithsonian of the Adirondacks,” take a scenic boat tour of the lake with Blue Mountain Boat Livery before fueling up for the return ride west via NYS Route 28.

Stop in the town of Inlet and enjoy a variety of Adirondack activities, including hiking, bird watching, boating and annual events including the Summer Concert Series, Arts in the Park, and the Black Fly Challenge, a rigorous mountain biking race through the area’s remotest corners.

Just past Inlet, the town of Old Forge is home to the “Adirondack’s Most General Store,” the Old Forge Hardware with its labyrinth of rooms filled with everything from gourmet foods to historical books, clothing to actual hardware. Return to Lowville via Route 12 north, stopping in Port Leyden and Lyons Falls to stretch and enjoy casual lakefront dining at Slickers Adirondack Tavern, or any one of the local’s favorite dining spots.

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