Camp Sagamore in New York: Built by Moguls in America's Gilded Age

Historic Great Camp Sagamore, built in upstate New York's Adirondacks in the late 1800s for the well-to-do Alfred G. Vanderbilt family, redefined my notion of camping.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Sagamore is one of dozens of elegant so-called “great camps” that wealthy moguls built during America's Gilded Age. Located in Adirondack Park near Raquette Lake, it's among the few that remain and even fewer that are open to the public.

You can tour its 27 magnificent buildings or participate in one of the educational programs and stay here overnight in the beautiful lodges. My husband and I “camped” in a wood-paneled room with a stone fireplace and shared bath–but no TV or radio.

Raquette Lake is in northern New York on State Highway 28, about 75 miles northeast of Utica. Camp Sagamore is 4 miles south of Raquette Lake on the unpaved Sagamore Road.

The camp is open from May through mid-October. Guided tours are $12 for adults and $6 for children age 14 and younger; for tour schedules and reservations, call 1-315/354-5311.

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