How to find a weekend camp in the Adirondacks?

adventures in adirondacks wilderness illustration cropSean emails (emphasis added):

I'm looking for recommendations for a weekend camp/cabin rental somewhere up in the Adirondacks. My desires are simple - on a body of water. I'm not looking for anything fancy or expensive - simpler is MUCH preferred. We like to swim, kayak, hike, have campfires, grill and just relax. My wife and I are looking to begin what we hope to become a yearly tradition for our new family. Where have you, your families or your friends gone that you might recommend?
Do you have any tips for searching for something like this, whether through realtors, any site that's specific to this kind of search, etc? Three years of NY living don't provide me with the strong base of relatives / schoolmates / neighbors who I can mine for recommendations. Any thoughts / help would be greatly appreciated!

If have a specific suggestion, by all means please share. But what we really like about Sean's question is that he's asking how to go about finding a place like this. Sometimes that's the best way to help someone.

So, suggestions for how Sean should start looking into? This summer is nearing an end, but it could help him (and others) get a jump on next summer.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Ask AOA: Weekend trips in the Adirondacks?
+ How to hike the High Peaks and not be That Guy
+ "The birthplace of the American vacation"

illustration from Adventures in the wilderness, or, Camp-life in the Adirondacks (1869) via


Adirondack Vacation Rental is like AirBnB specific for the 'daks.

Agree with Colleen, we have had great luck with both and also - you can specify NY and then ADK's. Huge selection of homes, from camps to mansions. Lots of additional filters such as # of rooms, dog friendly, close to town, etc.
Good luck!

Crosswinds or Clayton's cottages are two very nice, affordable options in Inlet, NY. Which is about 10 minutes away from Old Forge. They both let you rent small houses/cabins for the summer.

Just came back from Paradox Lake campgrounds. Very close walk to the water from the camp site, they have kayak/canoe/rowboat rentals available. Cheap, amazing, awesome place. My new favorite camping spot nowadays.

There are two cute, small islands within easy boating distance from the beach. Also, there's a hiking trail only accessible by boat not far away.

Davies and Davies realtors specialize in rentals on Lake George, and there really seems to be a wide range or price and amenities.

Growing up (I'm in my mid-30s now), my family drove from WNY to Indian Lake every year and stayed at Smith's Cottages. I have many great memories of those vacations. I just saw a family friend my age post photos of her and her kids on vacation there recently - I was so jealous! Hopefully some day I'll have kids and can bring them there.

For isolated shacks, I don't know. But if you're okay with basic cabins or less-basic cottages in a campground setting, Old Forge Camping Resort. Has its own little pond, and is very close to the Fulton Chain.

I'd second the recommendation of Crosswinds or Clayton's, very close by, but have never been able to get in there on short notice.

I have felt a little more secure renting from realtors rather than individuals. Problems might arise and if they do, it will be better to deal with someone who is a professional. Not all realty companies are equal, however. Keep your expectations low and cross your fingers that the photos are accurate. Rental properties tend to be "rough around the edges".

I stayed at this place through airbnb. It was lovely, right on the river, big, clean, comfortable and quiet. The road is close by so you do hear some cars now and then but not a big deal. I think airbnb fees are a bit high though.

The Cabins at Lake Desolation

I've never stayed at any of them, but my brother in law lives on Lake Desolation. It's 20 minutes from downtown Saratoga & the same distance, maybe a bit less, from Sacandaga.

Morningstar Camps & Cottages in Minerva. I have friends who have stayed here every year for fifteen years.
Very nice rustic log cabins. Fireplaces, BBQ’s, full kitchens, beach. Caters to families. Clean & very inexpensive. Between Schroon Lake and Gore Mountain on Lake Minerva.
67 Longs Hill Road
Minerva, NY 12851

Our tradition is Forked Lake, near Long Lake. Rent a canoe and boat to your isolated waterfront site. $18 a night waterfront? Who can beat that?

My family started going to Schroon Lake after WW2.
It is very reasonable, less commercial, and more family friendly than Lake George. Has square dancing in the town park on Wed, summer stock, folk singing, plenty of outdoor activities. Try Freedman Realty.

Try '', we rent our cabin through this web site and there are several other listings as well. On line rentals of vacation homes directly from the owner is a nice way to get a good deal on a great vacation.

If you're looking for an airbnb-style service, another one to check out is When I checked it, it seemed to more lakefront rentals in the Adirondacks than I could find on airbnb.

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