The beautiful town of Lake George in New York.

7 Of The Friendliest Towns In The Adirondack Mountains

Visit one of the small towns in the Adirondacks for a quintessentially New York experience wrapped in local culture and friendly residents happy to share Mother Nature's gifts that come with living a mountain lifestyle. The mountain dwellers are historically hardy people, having adapted to rougher conditions within their beautiful range, who value modernity while sticking to their roots with mountain ventures running through their blood. These friendly towns offer access to unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities for all tastes for a getaway from the city. 


The beautiful town of Keeseville, New York.

This nice, small town with its most popular natural attraction, Ausable Chasm, is a real prized gem of the all-around beautiful Adirondacks. Scale the scenic gorge with a rim hike, a through trek, or some rock climbing on the steeper sides of this "Grand Canyon of the East." The inviting little town with under 3,000 friendly residents is surrounded by scenic wanderings for all groups and levels, like Rainbow Falls, Column Rock, and the Mystic Gorge.

Keeseville is a real outdoor playground for nature lovers, beckoning for a taste of it all with unforgettable hiking ventures, rafting trips, and fun tubing down the river. The privately owned sandstone gorge bedazzles with views and beautiful waterfalls, while the town's rich history is proudly displayed at the North Star Underground Railroad Museum and iconic buildings like the Keeseville, NY, Stone Arch Bridge, which is one of the US' oldest. Mount Defiance, among other peaks, boasts unsurpassable views all around, and the shores of Lake Champlain call for a scenic drive.

Lake George

Spectacular Lake George in New York.

Lake George, the "Queen of American Lakes" and a popular Adirondack Mountain getaway in a small-town atmosphere in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York, offers quick access from numerous states and Canada. It is one of the top lakeside resort towns in the mountains, without the tourist trap vibe but with a homey atmosphere thanks to the friendly locals and ambient natural attractions like no other.

Enjoy active, leisurely, or mixed types of recreation, from luxury resorts and charming stays to rugged Adirondack hikes. Lake Geoge is an inviting base for vacation with plentiful shopping, dining, and drinking options, craft beverage tasting rooms, and family-friendly attractions. Find amusement parks with numerous mini golf courses around, or take a day trip to other popular nearby Adirondack historic sites and landmarks like Lake Placid.

Long Lake

Aerial view of the stunning town of Long Lake in New York.
Aerial view of the stunning town of Long Lake in New York.

The small town, full of friendly residents who tame the nature around them, is a popular destination for every group to attain the real Adirondack experience in its entirety. The town of around 1,000 welcoming residents in Hamilton County is prime for low-key getaways with family-friendly accommodations for weekend escapades through the countryside full of adventures for every taste. Long Lake is nestled on the southeast shore of its 14-mile-long, half-mile-wide namesake, just half an hour South of Tupper Lake and an hour north of Speculator.

The area with the US' lowest population density offers unreputable services to facilitate perfect immersion during nature excursions and entertainment in between. From spectacular seaplane activity to laidback meandering in a kayak along the lake's ins and outs, there's also the most scenic part of the 740-mile-long Northern Forest Canoe Trail for most avid explorers. Take a dry land trifecta on a hike up to Owl's Head Mountain and Fire Lookout through the pine-scented evergreens and awe-inspiring views that make you ravenous for a picnic spread and more sightseeing.

North Creek

Main Street in North Creek, New York.
Main Street in North Creek, New York. Image credit: Novis-M, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The little town in the picturesque embrace of the southern Adirondacks is a year-round friendly escape for any group on a mountain getaway from the city. Come in the summer to play hide and seek along the Hudson River Gorge Trail and in the namesake river's waters after a cooling post-hike dip. Enjoy mountain biking along the North Creek Ski Bowl, which sees most visitors in winter, along with the famous Gore Mountain Ski Resort for supreme skiing and snowboarding.

The quaint town with energetic locals in the midst of the awe-inspiring natural world also attracts whitewater rafters and kayakers, while the history-laden streets are delightful on a stroll between modern-day attractions. Stop by the North Creek Depot Museum with its unique displays and tales of North Creek and the area's cultural significance. Join the locals in the easy-going atmosphere of the Tannery Pond Concert Series and Adirondack Nationals Car Show, among other regular events, in the idyllic ambiance to which the majestic mountain views cater.

Old Forge, New York

People having a good time at a  water park in Old Forge, New York.
People having a good time at a  water park in Old Forge, New York.

This charming town bursts with friendliness amid the scenic Adirondacks' southwestern range. Full of natural beauty and cultural vitality, Old Forge, with its namesake lake, is an exquisite destination for all the region's finest, wrapped in a small-town embrace. Immerse yourself in the local lifestyle of days on the lake with calm waters and a beautiful backdrop for swimming, boating, or fishing. The dry land adventures are filled with sights and discoveries that fascinate all ages, regardless of the activity level.

Tackle the Bald Mountain Trail and Moss Lake Trail, encased in spectacular peaky vistas, or join in the fun of the enchanting Forest Water Safari water park—a popular family pastime to bond, play, and seek thrills over numerous rides and attractions. The quaint village is a perfect escape for culture vultures into an atmosphere charged with friendly vibes, like at the Annual Arts Festival and the regular Adirondack Woodsmen's Field Days year round. Whether you are seeking a quiet or fun-filled escape in the mountains, the Old Dome Village is a tasty slice of the ideal Adirondacks experience with natural ambiance and lively mountain vigor.

Tupper Lake

The picturesque community of Tupper Lake.
The picturesque community of Tupper Lake.

The town for all stargazers by night and water lovers by day stands its testament as the "Crossroads of the Adirondacks." Join in the quintessential experience with fresh mountain air and crystal-clear lakes for every group to reconnect with nature under the dominating Adirondacks. From breathtaking views of skies filled with stars roaming along the rolling hills to challenging miles of scenic hikes, the atmosphere only revs up excitement and hunger for more of the stunning Adirondacks. Grab some top-notch ice cream and donuts and head to the shores before an evening at the Adirondack Sky Centre & Observatory, which blows minds with its brilliant altitude and high-powered telescopes.

Tupper Lake is a hive of thrilling outdoor activities at every turn, unimpeded by that pesky big-city light pollution. It is a cozy, quirky town on the inside, surrounded by spectacular nature in Franklin County, with immediate access to the Northern end of the lake. The spirited locals host a fun environment to relax over easy-going pursuits and explore the lakeside town above the scenic treeline at the Wild Centre or a simple stroll along the decorated streets with quality amenities. The appreciated mountain peaks peak right back in generous nature displays between local hotspots like a 1950s diner, a craft brewery, and the sprinkling of artisanal shops throughout.


 Lake Algonquin in Wells, New York.
Lake Algonquin in Wells, New York.

The town just north of Hope and 15 minutes southeast of Speculator is a great rest-stop for the beach on a hot summer's day on a multi-destination weekend tour. With Lake Algonquin right in the heart and many natural wonders around, seek your fantastic beach escape just off Route 30 with a diving board and a public boat launch for boating and fishing from the middle of the lake. The nearby Auger Falls offers a wonderful hiking opportunity with a beautiful 40-foot cascade feeding the Sacandaga River.

The small town of Wells is a delicious slice of the Adirondacks and the epitome of countryside living on the Eastern shore of the scenery-adorned lake. Stroll around the ambient downtown with cozy cafes and charming cottages in the mountain air and pine scents from the gorgeous surrounding forests. Stop by the shiny new Wells Edge Country Store for lunch or a hand-scooped Italian ice in the summer, and visit in the fall for a painted mosaic of colors, and in the winter for the soothing icy presence of the local lake for strolls in the worry-free town of Wells.

Established in 1892 by the State of New York, the Adirondack Park protects the water and other resources in this naturally rich area and covers an area larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks all together. The largest park in the lower 48 states, with millions of acres of public and protected forest preserve, is a real playground for ecotourism and discrete recreation.

Choose a town with access to the serene ambiance of the majestic Adirondacks and experience the beauty of the region alongside nature-loving locals who like sharing their knowledge and secrets around the mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, and wild spaces. Plan visits to such towns for a perfect day trip, long weekend, or even a well-planned holiday vacation.

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