Adirondack Family Time: McCauley Mountain Chairlift

There are only 60 chairs on the double chairlift at McCauley Mountain, down about 20 from its winter route. All the unused chairs are lined up freshly painted and repaired waiting for the start of the winter season. It is a smooth and steady 2, 200’ ride to the top. It does seem odd to be riding a chairlift in autumn. The children are lined up waiting their turn, pretending they are going to hit the moguls on the way down. We even encounter the prerequisite lost lift item request from a couple already lift bound. We retrieve the shoe and are thankful it’s just a kicked off flip-flop and not a ski buried in the snow.

It is a leisurely ride to the top so we are able to glance around at the view of the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Old Forge and Grey Lake. Our exit is uneventful without the cumbersome addition of ski gear. Cinderella is patiently waiting at top for her lost shoe. Picnic tables and Adirondack chairs are scattered about. The children run about finding playmates to explore the backside of the summit.

Though some people decide to hike down the mountain, we decide to take the lift back down this time seeing the beauty of the lakes and mountains around us. The leaves have not started to turn but by now I am sure they are in full color.

The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a portion of a river system that extends to Lake Ontario and was first dammed in the late 1700s. According to the Fulton Chain of Lakes Association the present dam at Old Forge holds back 6.8 billion gallons of water. Lower Fulton Chain starts at Old Forge Pond and travels to First Lake, Second, Third, Fourth Lakes to the Towns of Eagle Bay and Inlet and ending sequentially with Eighth Lake.

If you still have time or energy after riding the lift, there are still 20 km of XC ski trails that can be accessed right at the base of the main lodge. There is also a large playground and plenty of benches. McCauley Mountain is located in Old Forge. From Tupper Lake take Route 30S to Route 28 The Scenic Chairlift is open on the weekends through October 13th from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Adults are $5, juniors (6-16) and seniors (+65) $4 and children 5 – under are free.


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