A Story of Hospitality, Family & Fate. . .
Cathy and Ernest Hohmeyer did not know until after they were married that Cathy's family had originally built the Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat in 1886.
Our story is one that spans over 130 years.
The original Lodge was built in 1886 by Cathy (Fisher Otis) Hohmeyer's family. Lake Clear served as a strategic commerce point in Adirondack history. In the 19th century Lake Clear connected by portage the famous Paul Smith's and Saranac Inn hotels.
Lake Clear now stands in the window of New York State's only wilderness canoe region and is the dividing lake between those waters that move East towards Lake Champlain and North to the St. Lawrence River Valley. It is the major headwater for the Saranac chain of lakes.
With the advent of the rail in the late 19th century Lake Clear continued its strategic role. Passengers from New York City could ride directly to Lake Clear and from here go to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid or North to Malone and Canada. There was also a special rail line that went directly to the Paul Smith's Hotel.
As you walk the old paved portion of our nature trails, this originally served as the main highway and originally functioned as a stagecoach road.
It is in this natural and geographic portal that Cathy's family originally built the Lodge in 1886 as a stagecoach inn, post office and trading post.
The property was sold by their family in the mid-1920s.
In 1965, the Hohmeyer family, all born in Europe except for Ernest, bought the property and gave it an Old World flair.
In 1994, Ernest and Cathy bought the facility. In developing our first website in the late 1990s, we were interested in doing a historical piece and discovered what we believe is a destined history.
This History Creates a Living Discovery Journey
From family built hand-crafted lodgings to the personal style of the Old World Gasthauses and the honest luxury of the Adirondack grand hotels you enter the intimacy of a 4-generation estate than a typical "resort" feel.
The Great Camp experience we offer is about the space to give you plenty of elbow room where meanderings are part of the discovery. Lodgings are purposely spread apart among nature trails and lake-views. The dining experience a culinary journey that begins in the Fireside Rathskeller and hand-crafted Beer & Wine Cellar with the largest selection of craft import beers in the Adirondacks as well as sustainable wines. Menander with glass in hand to one of the most breath-taking mountain-lake sunsets you will find anywhere in this world. Stroll back to the Lake-view Center or the 1886 dining room for dinner and then retreat to your own lodging oasis. We focus on a 100 mile product philosophy: based on Chef Cathy's pioneer family (that initially built the Lodge in 1886) and fused with Old World traditions of Ernest's European family, who bought the lodge nearly 50 years ago.
This Heritage Creates a Culinary Journey.
We infuse Native American, Old World, pioneer, wellness elements from the Cure Cottage days, the Adirondack Grand Hotel era and come back in a complete circle to farm-to-fork.
We don't stop there though, Chef Cathy, the "Adirondack Wellness Chef" has created "Culinary Naturopathy™" – and you can experience the culinary future of superfoods.
Our dining then is an experience. A savory, fun and educational time travel of the many diverse flavors of Adirondack cuisine.
A Holistic Adirondack Approach
For nearly 25 years Ernest served as the CEO of an Adirondack sustainable development organization. He grew it from a grassroots approach with no programs and minimal funding to an Adirondack Park effort with state and federal support. His work in developing innovative rural programs led to his selection as the National SBA Financial Advocate of the Year. His lifelong effort to bring all appropriate stakeholders together to develop holistic solutions led to his organization being selected by New York State as the "Not-for-Profit of the Year" along with various community and environmental awards.
Our work continues today with the creation of the not-for-profit Adirondack Spirit with a focus on the potential of the Adirondacks to be a place for inspiration.
Inspired by the 1858 Philosophers Camp of Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James Stillman that took place in our nearby woods, the Adirondacks has long drawn artists, healers, scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts.
These different human and natural habitats over time have combined to create a unique Adirondack spirit.
One of the United States oldest preserves with the creation of "forever wild" lands in 1892, the Adirondacks has been called the "great experiment of man and nature. It provides a natural backdrop for inspirational educational experiences, activism and investments that focus on the future of our world. A philosophy that inspires a visionary quality of life based on an integrated view of man and nature.
Imagine the Adirondacks as the center for inspiration: A vision where our hallowed Great Woods are once again the portal for "philosopher camps." A place that calls to world renowned creative artists, healers and entrepreneurs to become inspired by the Adirondacks as Einstein did as they contemplated the issues of their time. It has a sense of place where they are drawn to the energy of the Adirondack spirit to explore the issues of our time and to create an inspirational future. This synergistic vision will aim to connect global partners and investments to flourish a renaissance of the Adirondacks as the center for inspiration.
"Discover our Nature & Re-connect with Yours"
A 4 season discovery destination from outdoor paddles and sleigh rides to indoor wellness cooking demos and reflective fireside chats – a National Geographic Traveler award for "Keeping a sense of place."
2015 USA TODAY Feature
2013 Audubon International "Platinum 5 Green Leaf" Award
2012 Audubon International "4 Green Leaf" Award
2011 Inclusion Adirondack Style Great Camps & Lodges
2010 Top 10 New York State Romantic Inns
2009 National Geographic Traveler Award "Keeping A Sense of Place"
2008 "Five Forks" Review, Watertown Daily Times
One of the last original Adirondack lodges open to the public. Secluded Lake Clear…where Einstein relaxed!
A holistic portal where we hope you will be rejuvenated and driven to inspire others!