Buck Pond Campground is located on the shoreline of the similarly-named Buck Pond (to the campground's east) and is bordered to the north and west by Lake Kushaqua and the Kushaqua Narrows. Development of the campground was started in 1965; three years later, it was finished, and the campground was opened to the public. The main road leading to and past the campground is built on the remains of a former railroad track that was converted.
RV camping at Buck Pond Campground is quite remote and the perfect destination for a rustic, out-in-the-wild vacation; if you need to gas up your motorhome rental or shop for supplies, the town of Paul Smiths is nearby. The town was named after a hotel that was built there in 1859 (and named after its owner), one of the first hotels to be built in the Adirondacks.
The campground has an impressive selection of activities and amenities for you to choose from, making it a good place to start your RV camping adventure. You can rent rowboats, canoes, and kayaks on site and use them on either of the two lakes; you can also use boats with electric motors on Buck Pond and boats with electric or gas-powered motors on Lake Kushaqua. If fishing is your thing, Buck Pond has northern pike, yellow perch, and brown bullhead, while Lake Kushaqua has all of these plus rainbow trout and black bass. There are several hiking routes nearby, but a popular one is along the revitalized former railroad track.
Slightly southeast, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness is a year-round recreational area surrounded by several lakes and hosting several more within its interior. The forest has a few trails that lead to mountain peaks (McKenzie Mountain, Haystack Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain); these trails are very popular with hikers due to their unrivaled views. It's also a good destination for climbing, with two popular climbing sites (Moss Cliff and Notch Mountain) easily accessible. You can enjoy paddling and boating on the lakes, and there is a good variety of fish for the anglers among you. In the winter, you can come here to go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing; rent a camper near Buck Pond Campground, and you can finish your winter activities in the warmth and comfort of your rig.
High Peaks Wilderness is an outdoor recreational area spread over three different counties (Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton) and located south of Saranac Lake. The terrain is a combination of mountain and forest, with lakes scattered throughout the property, making it a popular destination (especially in the summer). If you visit the park, you'll have opportunities to appreciate nature and wildlife while hiking, or you can try your hand at fishing or take a leisurely kayaking trip. Numerous primitive camping spots can be accessed by road, water, or by hiking into the backcountry.
Camping at Buck Pond Campground
Buck Pond RV camping is almost resort-like in some respects, despite its rustic setting; many of the campsites are secluded amongst trees and offer pristine quiet while still being just a stone's throw from the water, where you'll find a private beach for the campground's guests. A former railroad bed offers level and easy hiking through the surrounding woods, or you can enjoy fishing and boating on the lake. The campground has a Junior Naturalist Program for young kids that will teach them about the outdoors.
Meacham Lake Campground is a little bit of both rustic unspoiled campground and cultivated RV park. Stay here, and you'll have an unimpeded view of the lake; you may also hear the calling of the loons that populate the lake. You'll be able to make use of the campground facilities, including restrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, a horseshoe pitch and volleyball court, a picnic area with two shelters, and much more. You can purchase ice and firewood, rent a boat or canoe, or take a swim and clean off after in the adjacent bathhouse. At day's end, your unimpeded view turns into a spectacular sunset while you relax outside your camper rental.
Exploring the Area
Gabriels is a small hamlet and the commercial center of the surrounding town of Brighton; the village contains a post office, a church, and several farms and small businesses. The town is your perfect choice for taking a day off from cooking, with several restaurants to choose from and an even wider selection nearby. Within Gabriels, you can dine at a pub restaurant, a family diner, or a corner market and deli. Several of them are open for breakfast and lunch.
Saranac Lake is a medium-sized community that hosts events all-year-round, one of many reasons that it is a must-see destination. In addition to the usual winter activities, ice fishing is a big deal here; but if you decide to stay in town, you should expect to experience live music and a winter festival that lasts for a full week. There are several museums, including one that is dedicated to the American writer Robert Louis Stevenson, art studios and galleries, numerous shopping venues, and more. You can take in a show at a local theater. When dinnertime nears, Saranac Lake has a long list and wide variety of restaurants to choose from.