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“simply amazing view...”
Review of Elk Lake Lodge

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Elk Lake Lodge
Reviewed May 4, 2011

My wife and I agree with much of what has been posted. Only thing that might be said is that some (both our visits) rooms in the main lodge are furnished with two twin beds. If you are expecting a queen bed, better ask when you reserve. Wine is available with dinner by bottle, reasonably priced. Lake paddling with a canoe is the best! Not a guest? You can park and hike the trails based on the parking areas provided. We love this place but the per person price is a bit difficult. We know of some beautiful accomodations that are similar in price but offer much higher luxury and even a similar view.(lake Placid Lodge) Nature lovers will be thrilled...as long as they have the pocketbook.

rw

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  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank rwjw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 - 59 of 59 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2010

The only way to “legally” enjoy the 12,000 acres called Elk Lake is to be a paying guest at Elk Lake Lodge which consists of the Main lodge, Emerson lodge & seven cabins of various sizes scattered on the property adjacent to the lake. 2010 prices range from $120 per person for a room in the Main lodge, $125 for Emerson lodge & $190 per person in the cabins. On top of lodging costs, add 3% bed tax, 8% state tax & a 17% gratuity which increases the daily per person rate to $154 or $244. FOOD: All prices include 2 sit down meals per day & a “bag” lunch. (Note: when I stayed there a few years ago you could either join them for a sit down lunch or “bag” lunch; now everyone gets a bagged lunch. Breakfast is the usual fare & orders are placed off a simple breakfast menu: eggs, bacon, toast, muffins, waffles, pancakes, fruit, yogurt & granola, etc. Dinner offers one meat, fish & a vegetarian dish. At dinner you order your bag lunch which is available each morning with your breakfast (a sandwich of your choice plus condiments & munchies). Since you are sure to be busy enjoying the outdoors all day, the bag lunch works well. We ordered veggie sandwiches each time & they were great. You also get cookies, chips, trail mix, juice or water. Simple but adequate. The dinners were OK. Since I don’t eat meat I opted for the fish each time. The first night was stuffed haddock which was really dry and pretty tasteless; however the cod was done just right. Dinner comes with a small salad, homemade soup & desert. The homemade soups were fantastic! Side dishes were basic (plain) & desert was good. Don’t expect gourmet fare – but you shouldn’t go hungry. I do feel they could make some improvements with the dinner venue – from not over cooking the fish & veggies to making desert a bit grander (some ice cream with the pie would have been nice). Around 2 pm they put out coffee, tea & cake & right before dinner they set out a tray of cheese, fruit & their special blend of cucumber/mint iced water. They do take into consideration any dietary needs so be sure to let them know when you make your reservation. The wait staff is very friendly & although there are set times for breakfast (7 am) & dinner (6pm) there is some room for flexibility if you let them know in advance. Personally, I felt dinner was way too early considering it was summer & you want to stay out as long as possible hiking & enjoying the day vs. rushing back or missing dinner. LODGING: We stayed in the Emerson lodge this time, previously I had stayed in the main lodge. When I stayed in the main lodge I found it to be very noisy due to guests coming & going, checking in/out, hanging out in the common area or socializing on the deck throughout the day. Of special note were the wooden screen doors that slam shut - their loud banging can get a bit annoying, but it’s much worse at the main lodge where there is more activity, especially if you are trying to rest or take a nap. Emerson Lodge consists of 3 units; 1 downstairs with its own deck & 2 upstairs that share a small balcony. The unit downstairs has a small living area, bathroom & a couple bedrooms. The 2 upstairs units have 1 bedroom with a queen bed – this room faces the lake, then there is a small bathroom (tub/shower) in the middle & in the back is a room with 2 twin beds. There is a small common area that rooms 2 & 3 share with a tiny frig, table & sofa. The view from the top balcony is awesome & if you have night viewing binoculars I strongly suggest you bring them! One warning: we shared Emerson with some great people – they were very quiet & went to bed early. However, due to the vents in the floor of each room, you can plainly hear every word spoken by those staying in unit #1. This could be a huge problem if they have a baby, noisy kids or like to stay up late & party. And, if you stay in room #1, then you have to listen to everyone walking around upstairs which I’m sure can be pretty annoying too. We didn’t get to see the inside of other cabins but just based on location & view my favorites were Hadley & Windfall. We brought our own small coffee maker to have in the room & extra pillows although we didn’t need them because we had the ones off the 2 extra twin beds to use. No air conditioning folks – fans are provided but normally the cool Adirondack evening air will suffice. WEATHER: Be prepared for anything: hot, cool, wet & windy! During our stay the 1st week of August, the daytime temps were only in the high 70’s & evenings dropped to the low 50’s! ATTIRE: Their website makes Elk Lake look more upscale, even fancy & because it’s not that cheap one might think it is. However, it is simple Adirondack living. Leave the designer duds at home – all you need is your hiking gear, bathing suit, maybe some sweats – good shoes - anything outdoors. I brought some nice high-end jeans & tops to wear for dinner – they never made it out of the bag. And ladies, forget about any sandals or shoes with heels. Trust me on that one! ACTIVITIES: Elk Lake is a mecca for outdoor sport lovers. From swimming, hiking, trekking & canoeing. I believe you can also fly fish - with restrictions – ask the staff. The lake is huge and you can spend an entire afternoon exploring it & the various islands (canoes/row boats provided). There are 3 trailheads that I know of you can canoe to & several more if you take the hike around the lake (7.5 miles). You could spend a week there & never hike all the trails. Sunrise Mountain is a must (appx 6 miles rd trip) & although not stated, Boreus Mountain does have several viewpoints. Macomb (on state land) offers a pretty spectacular slide for the more adventurous. You can hike the flat 3 mile (1 way) path to Clear Pond or drive & either walk a short distance in or take one of the canoes. We were not aware of the canoes until we just happened upon them but they offer a quick way to get across to Jones beach which is a perfect sandy beach and great swimming (this is a large pond, clean & clear). Just remember to grab paddles from the lodge before you head out. From Clear Pond you can do 2 short hikes up Clear Pond Mountain or Grandpa Pete Mountain. We also brought our mountain bikes and explored several old back roads and trails. OVERALL: Yes, there’s definitely room for improvement: the room furnishings are old & beat up (a can of spray paint would fix that), the doors on the rooms are cheap hollow particleboard, our bathroom needed a coat of fresh paint & the shower was so low if you were over 6’8” you’d hit your head on the ceiling, dinner is served too early & often overcooked & noise could be an issue depending on where you stay – BUT these things quickly melted into the background with each breath of the fresh mountain air as the night sky became a quick replacement for Netflix & the call of the loons is better than any tunes on the radio. Elk Lake transforms you as stress melts away, I’ve never slept so well & this place brings a new vitality to anyone with chronic health issues. I love it there, it’s perfect & I hope it never changes (well except for maybe those darn screen doors!)

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank shadow10cats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2009

If you're an "outdoors" person, this place is pretty close to heaven. For 3 glorious days, we hiked on well maintained trails to beautiful mountain overlooks and a secluded waterfall. We canoed beside the loons, beaver huts and blue herons. We even used a rowboat on a more blustery day that brought back memories from my youth.

We stayed in the Emerson Lodge, a very rustic accommodation that met our needs for showers and rest between our outside adventures. The small porch on the upstairs unit we had provided an amazing vista of island studded Elk Lake and the surrounding Adirondack High Peaks.

The food was very good, think "comfort" food, not fine dining. High carbs/protein meals matched well to the active life style associated with a preserve of 12,000 acres begging to be explored. A 7am breakfast bell beckoned us from our slumber to the beautiful lodge dining room overlooking the wonderful panorama of the Adirondacks. You are met with the smell of bacon/sausage/coffee being prepared. Time to "fuel up" for the day's adventures. Nutritious trail lunches were provided and allowed for extended daily outdoor excursions without returning to the lodge. During meals at the lodge, pleasant attentive service was provided by the likes of "Ellie" who treats everyone like she is their favorite aunt. Mike Sheridan, the manager, was extremely helpful in suggesting hiking itineraries, or a refreshing local brew to enjoy after returning from the day's explorations. The main lodge common sitting area provided a comfortable setting for card games, good conversations, reading or connecting with some of the other guests etc. Think massive fireplace with crackling fire fending off the evening's chill. Walls are adorned with taxidermy mounts. This is your quintessential wilderness lodge that provided an excellent setting to create some special family memories.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank nmsmaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

Elk Lake Lodge was more rustic than we originally expected, but we found a lot to like.

The scenery is beautiful. The lodge sits on 12,000 acres. The lake is pristine, calm and quiet (no motorboats allowed). We enjoyed rowing around the lake, swimming and lots of skipping stones! Folks were fly fishing, and many of the guests enjoyed the hiking trails, easily accessed on the property, and offering a range of difficulty.

We have one child, a 6 year old boy, and felt that the Paige Cottage was the perfect size for us. Maybe a little more space than we needed, but it was great to move around a bit, especially one rainy morning. The Emerson Cottage is a shared experience and pretty tight quarters. The cottage we stayed in was basic. The room had a refrigerator which was very helpful, but that's where the amenities end. The bars of soap are tiny! And if you crave coffee before the 7 am breakfast start, bring your coffee maker (or tea). The bathrooms are tiny too. No bath, just showers. Please keep in mind that we only stayed in the Paige Cottage. Other cottages offered fireplaces and might have additional bathroom amenities.

We were surprised by the food. Three meals, per person, are included in your stay. Breakfast and dinner are in the restaurant and lunch is made-to-order brown bag. Our meals were wonderful! Breakfast is a variety of classic American fare. It's not gourmet, but it's good and the wait staff couldn't have been nicer. It's all made from scratch (no boxed mac and cheese for my son) and they are very accommodating with special diets (my son and I are vegetarians and they remembered that a returning guest was gluten free). The evening soup was always made with a vegetable broth. The greens and vegetables were local and organic and so fresh. The two fish dishes were lemon pepper trout and haddock. Both were clean, simple and very good. They also offer a meat option for dinner.

So what's the down side? Our cabin was not as clean as I would have liked. Too much bird poop on the railings and steps outside. Plus, they need to maintain their decks better--peeling paint and the screens have to be free of holes. You're in bug-ville. Bring your bug spray! I think the bathrooms need a little updating and some of the furniture is pretty old and chipping in places. But that bothers me..maybe not you.

Also...you are pretty far out. No evening activities. And it's really dark so, depending on where your cottage is on the property, you're most likely in your cottage for the night after dinner. We brought games and a portable DVD player. I watched a movie one night, read a book another night. We also brought our iPod with portable speakers. Will we return? I'm thinking yes, but not for 2-3 years until our son can handle a longer hike. Plus, we might stay an extra day. It was a long drive for us. You are an hour south of Lake Placid. there are other things to do, but it would be ashame to not stay on the property for the majority of your stay.

Hope this review was helpful. Have a wonderful time if you go!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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5  Thank BerkeleyGrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2009

Nestled on a 2 mile pristine lake, surrounded by 11,000 acres of wolderness that's accessible to a small clutch of guests that are housed in distinct cottages, you can't beat the disconnected expereince.

A well meaning seasonal staff helps with the necessities but you should expect to be on your own in exploring the myriad trails and natural life. The accommodations are 'Adirondack style' meaning, spartan, yet blending with the environment.

Only issue is that the food is decidly 2950's styyle with a limited selection of dinner options (a trail lunch is packed). High priced, but a unique location for folk who love the outdoors. Note, there is limited internet and no cell service.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ChasFed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2007

I love this earth and all its natural beauty. It bothers me to go to lakes where all I see is other cottages and all I hear is the roaring sound of boats and ski jets all day long. I shudder when I see litter and every single space of land being built on until there's nothing left of the beauty of the earth - just an empty shell of a lake and an area roaring with traffic and people.

When we arrived at Elk Lake Lodge, my first impression was an unbelievable and overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that a place like this still existed. We stood in front of the lodge and there it was. A lake shimmering in the sunset with an unbelievable view of mountains cast with different sunlight cascading down to the shoreline with islands dotting the scene of perfection and tranquility that almost made me cry. If you want to see a lake the way it should be - then this is the place for you.

We quickly settled in and found we were in a building located up the mountain from the main lodge. The rooms were not fancy but clean and cozy. We barely spent any time in ours. There was a nice path along the lake to go from the main lodge to our lodge. They do have a few cottages and what we could see - these cottages were really nice with large decks and stone fireplaces.

Our lodge had an incredible porch located at the end of our hall which had an airplane view of the lake. I'm telling you - I could sit on that porch for a week and be happy watching how quickly the lake and mountains change in color and intensity.

Our first day we spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon taking the canoe out and exploring islands and eating our lunch which the lodge had packed for us that morning. Our lunch consisted of a hefty sandwich, granola, fresh fruit and vegetables, juice, pretzels and homemade cookies. You order your lunch at dinner and they give it to you at breakfast.

The thing that struck us so deeply was the absolutely "stillness" and the sense of peace that we felt on this lake. You could hear the wind in the trees and the cry of the loons. You could swim out into the middle of the lake if you wanted and never have to worry about a motorboat or anything hitting you.

This lake is completely surrounded by an awesome range of mountains. There isn't any public access to this lake and no one is allowed on it but the guests at Elk Lake Lodge. Only 40 people get to enjoy this whole lake. They have made every effort to preserve this area and maintain its wilderness character. This is what you pay for when you come here. This lake looks much the same way now as it has since 1875. The mountains are magnificant.

If you love to hike - then this is a hiker's paradise. It's even great for families with children because they have some easy trails too.

We loved eating in the dining room. It had a beautiful view of the lake and hummingbirds feeding off their feeders. One morning we even saw a loon with her little chicks go by. They ring a bell for breakfast and dinner. You can sit on their huge front porch and sip wine before dinner or sit by the lake and just take in its beauty. The food was good. The soup was homemade and they usually had a choice of 3 items. I'm not sure if they cater to special needs - you would have to ask. There was no soda so if you're a soda person, bring your own. If you have a picky eater in the family you might want to stock up with some food for them in case they don't like the selections. They also encourage people to bring a water bottle because the earth is being overwhelmed with disposable plastic water bottles.

We were fortunate to have 2 beautiful days of sunshine. If it rains here - then it's like all wilderness areas. You have to be creative in creating your own fun. There's no tv's, computers, etc. My daughter who is 11 and a computer geek found that frog hunting was even more fun than the computer. Have your children bring nets and they'll have alot of fun. Of course, this is the wilderness so the boys can catch a few snakes which is something I don't like. Bring games and stuff for those rainy days. You can also take a day trip to the Adirondack Museum if worse comes to worse for those drenching all day rain affairs.

If you have a baby or children under 3 or are handicapped, this might be a little challenge for you. Some of the lodges and cabins are a little hike to the main lodge. If you have a crying baby it might be hard to dine in the dining room or change diapers, etc. I think I would take older children over the age of 6 here. Also, if your children don't like to hike, swim, etc. this might not be the place for them.

This lodge is now our favorite place on earth. We're definitely returning and continuing our exploration of this fabulous wilderness area.

We sadly left and when we saw lakes on the way home full of people and boats - we knew we had, indeed, been to paradise.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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16  Thank phantomtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2006

Elk Lake Lodge is the sole inhabiter of a massive, untouched wilderness expanse in the Adirondacks. There is not a single micro-centimeter of land that is not breathtaking. Elk Lake Lodge is situated on the beautiful, privately owned Elk Lake, about 8 miles in diameter and surrounded by a ring of high peaks including Nipple Top, Dix, Maccomb, Boreas and several smaller Elk Lake owned mountains. This is a hiker's paradise. There is also swimming, canoeing, row boating and animal watching.

One important caveat-- this is not for those expecting luxury. The food and accomodations are basic, but for a nature lover, the landscape more than makes up for it.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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25  Thank jessie5708
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elk Lake Lodge

Address: Blue Ridge Rd., North Hudson, NY
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > North Hudson
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in North Hudson
Price Range: $192 - $224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Elk Lake Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
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