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Adios ADK... Here I come Great Smokey Mountains National Park!

Yep, I have finished my stay in ADK.

Adirondack-Sign ADK-Sign

I took photos of over 4300 campsites at 27 campgrounds, finishing up with the largest and most popular, Fish Creek.

The last five I visited were all within 30 miles of Lake Placid, except for Cranberry Lake. Tack on another 40 miles for that one.

From here I will be heading almost 900 miles south to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

I will be stopping at a Thousand Trails spot for a few nights on the way to recharge all my batteries, do laundry, stock up on provisions, etc.

Anyway, after leaving Lake Eaton I just followed the signs to Wilmington Notch.


I think I turned left. It had the most arrows.

I passed through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.

Saranac-Lake Lake-Placid-Sign

Past the Olympic Center.


And finally arrived.


The campground's 54 sites are just five miles east of Lake Placid.

And that is really all this is, a place to stay to explore the town. The sites are mostly open, like numbers 13, 31, and 32.

Wilmington-Notch_013 Wilmington-Notch_031 Wilmington-Notch_032

The west branch of the Ausable River passes by to the north, but you cannot access it from the campground.


There were no bears or duck posteriors, but I did spend some quality time with a snake.


There is another campground just like this one on the other side of Lake Placid called Meadowbrook. It had closed the day before and the staff would not let me in as they were doing maintenance. Both are base camps for visiting the nearby towns.

Speaking of snakes, I was reminded of one of the fun camping quirks.

Showering with critters.

I have shared a stall with snakes, mice, frogs, various beetles and bugs, moths, and my least favorite, spiders.

The spiders tend to be clinging to the wall above my head. I can keep an eye on them, mostly, but when rinsing the soap of my face with my eyes closed, I keep imagining them taking that moment to pounce on my noggin.

That hasn't happened yet, but the other day there was a jumping spider the size of a 50 cent piece that enjoyed hopping around my feet.

That was no fun.

My next stop was Meacham Lake, about 15 miles north of Saranac Lake.


The 174 campsites are a mix of lakefront and large interior spots.

For the latter, 30 and 32 were big pull-throughs.

Meacham-Lake_030 Meacham-Lake_032

159, 163, and 166 were good waterfront examples.

Meacham-Lake_159 Meacham-Lake_163 Meacham-Lake_166

I was in site 94.


This is a great spot with a private patch of grass on the shoreline.


Which I quickly transformed into a reading room.


And watched the sun set behind the mountains.

Meacham-Lake Meacham-Lake-Sunset

Last Saturday I drove in the rain to Fish Creek for six nights.


The plan was to use this as a base camp to visit Rollins Pond and Cranberry Lake on day trips.

Sunday morning was sunny. That was a good thing because of this thing.


The 90-Miler is famous boat race that starts in Old Forge and finishes up on Lake Flower, or Flower Lake. I forget what it is called. The last leg of the three day race starts at Fish Creek Pond.

Sites 161-305 were reserved for the hundreds of paddlers and their support people on Saturday night.

There were several classes ranging from the fast five man canoes to kayaks to goofy costumed folks.

I watched the first group head out shortly after 8am.

Canoes-1 Canoes-2 Canoes-3

Then I headed out on an eighty mile round-trip of my own to visit Cranberry Lake.


There are 173 sites here near the shores of the crystal clear lake.

Cranberry-Lake Cranberry-Lake-Beach

Some of my favorites were 62, 97, and 120.

Cranberry-Lake_062 Cranberry-Lake_097 Cranberry-Lake_120

And especially number 122.


Back at Fish Creek I made some burgers for dinner.


Very tasty.

As I mentioned earlier, Fish Creek is the numero uno campground in ADK. Rollins Pond is a couple of miles away and they use the same entrance.

So even though the campground at Rollins Pond was closed, I was able to drive to boat launch area and park.

Rollins-Pond-Sign Rollins-Pond

And do a lot of walking. See, the campground is spread out along 2 1/2 miles of shoreline. 285 sites, not in a loop, just a single road. So when I was done walking to the end I just turned around and got to look at all the sites I had just photographed as I walked back to my car.

8, 25, 133, and 160 are a few of the sites with a semi-clear view of the pond.

Rollins-Pond_008 Rollins-Pond_025 Rollins-Pond_133 Rollins-Pond_160

My favorites were 145 and 146.

Rollins-Pond_145 Rollins-Pond_146

Why? Because right behind them was a nifty little beach.


Ok, time for Fish Creek.

The main loop consists of 305 sites right on the water. They rim the edges of Fish Creek Pond and adjoining Square Pond on a five mile road. There are also several dozen inland overflow spots.

I was in site 59.


The sun rose directly behind me.

I enjoyed watching it.

Fish-Creek-Sunrise-1 Fish-Creek-Sunrise-2

Across the pond from me was the boat launch area on the other side of the bridge.


There is a huge campsite there, number 34, which offers a prime fishing spot where the creek enters the pond.


You can't go wrong with any site here on the water but some are better than others.

103, 104, and 105 have lots of room for big RV's.

Fish-Creek_103 Fish-Creek_104 Fish-Creek_105

My favorite area was the small peninsula dividing the two ponds. A separate road loops off the main one so there is not as much traffic.

Sites 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, and 64 are what I'm talking about.

Fish-Creek_058 Fish-Creek_059 Fish-Creek_060 Fish-Creek_061 Fish-Creek_062 Fish-Creek_063 Fish-Creek_064

Add sparkling water and a sandy beach.

Fish-Creek-Pond Fish-Creek-Beach

No wonder it is so popular.

The campers on either side of me have been coming here for years. I kept hearing that from others as well as I rode my bike around the campground taking photos.

Even on a rainy day it's fun to watch the birds swim.


You know that old saying, "Like water off a duck's back?"

It's true.

Look closely at Frederica the Duck's back,


You can see how the water just beads up and rolls off.

But it is the legs that gave me a nightmare a few days ago. Not hers, but the ones attached to the duck butts from the last blog. Along with the spicy chicken I made, they combined somehow into a dream about giant mutant chicken ducks stomping through the forest, looking for me. I sorta woke up but was still half asleep when I looked out the trailer window and saw a huge leg, not moving, about 10 feet away. Judging by the size, the bird had to be over 100 feet tall. It had giant sharp talons that looked capable of crushing an old vw beetle.

I closed the curtain, pulled my sleeping bag over my head, and eventually fell back to sleep.

I had mostly forgotten all about the nightmare when I woke up.

Until I went outside.

And saw that the leg was still there.


Jeepers! No more Scooby snacks for me!

Regards, Park Ranger


I am so glad I stumbled onto your site! Fantastic job photographing all the campsites so far. You have helped my search for the best camping spots tremendously! I will support your cause by shopping at your store the next time I need camping gear. Happy travels fellow camper! I have just started my own blog and you have already photographed a place we stayed! check it out on (Locust Lake) Love your trailer too...nice! Joanna

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