The best summer getaway to beat the heat in New York State is Loon Lake, in the Adirondack mountains. The air is so cool, so crisp, so clean...It's wonderful to get away from the city and breathe in the pine-scented air of the mountains surrounding Loon Lake.
Loon Lake has these additional advantages: it's accessible, it has boating, sailing, camping, cabins, swimming, all kinds of water sports, all kinds of summer fun for the kids, to recommend it. There are hiking trails all around the lake, with breathtaking views of Loon Lake, set like a sapphire in the palm of the forrest's hand.
It has loons! Loons are these marvelous birds that look like ducks and sound like nothing else you've ever heard. Their haunting cry is unforgettable once heard.
The Call of the Loons
Loon Lake is part of the Adirondack Park, and part of the large 2.3 million acres of Forest Preserve, constitutionally protected against development. This preservation of wildlife habitat and clean watershed is critical, and becomes even more critical, as our natural resources of clean air and clean water are befouled, polluted and used up.
That is much of the reason Loon Lake is at the very top of my list of summer getaway destinations. The whole area is so completely unspoiled! Loon Lake is WONDERFUL to canoe across--if you want to rest for a few minutes, there are two islands, Blythewood Island and Khachadourian Island, which are heavily wooded arms of land, about in the middle of the largest part of Loon Lake. You can envision being back in the days of the first explorers. You might expect the Last of the Mohicans to appear; or the Deerslayer to come out of the woods at any moment. It's so magical, so very beautiful.
To my mind, one of the HUGE plusses about Loon Lake, is that powerboats are banned. There is no whine of motors roaring across the lake, creating a wake to swamp your canoe and scaring all the wildlife.
If you're a fisherman, you'll also appreciate the ban on powerboats! And Loon Lake is RICH in fish! Sunfish, rock bass, perch, northern pike, and largemouth bass are fecundly prolific on Loon Lake.
The best vacation I ever had was an impulsive getaway to Loon Lake. It was August, and sweltering HOT, inside my little apartment. I looked online for a deal, because my previous vacation plan to visit a friend on Fire Island (New York City area) had fallen through unexpectedly. I stumbled across a summer cabin rental on Loon Lake, in the Adirondacks, which was going begging. The price was within the range of my pocketbook, so I figured, why not?
I drove up to Loon Lake. The whole area was so much cooler; the air wasn't so dead and used up as the city air, with its load of car exhaust and other pollutants. I just breathed in that pine scent and smiled. I dumped my bags in my cabin after completing the registration process, and went outside. A guy at the boat dock gave me an answering smile, and pointed to a sign: Canoes for rent, $5/hour....Okay, you're on!
I climbed into the canoe and paddled away from the dock, towards the throat of Loon Lake, where it narrowed into a channel to another part of the lake.
And peace came over my soul.
I could hear, faintly, in the distance, some kids having fun around the boat dock, jumping into the lake. There was a fisherman in a rowboat across the lake from me, and inside myself I wished him good luck. All around me was peace, quiet, beauty; the natural beauty of a spot that had not been exploited by man for profit. The water was clear as glass, and the sky looked like faded denim with white puffy clouds drifting across it. All surrounding the lake were tall standing pine trees, giving off the most delicious clean scent.
I was as happy as I have ever been.
Loon Lake is located in the Town of Chester, in the New York State Adirondack Mountains.