Every winter (and summer), we sneak out to the little town we love in the base of the Adirondack Mountains. It’s a nice little escape from the big city of Utica A little joke about Utica being a big city, but it is a city, and heading north 48 miles is a TOTAL change of scenery. Fresh mountain air, snowmobiles, lots of snow, tall pine trees, etc. The ride is nice as we begin our climb into the Adirondacks on a long and winding 2 lane highway.
It’s close enough to home to make it an easy drive, but far enough away to feel like you’re getting away. Each Fall we usually take the train from Utica to Old Forge for some leisurely leaf peeping. It’s a blast! Old Forge is the heart of the Fulton Chain of Lakes and a huge tourist destination in the summer and winter. In the summer, families spend time at “camp” partaking in lake and boating activities, fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, shopping, and visiting the water park.
The winter is all about snowmobiling and skiing, and Old Forge gets a TON of snow- an average of 281 inches per year! This weekend was “Snodeo” which kicks off the snowmobiling season. People from all over, even from NYC and New Jersey, come to Old Forge to partake in the festivities. We don’t snowmobile, but we are fascinated by it and love watching the snowmobilers. It’s a huge sport up there.
We always go to a restaurant called Tony Harpers first thing when we get to Old Forge for their secret recipe whiskey wings. We aren’t big wing people, but we enjoy them occasionally…….like when we go to Old Forge!
After Tony Harper’s we head up the road to a place called Daikers. Driving to Daikers means going all the way through town. The lake is almost frozen. Notice the Lifeguard on Duty Sign (weather permitting) and the diving platform? When it’s this cold (12 degrees F), it’s hard to imagine it gets warm enough to swim, but it does.
And the water park covered in snow, lol!
I love Daikers. It’s built on 4th Lake and is a scenic, cozy, cabin kinda place with a huge deck overlooking the lake. There’s a big open fire right when you walk in and it smells amazing. The snowmobilers take off their gloves and warm them up on the hearth. In the winter, it can only be accessed by vehicles with 4 wheel drive or snowmobiles.
There’s a sign telling you so, albeit not a big sign. You really should listen to it or you’ll end up like this guy. He jack knifed. You just can’t get up this hill without 4 wheel drive and especially towing something! Oh, and that’s Daikers! Cheesy little Frosty snowman greeting us.
Still very early in the day, so not that many snowmobiles yet. This lot will be COMPLETELY full by 8 pm.
So we made it! Time to eat some more munchies and warm up by the fire. We were the only people here NOT in snowmobile attire. We really stood out!
Fourth Lake is so pretty. Not frozen enough yet. By mid January – February, this will be wide open space for the snowmobile peeps to really fly! I’m just not that brave!