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Bar Vino

Bar Vino

Main Street, North Creek: Not Just for Day Trippers

By Peter Menzies

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rather than heading to Vermont or Lake Placid, a family of skiers with a summer home in Bolton Landing decided to spend a long winter weekend in North Creek. They discovered that the once sleepy hamlet is not just a detour on the way to Gore, it’s a destination in itself.

I like skiing and I love trains.  My wife loves cozy inns, great meals and unique shopping.  My kids love skiing, indulge my passion for trains, and like to eat burgers and pizza three times a day on average.  North Creek has all of this in abundance and was the perfect setting for a long weekend getaway.

North Creek, home to Gore Mountain and arguably some of the best skiing in the East is also the northern terminus of The Saratoga & North Creek Railway.  Over the past decade the village has developed into a quaint and sophisticated destination for skiers, shoppers and adventurers.

On Friday evening we checked into two adjoining rooms at the Copperfield Inn.  It’s a perfect home base for a weekend away.  The rooms are big, comfortable and nicely decorated, the staff is lovely, and we settled in quickly after wrestling an entire luggage trolley full of ski gear, winter clothing, and birthday presents for our 14 year old into our rooms.

Main Street, North Creek

Dinner at Trapper’s Pub on the ground floor of the inn was a perfect way to start the weekend.  It’s cozy place, with a great rustic log cabin interior.  While waiting for a table, we sat on the couch in front of the fireplace, had a beer and gazed up at an enormous stuffed moose that had been felled by Teddy Roosevelt about a century ago.  Cool.  Dinner consisted of burgers, fries, wings, and salads – typical bar food, but done well.

On Saturday morning, we slept a little later than we usually would since there’s a free shuttle to the mountain.  Gore could have used two feet of fresh powder, but despite the lack of natural snow, the conditions were good, and there was plenty of terrain to ski.

We were back at Trappers again on Saturday evening.  I ate every appetizer on the menu and then had a salad so I could pretend that I was eating light.  We lolled around in our chairs, stuffed, happy and relaxed.  The staff arranged for a birthday cake for our son at the end of our meal and the whole room – including the house band sang to him.  It was a great end to full, fun day.

On Sunday, we headed back to Gore in the morning.  A fresh coat of snow improved the conditions. After a half dozen runs, we left the big mountain and headed over to the ski bowl.  We try to spend an afternoon there a few times every winter.  Bring a picnic lunch, rev up the outdoor fireplace at the yurt and spend the afternoon relaxing by the fire, hanging with friends and taking a few runs here and there.  If you haven’t been, go.  It’s perfect for families.  Compared to Gore, it’s small, but the terrain can be diverse and challenging.  Last year we skied the glades all day after a 2-foot dump.  There are cross-country trails, snowshoeing and a tubing park as well.  My kids love it – there is a half pipe and a ski cross course that they can ride for hours.  We like to think of it as our secret spot because there are never any crowds.

After we wrapped up the skiing, we spent the late afternoon browsing and buying at a few of the cute shops in town.  Clothing, gifts, books, Adirondack furniture, and an awesome hardware store made us want to buy more than we need.  While the shopping was underway I got distracted by the gorgeous vintage trains idling across the street.  The Ski Train runs from Saratoga to North Creek weekends, and then connects to the mountain with a shuttle.  It appeals to non-skiers as well — Saturday’s trip was a Winnie the Pooh adventure in honor of A.A. Milne’s birthday.  I vowed to try it some day.

Sunday evening started with fireworks, a torch light parade down the mountain.  We watched from the confines of the Tannery pub with a group of old friends.  Afterward, the kids stayed in, watched the football playoffs and ate take-out from Pete’s Ah.  It’s a North-country gem — really a perfect pizzeria.  Smoky, friendly with video games and awesome food.

Kids settled, and hungry for something new, we walked up the street to Bar Vino.  By far, this is the hippest spot in the Adirondacks.  We started at the long bar up front and had a drink from the extensive beer list.  We waited to sample from their carefully curated and affordable wine selection at dinner.  Again, we opted to try a few small plates rather than go the traditional salad/entrée way.  A gorgeous cheese plate started things off, followed by glazed chicken wings, and frites with a spicy aioli that I still crave.

On Monday morning we chipped the ice off the truck, grabbed a cup of coffee from Stewarts and made the painful trip back to reality after a wonderfully active, but relaxing weekend in North Creek.

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Adirondack Adventure Festival to be Held in North Creek

By Mirror Staff

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

North Creek and will host the third annual Adirondack Adventure Festival on May 4  through May 6, the same weekend as the White Water Derby.

Events include guided bike tours and hikes, fly-fishing demonstrations, nature education programs, trout releases into the Hudson River, live music, a craft fair, as well as a range of opportunities for dining and shopping.

Vendors, demonstrations, exhibits and registration for activities will be located at the Riverfront Park at Railroad Place adjacent to the North Creek Train Station.

New this year is a tour of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway train, the North Creek Depot Museum, a spinning wheel exhibit and demonstration and live music on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  A complete schedule is available at www.adirondackadventurefestival.com.

The Warren County Hatchery will have a fish tank stocked with live trout to be released into the Hudson River at the end of the day on Saturday. North Country Wild Care will bring Birds of Prey and the Wild Center will have exhibits on the Adirondack wilderness and wildlife.

Adirondack Community College’s Adventure Sports Program students will act as biking guides for the 50mile and 20mile road bike tours on Saturday, as well as provide free river rafting rides on both Saturday and Sunday.  The Cold River Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club will lead a guided hike on Saturday to Little Rabbit Pond.

This year’s White Water Derby is the 55th. Starting from North River on 11am on Saturday, May 5, the Novice and Giant Slalom races will take place on the Hudson River with the Chuck Severance Race running immediately after.  The Downriver Race will be held on Sunday, starting at 11am from North Creek to Riparius.

For more information on the 3rd  Annual Adirondack Adventure Festival,  please contact Pat Hamilton, at the  Gore Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce at (518) 251-2612 or  info@gorechamber.com

For more information on the 55th Annual White Water Derby, or to schedule an interview with Derby Director, Katie Nightingale, call (518) 251-2005, or e-mail Katie at info@whitewaterderby.com

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The Crane Men

The Crane Men's Ensemble

Crane Men’s Ensemble to give Tannery Pond Performance

By Mirror Staff

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Crane School of Music’s Men’s Ensemble will be performing at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek at 7:30 PM on Friday, March 2, 2012 as part of the Upper Hudson Musical Arts 2011-2012 guest series. All students and children will be admitted free. Tickets for adults are $10.00.This program is underwritten by the Glen and Carol Pearsall Foundation, and Stewarts Shops.  For more information go to www.upperhudsonmusicalarts.org

Comprised of 55 male students at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York, the Men’s Ensemble focuses on training future music educators and performers by giving its members leadership positions and solo opportunities. The choir is known throughout the North Country for its high standards of musical excellence.  The accompanists and instrumentalists are drawn from within the group, as are the student conductors.

The Men’s Ensemble performs each semester at the Crane Choral Extravaganza, and at the annual Candlelight Concert and Spring Festival.  This year they have also performed at a variety of school districts, churches, and community centers.  Since service through performance is such an important part of the Crane students’ goals as musical leaders, the choir will be working with students at Warrensburg Jr/Sr High School  and at Tupper Lake  Central School on March 2nd.

The repertoire for this ensemble is both challenging and diverse, including all music genres spanning from the Renaissance to modern-day spiritual adaptations.

In their March 2nd program, the Crane Men’s Ensemble several students will be featured in solo and small ensemble acts, providing opportunities for the students to demonstrate their personal musical interests and talents.

The vocal music program at the Crane School of Music has a distinguished history and includes performances conducted by Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Helen Hosmer, Nadia Boulanger, Brock McElheran and Robert Shaw.

For tickets and more information about all Upper Hudson Musical Arts Events, contact Jill Harrington at 518-681-1715

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Photos by James H. Miller

Photos by James H. Miller

Aboard the Saratoga & North Creek Railway’s Inaugural Run

By James H. Miller

Thursday, August 18, 2011

At the steady pace of 30 mph, the train rolled in and out of dense forest and along the dark waters of the Hudson, passing through small towns—Riverside, Thurman, Hadley, Corinth, Luzerne—where people waved from cars and back yards as it whistled by. When the train passed the back of one house, kids in bathing suits danced around the swimming pool and threw their hands in the air. On board, passengers waved back and applauded—applauded for what? A lot of things, it seemed, but primarily the combined efforts of their community, and the revival of this track.

Last Wednesday, The North Creek & Saratoga Railway opened its train doors for a special preview run. Passengers boarded at the quaint rail station in North Creek, and in a little under two hours, they arrived in Saratoga Springs. It was a historic event, in that no train has run as far as Saratoga Springs from North Creek since 1956.

Operators of the railway, Iowa Pacific Holdings, acquired the track from the Upper Hudson River Railroad, and now its revival could invigorate the local economies of these out-of-the-way towns. Tourists are likely to hop on the North Creek & Saratoga line for a scenic ride and stop into town restaurants, shops and hotels. The railway operates from Thursday to Sunday, offering both leisurely excursion rides and early morning service to Saratoga Springs, where New York City bound passengers can transfer to the Amtrak line.

Off board and on board, between residents and Iowa Pacific Holdings, there was sense of shared pride and accomplishment.

“We’ve received so much support from the area,” said the conductor, Jody Moore, in his sleek black uniform with gold trim, who’s been with Iowa Pacific Holdings for two years. “It’s great to be giving back to the community.”

On board, passengers were able to take in incredible scenery, the kind that’s singular to the Adirondacks. The train burrowed into tucked away landscapes that looked untouched, came into view of the Hudson, and pressed on through beautiful small towns.

In the dome car, the railway’s first class car, passengers sat over tableside lunch. For a train, the lunch menu is extensive, offering restaurant quality sandwiches, salads, deserts and cocktails.

Coach offers a quieter ride, and food service is still available to those who want it, by entering a small dining room located on the lower level of the dome car.

In two hours time, the train pulled into Saratoga Springs.

“Everything worked out much better than we thought,” Ed Ellis, the President of Iowa Pacific Holdings said on the platform. “The response has been phenomenal.”

Before leaving Saratoga Springs to head back to North Creek, Corinth Supervisor Richard Lucia spoke through the intercom at the front of the dome car.

“I’m breathless, just breathless,” he said. “All aboard. And thank you.”

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