There's nothing like driving through the Adirondacks on a warm summer's day, taking in the breathtaking mountain features as they explode in different hues of green, reminding us of what a gem upstate New York truly is. In the fall, all of these mountainscapes are ablaze with hues of orange, red, and yellow, making us appreciate the mountainous region's beauty even more. But what about the in-between towns and the roads less traveled? You know the ones: the roads that seemingly lead to nowhere, the stretches of highway that seem to go on forever when a heavy fog sets in as you're driving through a mountain pass... don't you?
The striking beauty of a mountain region often has two sides and one is always flawlessly stunning given a sunny day and a season change, while the other can be quite eerie and a bit unsettling given the remote isolation of its nature. Speaking to the latter, the Adirondacks is home to many abandoned locations that do sit at the end of those winding roads or just at the foothills of those mountains and if you're up for some creepy landscapes, these are the most notable.
Camp Santanoni brings with it a sad history and it's one that includes a police case that was never solved. Although the camp itself went through several owners, the first was Robert Pruyn. It was built in 1893 with the intention of becoming a summer camp, as multiple residences were built on the property and it was dubbed an official seasonal camp. Originally consisting of three buildings - a gatehouse, farm complex, and the main camp - the property remained in the Pruyn family until they decided to sell it generations later.
The next owners of the camp were the Melvins, who lived not far away in Syracuse. It's with the Melvin family that the tragedy originally began during one of their traditional summer vacations at the property. During one of these vacations, a member of the Melvin family went into the Adirondack woods and was never seen again. The family recruited hundreds of volunteers to help comb the area behind and around the camp but, sadly, no one was ever found and no body was ever recovered. Following this, the family sold the camp to the Nature Conservancy, who then sold the entire property - including the buildings - to New York State. It was reopened in the early 2000s to visitors as a nature park, although the camp's buildings still remain devoid of any private families.
Lake Placid Club
Despite its name, the Lake Placid Club was not nearly as popular as one might think. In its heyday, families were enchanted by the club itself with its fantastic views of the surrounding area and convenient location on the lake. However, the Lake Placid Club met its end following the 1930s, after it had hosted the Winter Olympics. While it certainly went out with a bang, the property eventually fell into disuse and saw a gradual decline in popularity as the 1940s brought with it significant advances in air travel, meaning families were no longer seeking a luxury vacation that was a short drive away from their homes.
The main hotel has since burned down but the rest of the Lake Placid Club - or, rather, what remains of it - has been overtaken by nature. What's left behind is an eerie reminder of what once was, including an era of elegance that attracted families from all over the state.
The Town Of Tahawus
As was the case with many early towns, the town of Tahawus was booming after iron ore was discovered in the Adirondacks. The extraction process continued for three decades as crews worked between Mount Marcy and Santanoni until efforts to reach the remote location of Newcomb led to troubles with the mining crew. This led to the shutting down of mining operations in 1857 but this wasn't the ultimate tragedy that befell the town of Tawahus. Nearly a century later, mining crews returned to the region but in search of titanium oxide this time and, in 1989, the mountains were finally tapped of their natural mineral resources.
With no reason to stick around, the mining crews deserted the area and the town of Tawahus eventually became to be no more, as there was no way to live in it sustainable and no work nearby for residents. While the land is now managed by the state, visitors are free to roam the grounds, some of which still show the signs of an era long gone. The Tawahus mines are also abandoned, yet still there to this day, offering a glimpse into the area's history.