Art • History • Science
What They Are about
Since the late 1800s, the Adirondack region has been a popular vacation destination for urbanites looking to escape NYC smog. Through a series of artifacts – including the carriage ridden by Theodore Roosevelt when he quickly left the Adirondacks to get to Buffalo, NY to be sworn in as president following the assassination of President McKinley – the Adirondack Experience (ADKX) shares stories of the people who lived, worked and played in the Adirondack Park from that point through present day.
Start your visit to ADKX in its core exhibition, Life in the Adirondacks. Experience the people, place and spirit of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, all within 19,000-square feet of interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and culturally rich collections. Try your hand at breaking up a log jam like a 19th century lumberjack, row a historical guide boat and learn about the indigenous cultures of the area.
From there, explore other main exhibits, including:
Woods and Waters – Discover America’s love for the wilderness and outdoor recreation in the late 1800s and early 1900s
Boats and Boating – See the world’s largest collection of guide boats and a variety of other Adirondack watercraft
Work in the Woods – Explore the history of logging in the Adirondacks, once one of New York’s major industries.
Artists & Inspiration in the Wild, ADKX’s newest permanent exhibit, features the most comprehensive showing of ADKX’s art collection in the museum's history. Its four main galleries illustrate how the natural features of the Adirondacks – light, forests, water and mountains – have sparked the creative visions of painters, sculptors and artisans. But you can do more than admire the art! Through innovative social interactions, visitors can engage with the collection, adjusting the light or frame of a piece to see how it impacts the overall tone. At the end, you can make your own artwork inspired by the Adirondacks in the ADKX Art Lab makerspace, inspired by artist Barney Bellinger’s own studio space.
Take a look into Adirondack life when you visit a variety of historic buildings spread out across campus. View former cottages decorated with traditional Adirondack furniture. Imagine a rustic life in the Kids’ Cabin where kids can play in the kitchen or wash laundry the old-fashioned way. And stop by the one-room Reising Schoolhouse for games, toys and crafts from a by-gone era. Be sure to save time to walk the family-friendly hiking trail to the ADKX Boathouse where you can borrow a classic guide boat or canoe to take out on Minnow Pond.
With over 23 historical and contemporary buildings on 121 acres overlooking Blue Mountain Lake, the open-air campus offers lots to see and do!
Start your visit in the Life in the Adirondacks exhibition for an immersive and interactive overview of the Adirondack Park and its people.
ADKX’s on-site restaurant, Lake View Café, serves hot and cold freshly prepared lunch items, including daily specials, snacks and beverages from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Gluten free options available.) The best view of Blue Mountain Lake is from the café’s outdoor dining deck!
Enjoy beautiful gardens and walkways throughout the campus. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended to explore all of ADKX’s buildings and scenic spots.
Minnow Pond Trail is an easy, three-quarter mile walk to Minnow Pond, considered “a gem in the wilderness.” It’s open daily in July and August – but since it’s a natural trail with uneven surfaces, strollers and wheelchairs are not recommended.
For a more vigorous route, try the Blue View Trail, a spur off the Minnow Pond Trail, with a higher vantage point of Blue Mountain Lake.
Borrow a traditional guideboat, skiff or canoe from the ADKX Boathouse to paddle on Minnow Pond. Available daily in July and August and included in ADKX admission!
Climb to the top of the historic Whiteface Mountain Fire Tower for a spectacular view of the museum grounds and surrounding mountains and lakes.
Visitors can often spend a few hours at a single exhibit, while others may explore at a more rapid pace. We recommend a visit of at least 4 hours to experience the ADKX.