Long Lake: Dinner and Walk At John Dillon Park

By Diane Chase

Last year my family and I attended the first annual John Dillon Park progressive dinner and walk. We had been under the impression that John Dillon Park was only available to people with disabilities. We were incorrect. The fully accessible campground is available to everyone, but manageable for someone with a disability.  This year the event takes place Sunday, September 16 from 3:30-6:30 pm.


A parking attendant gestures us to a field cleared for temporary parking. A Paul Smith’s College bus picks us up and transports us to the welcome center and 1st station. There were five different stations spread out through the various campground lean-tos. My family grabs a drink at the first station and hits the trail. The paths are wide and lined with pea gravel. Some guests are in wheelchairs and easily maneuver through any obstacles. Others push strollers or walk the easily accessible trails. Signs help the flow of traffic to the next station.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this progressive dinner but I received a gourmet meal at each location. A homemade tomato basil soup, fresh green salad with strawberries, freshly made humus and salsa and a chilled poached salmon entrée. I don’t know what is on this year’s menu, but I’m sure it will be another wonderful feast.

After making the food station rounds we explore the shoreline, fishing dock and boat docks. There are also guided walking tours and an opportunity to view the lake from a pontoon boat.  

This year local restaurants and students from the Paul Smith’s College Culinary Program will host the five stations. Station One Refreshments by Paul Smith’s College; Station Two Appetizers by The Well Dressed Food Company, Station Three: Soup and Salad by Bima’s; Station Four Entrée by Paul Smith’s College; Station Five: Dessert by Larkin’s Deli.

The cost is $10/person and limited to the first 200 people. John Dillon Park is located on Route 30 four miles north of Long Lake and 15 miles south of Tupper Lake. To make a reservation for A Walk Through the Wood at John Dillon Park call the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce at 359-3328.  

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities.

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