2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

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   COLORFUL AUTUMN DRIVE THROUGH NORTHERN
 NH, VT, & NY PLUS CAMPING AT NORTH POLE RESORT
IN WILMINGTON, NY (NE ADIRONDACK MTNS.)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

 
"Encompassing one-third of the total land area of New York State, the Adirondack Park is   
unique in the United States. Within its boundaries are vast forests and rolling farmlands, towns
and villages, mountains and valleys, lakes, ponds, and free-flowing rivers, private lands and
public forest. The Adirondacks are known for their extensive wild landscapes . . ."
 
~ New York State Parks website
 
 
Sounds like our kind of place!

In our quest to follow the autumn leaf color south from the Canadian Maritimes to Florida we decided to go a little farther west of New England to the six-million acre Adirondack Mountain Park in north central New York. This is our first time in this area of the state -- and we like it a whole lot better than the more populated eastern seaboard part!

Yesterday we drove 225 miles from Twin Mountain RV Park in Twin Mountain, NH to the North Pole Resort in Wilmington, NY.

Here's our route, for those seeking a scenic route in this area US 302 west to I-93 north. North on I-91 at St. Johnsbury, VT. West on US 2 to I-89 north through Burlington, VT. West on US 2 over the Lake Champlain islands. South on I-87 in NY to 9N at exit 34. South to Jay, then west on NY 86 to Wilmington, NY.

Traffic on a weekday was moderate, the road surfaces were mostly good for hauling a 5th-wheel coach, and the weather was mostly good. We ran into fog into the morning that limited the photos I could take through northern Vermont but I was able to get a few good shots along the way.

The scenery through the northern part of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York was a beautiful as you'd expect in mountainous terrain. We were so far north we got within a mile of Canada at Rouses Point. It's located at the northern end of Lake Champlain, on the VT-NY state border.

One of the most scenic parts of the drive was past Lake Champlain Islands. This looks like an idyllic place to live or vacation:

 

Driving along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain above Burlington, VT, around the northern end of the lake, and back down the western side we felt like we were on the coast again. Even though this is an inland fresh water lake, it's a very LARGE one. OK, it's not as big as the Great Lakes, but it's the largest lake we've circled in recent memory.

While we were loading up on supplies at Walmart and Sam's Club in Plattsburg, NY there were seagulls in the parking lot -- and French-speaking shoppers in the store.

NORTH POLE "RESORT"

The North Pole Resort, which includes two separate campgrounds, an inn, several cabins and cottages, and a wine shop borders on the AuSable River. The river is wide at Wilmington, apparently dammed up into Lake Everest.

This is the view of the river from the picnic area a couple hundred feet from our site:

Rarely do we stay anywhere called a "resort" but this one is more our style. Our site is in the section designated "resort" but I'd put it in the "RV park" category.

We are in a back in site with 50-amp electric service, water, sewer, cable TV, and WiFi. Our Verizon phone and MiFi signals are adequate. We have a long, wide site with a picnic table, fire ring, small trees, a gravel pad, grass on either side, and trees/shrubs behind us:

Our rate with a 15% "September Special" discount is $273.70 for seven days. This site is regularly $46/day.

The door faces east toward the river (can't quite see it from our site, but it's close) and the south side is shaded with tall maples, pines, and other trees.

Even though we are at a lower elevation than we were in Twin Mountain, NH the leaves are quite pretty here, too. From the campground we have views toward several mountains and colorful hillsides:

This is a very attractive RV park that is about 1/2 full at mid-week. We didn't have any close neighbors until the weekend.

We enjoy going down to the river at different times of the day to see the scenic views in different lighting conditions.

 

 

This tent site is close to the water:

The cabins are behind the RV park:

There is also a nice path through the woods where we can walk the dogs:

There are more hiking-biking paths in the larger section of North Pole that is located down the road about half a mile. It's called the 100 Acre Woods Campground.

I believe most sites in that section have full hookups and some can accommodate big rigs. They are arranged more informally in the forest and have more space between them. If we'd known the difference we probably would have reserved a spot there:

 

North Pole Resort sells wine and beer so I stopped in the office/general store to check out their wine selection. I ran out of my favorite Chateau Morrisette wine from Virginia before we left Prince Edward Island. I've heard New York produces some excellent wine and I wanted to try some.

New York law forbids the sale of wine and beer in the same building (pretty odd, if you ask me) so the owners had to build a separate small building next to the office to sell wine. They just built it three months ago. They have a good selection of wine, which cost more to stock than the cost of the building. They hope to recoup the cost of the building this year.

The owner showed me about 15 wines produced in New York. I purchased two red wines from the Finger Lakes area. The one I opened first, a red table wine called "Game Bird Red" from Heron Hill Vineyards in Hammondsport, NY, tastes good for a $9.99 bottle of wine; others were more like $18-20. The second bottle, also just $10, is a blush red called "Sweet Gus" by Hunt Country Vineyards. (It was good when I drank it later during our journey toward Florida.)

We enjoyed our week at North Pole Resort. We did some interesting day trips, hikes, and bike rides, which I'll describe in subsequent entries, and we made some new RVing friends.

If we ever go back to this area we'll stay at this "resort" because of its convenient location to Whiteface Mountain and nice hiking-cycling venues but we'll stay in the more informal 100 Acre Woods camping section.

Next entryhiking to the summit of Whiteface Mountain, with views of scenic Lake Placid

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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