Our next stop is Golden Beach (GB) Campground about 20 minutes north from Brown Tract Pond Campground. My sister joined us for a couple of hours for beach time, Chinese jump rope, goodminton, and lunch. We’re so thankful she also dropped off a package we were expecting the day we left Syracuse. Our site (109) at Golden Beach Campground had direct access to the beach through a short little trail. We pretty much stayed here all day at the beach and then later in the evening, built a campfire for s’mores.
On our second day at Golden Beach, we went on a learning expedition. We spent the day at the Adirondacks Experience, Blue Mountain Museum, where we learned all about the history and development of the ADK mountains. Boating, logging, and mining were major industries in this area although they may not be as prevalent now. These things were featured heavily in the museum. There were several interactive activities that the girls particularly enjoyed. One was the logging simulation where they had to keep the cut logs from jamming in a river. Another was exploring cabins built by early European settlers and handwashing cloths like they did before there were washing machines.
We met a woman building a guide boat who said it would take her 500 hours to complete it. Guideboats were easy to transport between the bodies of water and were used by locals hired by hunters, fishermen, and others to guide them through this region. And we were lucky enough to feed the lake and rainbow trout and meet a local historian who retired from Baltimore government who works at the museum a couple of days and on his off days, researches and highlights the history of early Adirondacks settlers.
Last but not least, we learned about Native tribes (which included Algonquin/Mahican, Oneida, Mohawk, Onandaga, Cayuga, and Seneca) from this area, how they traveled, what they grew and hunted, and how they are preserving their languages and culture.
Today, ADK grapples with the loss of the mining and lumber industries and the consequence of low employment and instead relies on tourism and real estate development which can often go against the need to preserve the beautiful and natural landscape. We learned that ADK is at a crossroads and we hope that preservation wins out so future generations can enjoy it for many more eons.
On our last day in ADK, we finally stopped in Old Forge and checked out the tourist attractions. We grabbed fish and chips, burgers, and cheese fries at the local restaurant called Pied Piper, whilst people watching on the main street. We peeked into the visitors center and learned about the McCauley Mountain chairlift rides.
The girls hadn’t been on a chairlift before so we decided that this was something we’d do with them. Prices were listed at $5 for kids over 5 and $6 for adults.
They actually rode on the lift by themselves while we adults rode on our own lift. They were a bit intimidated at first but it was such a slow and easy ride, they quickly got over it. At the top, we got nice views of Old Forge1 and the nearby area lakes.
After the lift, we left for our next destination: Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands region of NY.