Newhouse Insider: Old Forge, New Outdoor Weekend Getaway

Dominick Pfisterer

Growing up in Central New York, I know my way around the 315 quite well. I also know some of the great day trips you can take on a weekend that will get you through the worst of Mondays.

With the spring in the process of becoming sprung and the weather slowly crawling out of the permafrost that is an Upstate New York winter, it is a great time to enjoy the outdoors and the abundance of nature that New York has to offer.

About an hour and a half northeast of the Syracuse University campus is the hamlet of Old Forge, New York. Old Forge is a small town just outside of the Adirondacks where students can enjoy plentiful hikes, gorgeous lakes as well as New York’s largest waterpark – Water Safari.

I’ve spent so many great days in Old Forge. From renting kayaks to camping overnight and hiking the Adirondack mountains such as Bald Mountain and Black Bear Mountain, there are so many things to do that it is impossible to get through everything in one day. For such a small town, Old Forge has a lot of options for entertainment.

Spend your time shopping at the local stores unique to Old Forge’s Main Street, where you can get an authentic Adirondack experience. Literally, you can go to the Adirondack Experience (formerly known as the Adirondack Musuem).

With the weather getting warmer, summer is the perfect time of year to be out on the water. Old Forge is home to the Fulton chain of lakes which stretches over 8 miles and holds 6.8 billion gallons of water.

You can enjoy these beautiful lakes in a number of ways. Rent boats, kayaks and paddleboards or hop in for a swim at one of the beaches in Old Forge.

There are also plenty of restaurants to eat at in Old Forge. There are few things greater than watching the sunset drop into the lake while enjoying a nice dinner at Daiker’s Inn. Grab a donut at the famous Donut Shop to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Pied Piper is a great ice cream spot right across the street from Water Safari. Rent go-karts at Calypso Cove or stay inside and enjoy their arcade.

Old Forge is a great place to hangout for the weekend. Syracuse students who love the outdoors should make the drive up to Old Forge and leave the fear of finals week behind.