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Garnet Hill Lodge, Thirteen Lake NY

Lodge Setting – Garnet Hill Lodge

My family owns a camp about 2 mile NE of the Garnet Hill Lodge and Cross Country Ski Center. (see the Adirondack Cabin Stories nomination). We share our old logging roads as part of the ski trail complex along the wild path of the Balm of Gilead Brook. My family has enjoyed the Siamese Pond Wilderness Area, where we have skied, snowshoed, snowmobiled, fished and hunted togerther for over 50 years. At one time there were numerous small family owned ski areas throughout this area. Many like the Harvey Mountain (aka Garnet Mountain) Ski area only lasted for 15 years and faded away after the State owned Gore Mountain complex opened in the early 70s. However, the Garnet Hill Lodge, which was built in 1937, is still with us. It's a local treasure and we hope that it can be maintained and operated for decades to come.

John Henningson - Contributor / Nominator

In addition to cross country skiing onsite, there is alpine skiing at nearby Gore Mountain with discount tickets available. Lake George or Lake Placid are also within easy driving distance.

Whitewater rafting on the nearby Upper Hudson River is agreat spring, summer, and fall attraction. Several rafting companies nearby offer a day’s activity with the opportunity to rest and relax at Garnet Hill, turning your week or weekend into a full vacation.

Description Of Lodging Property

The Garnet Hill Lodge & Vacation Center is a rustic country inn in the Adirondacks of upstate NY offering cross country skiing onsite or Alpine skiing at nearby Gore Mountain with discount tickets available. Lake George or Lake Placid are within easy driving distance. The Lodge is accessible from downstate New York & New York City, New Jersey, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

Nestled into the Adirondack Mountains, overlooking pristine Thirteenth Lake, Garnet Hilloffers perfect Adirondack lodging for individuals, couples, and families providing an opportunity to escape from the hectic pace of everyday life to relax and enjoy the peace and serenity of nature. In the Log House, reminiscent of an Adirondack Great Camp, Bed and Breakfast aficionados will enjoy or casual, friendly atmosphere. Adirondack vacation packages offer couples or parents and children a unique opportunity to reconnect over wholesome outdoor activities.

Lodging Style And Amenities

Walking into The Log House at Garnet Hill Lodge you're greeted by the warmth of a rustic Adirondack mountain lodge and the friendly charm of your favorite country inn. Once inside you're drawn to the front windows and a magnificent lake and mountain view, or to the huge stone hearth with a welcoming fire.The full service restaurant nurtures guests with hearty, nutritious Adirondack meals.

In the main Log House, the guest rooms, each with a private bath, accommodate 2-5 people. Separate game rooms with large screen TV, pool table and other games are a perfect place to relax after an active day outdoors. The Lodge provides quiet spots for individuals and couples as well as a family friendly atmosphere for parents who want to enjoy a special experience with their children. Wi-Fi is available

Two additional cabins,the Tea House and the Birches, are ideal for small or large groups. In addition to private baths, rooms in the Teahouse and Birches have televisions in the room. In its picturesque Adirondack setting, Garnet Hill provides guests the opportunity to restore the balance in their lives. Our rustic environment invites you to step back to more tranquil times. To support this, there are no phones or televisions in the Log House rooms. Staff respectfully receives and delivers messages and a public phone is available for essential calls. Wi-Fi is available throughout the Log House. Guests can take full advantage of this and bask in the seclusion of Garnet Hill’s mountain environment or drive to nearby towns of Lake George or Lake Placid to enjoy the exciting activities those areas have to offer.

What Is Distinctive And Authentic To The Character Of The Region

Polishing Garnet Hill - New owners' first season focuses on continuing tradition

JOHNSBURG -- Old Man Winter's chilly, gusting breath searched for chinks in the wooden beams of Garnet Hill Lodge, seemingly intent on sucking out the warmth within. Despite his persistence, Winter's blustery might and awesome ability to turn snowflakes into stinging, wind-borne weapons was no match for the cozy hearth and friendly faces of Garnet Hill Lodge's new owners.

In July, two Boston engineers, currently searching for a permanent home in the Johnsburg area, took over the establishment. Since that time, Joe and Mary Fahy have imposed a cheerfulness on the lodge that's only surpassed by their sincere delight in the new responsibility they've taken on.

Even just walking through the lodge, Joe Fahy has trouble keeping the boyish smile off his face and the spring out of his step. "I grew up in a guest house in Ireland, and it's just something I've always wanted to do," he said, speaking in a rolling Irish accent that made a passing waitress grin. "I was up here skiing last year, and I found it was for sale. The rest is history." History is one reason the Fahys chose to become proprietors of a 70-year-old business that's made up as much of tradition as it is of wood and stone.

In 1893, Frank Hooper began mining garnet near the lodge, Fahy said. The operation was so successful a school house, Hooper's home, a mill, other structures and the lodge sprang up."The lodge was set up in 1937, and one of the miner's houses is still here," he continued. "I love that. I'm a big history buff, and coming from Ireland, history is very important to us. It's nice to be part of this history here."

To honor that past, the Fahys named one of the new amenities they've added after those who dug garnet from the rugged and unforgiving mountains. Four weeks ago, they opened their bar. "It's called Miners Pub. That's to celebrate the whole mining community here," Fahy said, bobbing his graying head happily. "We have lots of local microbrews, good Irish whisky and Guinness -- of course."

The Fahys, who have three young children, are also working hard to restore an old favorite to its original glory. "We're building back up the restaurant," Fahy said. "The restaurant, it wasn't as good as it could have been. This place has been famous for its food." That famous food Fahy credits almost totally to one Mary Jane Freebern. Freebern herself just looks at cooking for Garnet Hill customers as something she loves, and something she hopes she'll never have to stop doing. "Some guests came here a year before me, and they're still coming," said Freebern, who has been the head of kitchen and housekeeping for 36 years. "I wouldn't want it to ever close. It's almost like home to me."

These long-time customers, in Dick Carlson's opinion, wouldn't want Garnet Hill to close either. In the 25 years Carlson's been director of skiing, he's seen the resort become more and more popular. "It grew by leaps and bounds in the '80s and '90s," he said. "And there's quite a few season pass holders." Season pass holders tend to be local, but some spend hours in the car each week just to get to Garnet Hill. There's one family, they drive all the way from Saratoga just for an hour and a half of skiing," Carlson said.

While Fahy values such customers, and attributes much of the success he's experienced in his seven months of ownership to them, he gives just as much credit to employees like Carlson and Freebern. "You don't find staff like this anymore," he said, his black ski pants rustling as he moved to open the kitchen door for Freebern. "If they didn't care for this place, it wouldn't still be here. "They're the reason I bought this place," he added.

The area itself also factored into the decision Fahy and his wife made to purchase the resort. "It reminds me a lot of Ireland. There's a great sense of community, and the school system is great, obviously," Fahy said. "My young fellow came here, and he loved the fact that you can't hear traffic at night."


Season Open

Garnet Hill is open year around. The area is a natural paradise for those seeking a break from the hectic rush of everyday life. In spring, summer or fall, 70 miles of marked and mapped trails provide gentle walks for the nature enthusiast, while the rugged mountain scenery presents the experienced hiker with more vigorous routes and climbs. Snowy, Peaked, Crane, Blue and Chimney Mountains are all nearby. Fine swimming is offered in the clear waters of Thirteenth Lake, while its beautiful beach will reward those who prefer to just laze in the sun. Boating, canoeing and fishing can also be enjoyed, with rental canoes, kayaks, and rowboats available. Garnet Hill also maintains two tennis courts near the ski/bike shop. Garnet Hill's extensive cross country ski trails are transformed into a mountain bike trail system in the summer and fall. In addition to the ski trails we have developed an impressive interconnecting network of single-track bike trails - the rides are endless!


Rate Range

Special Spring Rates : April - June 30, 2011 Rates Include Full Hot Breakfast Adults $58.00 per person Children 12-17 in room with parents $25.00 per person Children 12 and under in room with parents Free ** All reserva