Summer Guy Loves Long Lake in Winter

By Chris Rohner

Seward Mountain Range enveloped in low-lying clouds.  Still fortituous.

I like summer in Long Lake. My family has had a camp there for 100 years. I’ve been here every summer of my life.  I’ve never missed one. I came back from Japan just so I could get to camp before Labor Day weekend. When my first child was born and she was just five weeks old we packed her up in the car with all her stuff and took her to the woods. My family refers to our love of the Adirondacks as having “the fever”. As if it was an illness.

About 10 years ago I started coming up to Long Lake for the Winter Carnival. A few days of local community games, parades and snowmobile races that help keep this little town alive over the cold winter. As a kid I lived in Long Lake year-round for two years – that was enough indoctrination that I fell in love with the snow and ice – skiing, skating and playing in the snow. But until recently I just couldn’t find the time to get back in the winter. 

I guess I’d recommend to anyone who loves Long Lake in July to give it a shot in February. The place is exactly the same except that it’s completely different. If you think you going to find solitude in the Adirondacks in the summer just wait until you spend some time here in the winter. It could be the most peaceful place you’ll ever find. Fewer restaurants and hotels, but enough for you. And you’ll meet a whole new set of folks when you are out and about. 

Skis rented from ADK Trading Post

I rent skis at the ADK Trading Post. I ski on local trails or down the lake. This year I skied down to our summer house and stayed overnight. The house is not made for winter… it was like camping out, so I cranking the little woodstove in the cabin to stay warm. For a summer guy, it was fun to arrive at your house with snow up to your waist. But a little adventure never hurt anyone. And in fact I might suggest that we could all use a little bit more adventure in our lives. My wife and kids thinks I’m a little crazy, but they know how it makes me smile to be in the woods. I find it highly satisfying. It’s kind of like a reset button for the rest of winter before we can all return to the Adirondacks in May to open camp and begin another summer season.

View of Kempshall Mountain

From Chris’s  facebook reporting from Feb 12, 2018

“Took three hours to navigate to destination via skis to the northend. Spotted one large buck, lots of smaller tracks, and deer scratches and nesting spots. About 10 inches of snow on ground and lake, drifts up to 2-3 feet. Temps 32 until midnight, then dropped to 17. Morning nice and frosty, followed sled tracks back up the lake, no need for breaking trail, so fast in about 1hr45min. Great fun, have not spend a winter night down the lake for a very long time! All fun, but the outhouse was chilly!”

Your one stop shopping mall in Long Lake NY located on the Tupper Road.  Open year-round!

A family with a summer place on Long Lake holds a traditional ice harvest in February.  Chris happened to catch and help on his trek to the north end of Long Lake in mid-February.

Vital overnight survival supplies include one can of Genesee Beer, one bottle of milk and a saucepan to melt snow

This outhouse is closed

Got the fire going to thaw out the socks and ward off the chill in the air.

Long Lake