Travel Guide to Old Forge, NY: A Hamlet in New York’s Adirondack Region
Old Forge, NY is located on Fourth Lake in Upstate New York in the Adirondack Region. It’s a hamlet in the town of Webb surrounded by mountains and lakes and offers a rustic escape for those looking to get back to nature and disconnect.
Getting to Old Forge, NY
The distance from NYC is about 285 miles. The journey should take you around 5 hours in a car and is a straight shot up I-87 until you get to Albany when you’ll head west.
There are buses or trains that go to Utica and Albany, but Old Forge itself is a little remote and being without a car would be a challenge. Though the town is cute, it’s quite small and many of the things you’ll want to do will be a short drive away.
Things to Do in Old Forge, New York
Things to do in Old Forge include lots of hiking and various activities on the lake. You’ll find a handful or restaurants, motels, camp sites and family friendly days out.
Hike up Bald Mountain.
Bald Mountain has a cool hike up to the Rondaxe Fire Tower during which you’ll get awesome views of the lakes.
Though relatively family-friendly, some parts of the trail can be very steep. My best advice is to follow along the rock path/trails marks, but be very careful if it’s raining, because it gets slippery!
The length of the trail is less than a mile each way and will take you about an hour to complete.
Walk along Ferd’s Bog.
A simple, easy trail across a boardwalk. The distance is only .3 mile one way so the hike there and back should only be about 25 minutes. This trail is located off Uncas road and is great for bird watching!
Hike the Rocky Mountain Trail.
Another simple hike of just 1 mile roundtrip is the Rocky Mountain Trail.
Enjoy the slopes at McCauley Mountain.
Old Forge New York’s very own ski area. Ski and snowboards rentals available.
Walk part or all of Tobie Trail.
The trail begins at Inlet Hall is about 4 miles round trip.
Go kayaking, canoeing, or boating.
Ultilize the lake by participating in one of the many water sports or activities!
Ride the Adirondack Scenic Railway.
This is a tourist railway and offers scenic rides through the Adirondack Park. The train leaves from Thendara, just a few minutes drive from Old Forge.
Hang out at Old Forge Public Beach.
The public beach is a convenient spot to wade in the water and enjoy some of the summer sun. It’s free to use the beach and there is plenty nearby parking.
See a movie at the Strand Theater.
A 1920s-era theater showing present day releases.
Go Shopping on Main Street.
Main street has all the essentials plus some cute shops to peruse like the ADK Home store, vintage and antiques shops, souvenirs and more.
Buy fresh product at the Old Forge Farmer’s Market.
The Old Forge Farmes Market runs from June 19 through October 9.
- Fridays, 1pm to 5pm on Park Avenue
Where to Eat and Drink: Restaurants, Cafes, Bars
Ozzie’s Coffee bar
Ozzie’s is a cute coffee shop and cafe with awesome breakfast sandwiches. I had the triple egg, ham and cheddar on ciabatta and Si had the pork roll, egg and cheese bagel. Mine was HUGE and i ended up saving some of it for an afternoon snack.
Blue Line Coffee
Blue Line Coffee is a cross between a coffee bar and a shop. They have a couple of places to sit and chill, but they also sell cute Adirondacks gifts and merch.
This is your classic diner spot. They serve big homemade breakfasts like pancakes and giant omelettes. If you want the cheapest option you can get eggs + toast for $5 and coffee for $1.50!
The Lean To
The Lean To is one of the restaurants at The Pines Resort. They serve casual fare with local ingredients. I had the open face steak sandwich that was on special and it was so good! The meat was do tender and juicy and it came with super crispy fries./
The fine dining restaurant at Old Pines Resort. Although I didn’t technically dine in the restaurant, I did experience their 6 course private dining experience with my husband which we thoroughly enjoyed. Tuna sashimi and french onion soup were just a couple of the courses. Such a memorable evening!
Fulton Chain Brewery + Brewside Test Kitchen
Fulton Chain Brewery has a large amount of space to hang out. The bar seats are pine Adirondack chairs which is pretty cool too! The sour they had on was just my kind of beer so I had a couple of those and ordered hand cut fries topped with steak, diced vegetables and their own blue cheese sauce from the Test Kitchen, yum!
Daiker’s seems to be the biggest drinking spot in the area and one of only two establishments with a lake front location. I imagine it can get a little rowdy in here come the middle of summer or in the midst of snowmobile season!
Front Door Diner; Back Door Bar
Diner in the front, party in the back!
Depending on the time of day, you can either order an omelette or a couple of jager bombs…
Where to Stay in Old Forge, NY
This lake front property offers a number of different accommodation types including individual cabins, queen rooms and king rooms, some with lake views and a jacuzzi!
Rarely will you find a stay like this in the Adirondacks, which provides nature and remoteness combined with quality food and drink and an inclusive atmosphere second to none.
You can also borrow canoes and kayaks, hike one of the many trails nearby, play board games or attend a drive in movie night in the parking lot!
Food and Drink:
Great Pines Lodge Resort has not one, but two restaurants, both with bars plus an outdoor bar on site, an impressive offering for a property with only 30 rooms.
You can dine in their fine dining restaurant, The Lodge, or in their tavern called the Lean To. If you want something special, look into their private dining experience which will take place in a small green house at one end of their dock.
If you’re not staying here, you can either drive to lodge, or go by boat! This place is booming in summer.
- Nick’s Lake Campground
- Old Forge Camping Resort
The Best Time to Visit
Summer is the busiest time of year in Old Forge. Fourth Lake is a big draw for visitors, especially when the temperature is warm and lovely.
The foliage in Old Forge is gorgeous in autumn but when the leaves fall there the town shuts down for a little bit until the snow arrives.
You’ll definitely be able to snag some get deals, and if you’re looking to hibernate it wouldn’t be a bad time to visit.
Temperatures are below freezing for most of the winter.
Snowmobiling is really popular in Old Forge during the winter months as is skiing. There are trails around the town and we were told that some people use their snowmobile as their normal transportation in snow season!
Other Towns to visit in Upstate New York