New York
The Illusion of Roughing It: The Vanderbilts' Great Camp Sagamore
Travel back to the Gilded Age of the Adirondacks at Camp Sagamore, former wilderness estate of the Vanderbilts, where you’ll learn about local traditions and regional history.
Rating (4.83)
Program No. 14875RJ
4 days
Starts at
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Getting There
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At a Glance

Get a taste of the Gilded Age version of “roughing it” as you stay in the Adirondack wilderness estate once owned by the Vanderbilts. Camp Sagamore is situated on pristine Sagamore Lake, and its rustic architecture and main lodge with stone fireplace and spectacular views recalls the opulent era of the “Robber Barons.” Learn about the heyday of the Adirondack Great Camps and the fascinating work being done to preserve this historical era. Of course, there’s plenty of time to canoe the lake, explore the wilderness on the camp’s 20 miles of trails, play croquet or just relax.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Programs at Sagamore require at least some walking/standing, even just getting around camp. The tour of the facility requires standing or walking for perhaps 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • With experts, uncover the heritage of Camp Sagamore, and examine the lifestyles of the Vanderbilts, the "First Family" of the Gilded Age.
  • Visit the guest houses and imagine servants catering to you during summer trips to the Adirondack Mountains.
  • A regionally known musician and storyteller gives insights into local folklore.

General Notes

This 3-night program is designed as an introduction to the Great Camp phenomenon. Those wishing to immerse themselves more deeply in Great Camp history and Adirondack culture are encouraged to consider program #20944 -- America's Treasures: Three Great Camps of the Gilded Age, a 5-night program that includes excursions to two other, privately-owned Great Camps.
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Mary Sanders Shartle
Mary Sanders Shartle is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. She is a member of “The Three Poets” who twice won the Adirondack Center for Writing Literary Award, and her poems have appeared in BlueLine and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Annually, she facilitates a literary book group in Galway, N.Y. for the New York Council on the Humanities. Mary teaches numerous writing workshops for adults and children, and is the author of “The Hermit: The Truth and Legend of Lily Martindale.”
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Mary Sanders Shartle
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Bill Smith
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