Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of North Hudson, NY, the magical Elk Lake Lodge is a perfect destination for those seeking adventure, privacy, and Adirondack wilderness immersion.

Located at the end of a five mile dirt road, inside the 12,000 acre Elk Lake Clear Pond Preserve, the lodge is ringed by the Adirondack Park’s High Peaks Wilderness. Visitors are treated to the most spectacular mountain views from most of the lodge, including Dix, Macomb, Nippletop, and the Colvin Range. The lodge’s guests are the sole visitors to this incredible landscape; the public is not permitted inside the preserve.

All skill levels and ages are welcome to Elk Lake Lodge’s many adventures, from short hikes and paddles, to all-day Adirondack excursions. Included in the lodge’s pricing are three meals per day; breakfast and dinner are served in its full-service restaurant, while lunch is prepared to-go style, so you can enjoy on the water or nearby trails. Before dinner, snack plates hit the lobby at 5 pm, to be enjoyed by the fireplace. Alcohol, including bottles of wine, can be purchased onsite.

Accommodations at Elk Lake Lodge range from rustic cabins and basic lodge rooms to luxurious suites. Each room is equipped with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. Some rooms feature fireplaces, perfect for chilly Adirondack nights.

Whether you’re hoping to spend your time hiking, swimming, fishing or simply soaking in the views of the Adirondack Mountains – Elk Lake Lodge is the perfect destination for a most memorable Adirondack adventure. Below, we’re sharing a few highlights, plus a guide for the greater region, known as the Adirondack Hub.

The Great Outdoors: Hiking, Paddling, and More at Elk Lake Lodge

Hikers of all skill levels will be delighted inside Elk Lake Lodge’s private preserve, with 40+ miles of trails.

It’s no secret that the Escape crew loves hiking; if you’re shopping around for an epic hiking trip without having to rough it, this is your spot.

With 40+ miles of trails over 12,000 acres, opportunities for hikers of all skill levels are available within the preserve. At check-in, guests are given paper maps; the knowledgable staff can help you pick the best trail for you. But below, a handy shortlist of some favorites.

For a mellow, scenic hike check out North View Point (2.2 miles); it’s especially lovely during golden hour, after you’ve likely already spent a day outdoors. For more of a challenge, the (3.8 mile) climb to Lightning Hill isn’t for the meek (or easily disoriented) but its views of Elk Lake far below are worth it. On your way up or down, don’t miss the short spur to Richard’s Fen, a lush grass meadow and marsh surrounded by forest. Both these hikes begin at Elk Lake Lodge.

Further into the preserve, you won’t believe how scenic the Clear Pond Trail is; bonus points for its lakeside clearings with benches (perfect for your to-go lunches from the lodge.) After lunch, do the short but steep out-and-back up to Grandpa Pete Mountain for yet another stunning overlook. The out-and-back from Clear Pond Trail to Grandpa Pete Mountain is 3 miles total.

For those looking to get on the water, boating and fishing are available on 600-acre Elk Lake with complimentary kayaks, rowboats and canoes. Explore Elk Lake’s inlets, bays, and many islands – and keep your eyes and ears open for loons. Fishing and fly-fishing spots are abundant, too.

Beyond Elk Lake Lodge: Exploring the Adirondack Hub Region, and Nearby Schroon Lake, NY

Make an afternoon of visiting nearby Schroon Lake, visiting its brewery, charming downtown and lakeside beach.

Given its remote location – plus tons to do in its massive 12,000 acre nature preserve – it’s easy to understand the allure of checking in and not leaving Elk Lake Lodge. But make a note to explore the region during your visit; this area dubbed the “Adirondack Hub” is known for its roadside waterfalls, pristine wilderness and charming downtowns. We’ve picked a few highlights below.

Twenty minutes from the lodge, Paradox Brewery is a fun way to spend an afternoon, sampling craft beer made with water from granite 600 feet below the Adirondack Park. The beer alone is worth the stop, but the surrounding mountain views are stunning too – enjoy both from their plentiful outdoor seating on the deck or beer garden. Visitors can grab a bite here, too.

From Elk Lake Lodge, the nearest town is Schroon Lake (pronounced “skroon“) whose charming downtown is located near the top of its 9-mile long namesake lake. This cute town has lots to offer, whether you’re looking to hit the beach, see some sights or go shopping for souvenirs.

Speaking of shopping, bring home some Adirondack-inspired decor from Pine Cone Mercantileor stock up on seasonal Adirondack produce, meats and more from its adjoining Pine Cone Provisions. Consider this a one-stop shop: there’s a bakery here, too, and all three are conveniently located next to Nine Mile Coffee, serving breakfast and lunch fare alongside its delicious coffee. If you’re in town for dinner, check out Sticks and Stones for wood-fired pizza in an Adirondack lodge-meets-bar atmosphere. (It’s open for weekend lunch, as well.)

A grey heron takes flight on Lake Schroon, NY. Photo: Erin Lindsey/Escape Brooklyn.

To explore the famous 9-mile long Schroon Lake itself, rent a kayak or SUP from Schroon Lake Marina (~$70/day) and explore its magical waters; within minutes, our crew spotted a pair of loons, and a grey heron. Marina staff can help you plan a route, including a paddle up the Schroon River. Of note: their fleet of watercraft also includes motorboats including pontoons, if that’s your thing.

Last, there’s no more memorable way to beat the summer heat like a dip in a lake surrounded by the stunning Adirondack Mountains. Hit the town beach in Schroon Lake, surrounded by picturesque mountain vistas. Other nearby locations with town beaches include the communities of Newcomb, Minerva, and North Hudson – all part of this stunning landscape known as the Adirondack Hub.

The road heading toward Elk Lake Lodge Preserve, in the Adirondack Hub region.

This post was made in collaboration with Adirondack Hub; all views and recommendations are our own.