The finest fall road
Your Adirondack Basecamp

I have a favorite road in the Schroon Lake Region, Blue Ridge Road. It has scenic delights and fun attractions. This is especially true in the autumn. It runs between North Hudson and Newcomb through dense forest and across bridges, with frequent places to pull off and enjoy abundant photographic opportunities. Unless a car is passing, it is so quiet you can hear the birdsong. Here's how to make the most of those 17 miles.

Wonderful water

Almost the moment you make the turn onto Blue Ridge Road, there's Palmer Pond. Look for the little spot to park and enjoy the small pond, which brings the distant trees close enough to catch with a photo.

Palmer Pond will start you off right.

Just a few more minutes down the road, there's a combination of instant gratification and scenic beauty. Blue Ridge Falls is hard to beat for ease. It has roadside parking, well-marked trails, and the roar of a long set of falls.

See the falls through the trees before you even get out of the car.

The rapids tumble over a river stretch full of rocks, with a mountain in the background. The trail by the river requires some care, as it is rocky and narrow, but the forest paths are broad and easy. These shaded trails are often where the first leaves change.

Blue Ridge Falls is also a forest hike, for even more scenery.

It is always a great idea to seek out water if I want to view the trees changing because I get twice the leaves that way. The beautiful reflections can also put a different spin on your view, with even brighter colors, since the water slows down the light more than the air does.

The Adirondack Interpretive Center is luxury hiking. (photo courtesy the AIC)

Just a few more miles of scenic drive takes you to the Adirondack Interpretive Center at Newcomb. They have beautifully groomed hiking trails with lots of water features, outlook platforms, and benches to sit upon. There's also a small natural history museum, and nature displays in their Great Room.

Treasures and buffalo

The Blue Ridge Road leads you to the only buffalo in the Adirondacks! And yes, real buffalo. They like it here.

The Adirondack Buffalo Company has a ranch in the valley, with mountains beyond.

The Adirondack Buffalo Company includes a farm, gift shop, and scenic viewing deck with a telescope. Pick up fine buffalo products, indigenous people's crafts, homemade baked goods, custom souvenirs, and all kinds of treats and gourmet food items. Their Sunshine Marmalade is a favorite at my house. Gokey's Outlet Stores are right at the beginning of the Blue Ridge Road, and their many buildings offer incredible treasure hunts. That is a good enough reason to take a little time in North Hudson, but there's plenty of fine scenery there.

The combination of bright sun and water abundance makes the shores of our rivers and ponds a fine place to see more color.

As you admire the scenery be on the lookout at the edges of rivers and ponds where the fall wildflowers are most abundant.

Ghost town drive

Near the Newcomb end of the Blue Ridge Road, you might feel the need for more scenery. So look for the turn north that leads to Old Route 25. If you reach the T intersection with Route 28N, where the big hanging Tahawus sign appears in a triangle of land, you have gone too far. Backtrack until just before the road takes a curve to the south.

The Blue Ridge Road crosses the Boreas River at several points.

This is the Tahawus Mines Road, 19.6 miles (there and back) of forest, meadows, and lakes. While this paved road is narrow and has no shoulders, it is paved all the way through, and low traffic. It ends near where the Hudson River flows into Henderson Lake.

Height of the season and a beautiful day.

This is what remains of what was once the largest titanium mine in the world. Rock hounds will love picking through the edges of the tailing piles. Look for lingering signs of the ghost town of Adirondac, which was mostly moved to Newcomb when the mine failed. Bring a picnic and explore. Blue Ridge Road is also the anchor for the Grand Loop, which takes you past such attractions as Natural Stone Bridge & Caves and Paradox Brewery.

Choose a charming place to stay. Feed that appetite with our dining. Explore more scenic drives.

This week in ADK news:

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Short and scenic

Fall festivities

Hands-on history

Titus Oktoberfest

Starry night

 

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