forking over a good drive
August 21, 2009 6:04 AM   Subscribe

i'm driving from nyc up to forked lake in the adirondacks tomorrow morning, following a pretty direct path from the city. can someone recommend some nice stops along the way and/or a nice drive that digresses from google's?

i'm going with somebody who's never seen the region, but the thing is, its about a 6 hour drive according to google, and we dont want to spend all day in the car, so i would love something along the way OR a nice suggestion for how to drive back to the city where i can show this person a thing or two about the upstate region.
posted by yonation to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
A nice drive would be to take the Taconic Parkway up to the end in Albany. Follow signs for 90 to 787 to 7 to the Thruway. You will get on the Northway at Exit 7 near Saratoga Springs. I would avoid the Thruway south of Albany unless you want to stop in Kingston or Woodstock. Saratog Springs is a great town. Along the Taconic there are quite a few small towns incuding Hyde Park. I drive to north of Lake George 2 or 3 times a month year round and I swear by the Taconic. Only issue is that there are lots of speed traps north of Westchester county.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:33 AM on August 21, 2009

Also, from the city, the drive will be closer to 5-5.5 hours, not 6. From the city, on the west side, take the Henry Hudson which turns into the Saw Mill. In Hawthorne, exit at the signs for the Taconic to Albany. (When you get on the Taconic, right there is where that terrible accident with the lady and 4 kids was several weeks ago). Follow that north for 100 miles. as noted above.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:36 AM on August 21, 2009

Thanks for the input Johnny - for the record of the thread, this is a much better link of whats going on
posted by yonation at 6:58 AM on August 21, 2009

You'll go right by the Storm King Art Center; I'd stop there for sure if you like contemporary scuplture at all. Especially if you like big landscapy contemporary sculpture.
posted by escabeche at 7:12 AM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

That is a better link. Drag the line where it says 87 just north of the city to the right onto the Taconic and that is what I suggest you take. My suggested way is a scenic route that may add about 10-15 minutes to the drive assuming no traffic on 87 or save 10-15 minutes with 87 traffic. IF you leave the city at 7 you will be in Forked Lake by noon. I do this exact drive except I continue on the Northway to exit 23 to rt28 to Long Lake regularly including tomorrow afternoon. On the Northway at exit 20 (Glens Falls) there are some outlet shops. (Turn toward Glens Falls the opposite of where the map has you going for about a half mile. Not out of your way at all.) If you get off at exit 18 you drive and take 9 or 9A north you drive through old Glens Falls which is nice.

I do the drive often enough that I prefer to just charge on ahead and get there ASAP.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:30 AM on August 21, 2009

I was just up there last week. Marty's Chili Night in Indian Lake is a fun Tex/Mex place (not authentic or anything, if that matters, only open Wed-Sat).

Oscar's, in Warrensburg is a fantastic smokehouse that has house made bacon, sausage (try the basil-chicken), local cheese, and fantastic pastrami.

If you take 28 from 87 above Albany you can hit both places.
posted by electroboy at 9:07 AM on August 21, 2009

Oh also Castle Rock in Blue Mountain Lake has a fantastic view and it's an easy hike.
posted by electroboy at 9:09 AM on August 21, 2009

If you are looking for a great coffee stop in Albany off of i87 (after you would get back on if you take the Taconic), stop at Professor Java's Coffee Sanctuary. It's delicious, friendly, been there for years, and is the only non-godawful-chain nearby the interstate.

Here's a google map.
posted by jordanlewis at 9:32 AM on August 21, 2009

You might find some good spots by geocaching. The "caches" tend to be placed by locals that know all of the good spots, and even in the suburb and city I've lived in for 30 years I've been taken to some amazing places I'd never known about.

Even if you don't intend to track down the cache, mapping the locations out on Google Maps and looking at the satellite images of the area is a good way to find spots.
posted by ianbanks at 10:45 AM on August 21, 2009

Lastly, do not get off the Thruway at exit 20 unless you are stopping at the outlet stores. Get off at Exit 23. Make a left at the end of the ramp and a right onto 9 at the light. follow 9 through Warrensburg to 28 at blinking light. Make left. Take 28 until you hit a T at Blue Mountain Lake. Folllow google from there, but it is a right at that T. Electroboy knows of what he speaks regarding Oscar's in Warrensburg and the Castle Rock hike. Also, along the way on 28, just past Gore Mountain is the town of North Creek. It has some nice stores and coffee/restaurant type places. If you want to stop at a dive bar in Indian Lake, the Bear Trap Inn on the left at the end of town is that place. Tell them JohnnyGunn sent you.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:02 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

thanks guys - lots of great stuff here - i'm excited!
posted by yonation at 1:22 PM on August 21, 2009

Blue Mt. Lake, (which is almost to Forked Lake) has a nice shop called Blue Mt Designs. Worth a look. Also if you go into Long Lake, 3 or so more miles past the turn off to Forked Lake, there's a cool store called Hoss' , it has a great book selection and also anything camping supply wise you may need. I was a Forked Lake a couple of weeks ago, more mosquitos than usual is one thing I noticed, but beautiful as ever. There's a new ranger, he's ok, but not as nice as the old one. Oscar's in Warensburg is not to be missed. Slightly past the center of town, on the right up a hill.
Saratoga is crazy busy this time of year, if you're not going to spend the day don't bother.
Ok idea to take the Taconic, but the thruway would be faster and it's the least interesting part of the drive, I'd go thruway.
Once you get into the Adirondaks it will be beautiful, doesn't matter what route you take.
posted by starfish at 6:18 PM on August 21, 2009

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