The Schroon Lake Place! It's Great!


Schenectady Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin shares a recent stay with what many describe as Schroon’s only “mini resort”: The Schroon Lake Place.

Owners Joe and Debbie Jones have been greeting visitors since 2014 and it’s the only accommodations in downtown Schroon where you have direct access to the lake  and everything downtown Schroon has to offer. And for those procrastinators, there’s still time to book your vacation: from a long weekend and beyond.

Here are the highlights from Jeff’s report.

”During the 1870s, people couldn't wait to get to Schroon Lake. The Leland House was one reason folks made the trip north. Thomas Leland built his three-story hotel on six acres of land and could accommodate 300 visitors to the Adirondacks. People came for the elegance, but also appreciated the community's mountain lake - framed by earth tones of green and brown. Air was clean and crisp; pine trees everywhere provided both beauty and fragrance.

The Leland closed down - after two fires and two rebuilds - in 1952. But the people still come.

Visitors can't find a 300-room hotel today , but they can book rooms at places like the Schroon Lake Place, the Schroon Lake Bed and Breakfast, Chamlar Lakefront Resort and Cottages and bunches of other places.

 I have both visited and explored. I first visited the lake in 1978, on assignment during my first year as a newspaper reporter for The Post-Star in Glens Falls. Part of that first story was about the community's history. The town of Schroon was first settled in 1804, north of the current Schroon Lake hamlet. During the Colonial period, Schroon Lake bordered colonial New York and New France; historians say Schroon was once a battleground, and lives were lost near the cool, blue water.

I never thought about vacationing at the lake until 1992 or so, when photographer Bruce Squiers and I did another story about quiet Schroon as an alternative to busier Lake George. I started my "4B" vacations soon afterward - bicycle, books, beers and briquettes.

For me, Schroon afternoons generally include bicycle rides up scenic Route 9, to North Hudson. The peaceful rides are natural stress reducers, pedaling north on roads that become more crowded with pine trees and less crowded with cars and trucks the farther you go.

Some years, I've taken a right turn on Route 74 and wheeled over to Paradox Lake. Neither rides are long or grueling. For now, my 40-mile round trips over steep mountain hills are over.

Happy hour starts after the rides are over. Coors Light may be a "lawnmower" beer, but I find they both "taste great" and are "less filling" when I'm lake side, reading in an Adirondack chair planted on a private beach.

Cooking on the beach in a charcoal grill is another perk. At many places in town, you can start burning briquettes, walk to the nearby Tops market for grill mates, return to home base and still have to wait 15 minutes for the charcoal to turn white-hot.

Pretty soon you're cooking, as dusk and waves from the lake roll in. Citronella candles mark your place in the sand, and hopefully annoy any pain-in-the-arm mosquitoes.

The Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce can't say why mosquitoes show up. But staffers know why people do.

"It's a great summer family vacation without all the hustle and bustle of Lake George," said Nicole Howe, manager of the chamber visitor's center. "It's a close-knit community and generation upon generation have come."

 All generations will see new things in Schroon Lake this summer. The town library has expanded, the town fountain - a landmark lit by changing colors - is in operation and the beach is open. Lifeguards begin their shifts in July; until then, swimmers are on their own.

Joe and Debbie Jones have run the Schroon Lake Place, a mini resort off Route 9 at the southern end of Schroon's commercial corridor, since 2014. Joe Jones believes people come because they enjoy Schroon's laid-back pace.

"It's not as commercial as Lake George or Saratoga," Jones said. "It's kind of quaint, nice, quiet."

No parasailing, no arcades. Jones knows some people just want to bring their bicycles, books, beers and briquettes to Schroon - even late in the season.

"They think they own the lake," Jones said. "It's like, 'It's me and the lake and nobody else.'"

Where: 1054 U S Route 9 Schroon Lake, New York 12870

Get Directions (518) 532-7649