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Adirondack Museum

Routee 28 North & Route 30
Blue Mountain Lake, NY

Phone: 518-352-7311 --

Statement of Purpose:

Begin your Adirondack experience with a visit to the Adirondack Museum. Praised as “the best of its kind in the world” by the New York Times, the Adirondack Museum tells the stories of how people lived, worked and played in the Adirondacks – the place where America’s idea of wilderness was born.   Changing exhibits, special events and a variety of activities make the museum special to all types of interests.  Beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens overlook a spectacular vista of lakes and mountains.  It is easy to bring the beauty of landscaped gardens into your own home with Avas Flowers bouquets. Wildflowers native to the region include Red Trillium, White and Yellow Violets, and Merry Bells whose brilliant colors would impress any Avas Flowers floral designer.

A regional museum of history and art, the Adirondack Museum's 22 indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces are situated on 32 landscaped acres, offering spectacular mountain and lake views. The museum’s extensive collections give visitors the opportunity to experience how people have lived, worked, traveled and played in the Adirondacks since the 1800s. Exhibit themes include: boats and boating, land transportation, outdoor recreation, the environment, logging, rustic traditions, fine arts, and tourism. Works of art by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait and extraordinary wildlife photographs by Hobart V. Roberts will be featured in 2011.

Interactive discovery centers and hands-on activities abound throughout the museum, making the museum a fun place for families with children to play and learn. Watch the Boat Builder in Residence construct a traditional Adirondack guideboat, take part in a workshop, feed the fish, or participate in a field trip.

Services at the Adirondack Museum include the Lake View Café, open 11am to 4pm daily, overlooking pristine Blue Mountain Lake. Picnic areas are scattered throughout the grounds. Be sure to visit the Museum Store in the Visitor Center for a variety of Adirondack related gifts.

The museum provides a full schedule of events, programs, and lectures throughout the year. For details visit

Highlights & Collections:

When did trains come to the region? What was it like to live in a lumber camp? Who were the boat builders? Who dug for iron ore? When was there a horse in every barn?
Long-term exhibits at the Adirondack Museum answer these questions and many more. They introduce visitors to the cultural history of people who lived in and visited the Adirondacks from the 1800s to the mid-1900s and explore the impact of the Adirondack landscape on peoples' lives and minds.

Twenty-two buildings and indoor/outdoor exhibits, on grounds surrounded by native trees and flowers, show how people have lived, moved, worked, and played in the Adirondacks.  Ongoing interpretive programs link past with present.  Here you’ll find the small wooden boats crucial for work and transportation in a region laced with rivers and lakes; you’ll find buckboards and elegant sleighs, stagecoaches, a Model T Ford, and a mahogany paneled private railroad car fit for the wealthy landowners who built sprawling Adirondack retreats called “Great Camps”.  You’ll find exhibits exploring the region’s main industries – logging, mining and tourism.  You’ll see a hermit’s camp, a one-room schoolhouse, a cottage decorated entirely with mosaic twigwork, a large collection of innovative rustic work and furniture, and the sleek lines of the indigenous and renowned Adirondack guideboats.  Camping in the woods, surveying, hunting, skiing, trapping, and other evidence of human endeavor since the 1800s are all noted in museum exhibits.   An exciting new Visitors Center with Museum Store, and the Lake View Café will complete your visit.

Allow 2 – 3 hours for a relaxing visit.  

Current Exhibits and Upcoming Special Events:

Temporary exhibits generally run for one or two years, and allow the Adirondack Museum to present a wide range of cultural and historic topics which supplement its long-term exhibits.

A full listing of the demonstrations, lectures, workshops and special events scheduled for 2003 is available on the museum’s website:

The Temporary exhibits are:

“A Paradise for Boys and Girls: Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks”
This exhibit explores the nature of Adirondack children’s camping and how it has changed over time.  The exhibit focuses particularly on what distinguishes children’s camps in the Adirondacks from camps elsewhere, the impact of camps on the region, how the elements of children’s camps have been important in youth development and how those elements have changed.  Over 270 children’s camps have been active in the Adirondacks since the late 1800s when the children’s camps movement began, with at least 70 of these camps still in operation.  Artifacts collected from current and defunct camps, historic photos, and oral histories will supplement the information presented.

Places of the Spirit: Photographs of Sacred Spaces in the Adirondacks”
This is an exhibition of the work of four photographers commissioned by the Lake Placid Institute for the Arts and Humanities during the summer of 2001 to visually respond to sacred sites – churches, synagogues, burial grounds and other places of spirituality – within the Adirondack region.  In the Adirondacks as elsewhere, sacred objects and phenomena are set off from ordinary, everyday life.  The architecture and furnishings of churches and synagogues including the materials used to adorn and embellish inside and outside, like the boundary markers of cemeteries, are signifiers for how a particular community views and conducts its daily life and how it wishes to leave that life “behind.”  This exhibition of over 40 photographs records the past, beauty and loss from the perspectives of architecture, history and photographic representation to stimulate reflection, visual awareness, and perhaps even action.

Summering in the Adirondacks: The Artist’s Views”
This special thematic exhibit drawn from the painting, print, and recreation collections will convey the widespread appeal, historically and aesthetically, of the Adirondacks as a summer place.  This exhibit will include images and artifacts of summer pastimes – boating, fishing, camping; places to go and places to stay – Ausable Chasm, High Falls Gorge, the High peaks, hotels, lakes; and beautiful views including masterworks from the museum’s renowned painting collection.

“Living With Wilderness
This exhibit introduces the visitor to highlights of Adirondack history that are fully developed in the permanent exhibits.  The visitor will learn about events and people who lived and worked in the region and how their activities changed the wilderness.  The museum’s much loved photobelt is featured in the exhibit.  The continuous loop of images will once again provide windows into past daily life in the Adirondacks and show the faces of people who lived, worked, and played in the wilderness. 


Open seven days a week (except the day before the Juried Rustic Furniture Fair Show) from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Season runs from Memorial Day weekend, to mid October. We are then open the last 2 weekends in October.  

Admissions & Directions:

Adults age 13 +: $15.00
Youth ( to 12): $8.00
Children 5 and under: FREE.
Admission goes for 2 consecutive days.
Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more.

The Adirondack Museum is located on Route 30 at Blue Mountain Lake – two hours from Albany, Utica, Plattsburgh,or Watertown.  75 minutes from Lake George or Lake Placid.


Key Personnel:

John Collins, Director

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