15 Fun Things To Do In Old Forge, New York - Updated 2021

things to do in old forge new york
Ryan
Ryan
Updated

As its name suggests, Old Forge was once a forge. With its land unsuitable for farming, Charles Frederick Herreshoff opened an iron mine in 1811. It was incorporated as a village in 1903 but only lasted 30 years before residents voted to dissolve it in 1933, due to the high costs of government operations.

It, however, remains the principal community of Herkimer County today, serving as an extensive business district and targeting mostly summer tourism, with attractions like the Enchanted Forest Water Safari. Heading there soon? Book your stay at the top Airbnb and other vacation rentals in town, and check out the Enchanted Forest Water Safari, along with the rest of the best things to do in Old Forge, New York!

1. Get a taste of Montezuma Winery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Before you enjoy your vacation up in the mountains, stop by Montezuma Winery in Old Forge and get yourself a bottle or two of wine to accompany the stunning views you’re about to see in town. You can also make a day out of touring the property and wine-tasting as a treat. The tasting fee is about USD 10 for 6 samples; if you want something to take home with you, you may avail of the USD 12 tasting with a souvenir wine glass. Spirits tastings are available at the winery too.

Montezuma Winery

Address: 3050 NY-28, Old Forge, NY 13420, United States

Website: Montezuma Winery

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 10am - 6pm; Fri - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Wed & Thu)

2. Enjoy the day at Old Forge Public Beach

Old Forge Public Beach 1, June 2016
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Guitarbogus used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are in town for a nice, laid-back vacation, you have to visit Old Forge Public Beach especially when you have kids. Let the kids run around and enjoy the playground while the adults enjoy a picnic or a book by the shore. There are plenty of things you can do around the beach which also includes a park and a public tennis court. It does not take much to have a good time in Old Forge if you know where to spend your days at. This is a safe (and free!) place for your enjoyment.

Old Forge Public Beach

Address: Lakeview Avenue, Old Forge, NY

Website: Old Forge Public Beach

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

3. Have a family day

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, Calypso’s Cove has plenty of thrilling activities, both indoors and out. There is a multi-skill level rock climbing wall, go-kart track, mini golf course, zipline, batting cages and bumper boats. If you’d like to head indoors to continue the excitement, there are over 40 games in the arcade to have a friendly competition with the entire family. If you don’t know what to do in Old Forge, NY, go for the classic family day at this attraction.

Calypso Cove

Address: 3183 NY-28, 13420 Old Forge, NY

Website: Calypso Cove

4. Explore Bald Mountain

Bald Mountain. Old Forge, NY
Source: Photo by Flickr user Kyle used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re up for a challenge, head to Bald Mountain, which has a 715 meter (2,350 foot) summit offering breathtaking views of the Fulton Chain of Lakes. The hike may start off deceptively easy, but it won’t be long before hikers reach the steepest section of the mountain. Along the way, there are several intermediate viewpoints to catch your breath and get a glimpse of what’s to come when you reach the top. The Rondaxe Fire Tower has also been restored, so you can climb up for the best views from the mountain.

Bald Mountain

Address: Bald Mountain, 13420 Webb, NY

Website: Bald Mountain

5. Soak in mountainous views

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Creaking legs making it hard for you to make that trip up to Bald Mountain? Worry not. You can enjoy the same glorious view of the Fulton Chain of Lakes at the McCauley Mountain Scenic Chairlift.

This 10-minute ride trip up lets you enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. On a clear day, both Whiteface Mountain and Mount Marcy are visible on the horizon as well. Pack a lunch for a picnic at the top. You may just get to see the many curious deer that wander in and out of the trees.

McCauley Mountain Scenic Chairlift

Address: 300 McCauley Rd, 13420 Old Forge, NY

Website: McCauley Mountain Scenic Chairlift

6. Go on a rail trail

Adirondack Scenic Railroad Thendara
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Howard Brier used under CC BY 2.0

Get on a steam rail and enjoy some of the pristine woods that Adirondack has to offer. There are plenty of activities aboard, from re-enacted Loomis gang train robberies to murder mysteries to solve. There are also eco-tours and dinner parties aboard to attend. This non-profit organization aims to preserve the rail history. It is most beautiful when it runs in the fall.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Address: 321 Main St, 13501 Utica, NY

Website: Adirondack Scenic Railroad

7. Take a relaxing cruise

Old Forge March 1, 2018 First lake 3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user B137 used under CC0

After seeing the Fulton Chain of Lakes from the mountain tops, take a tour of it by sailing through it. The Old Forge Lake Cruises is a great way of going back to the days when steamboats were once the most practical way to travel in the Adirondacks. There are several packages available, all of which provide great sightseeing and photo-taking opportunities. Each tour lasts about two hours and includes a bathroom and snack bar. Joining this tour is one of the most exciting Old Forge activities out there!

Old Forge Lake Cruises

Address: 116 Steamboat Landing, 13420 Old Forge, NY

Website: Old Forge Lake Cruises

8. Take on white water rafting

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If being on a cruise is too calm for you, then come try Old Forge’s whitewater rafting and take on the rapids. Started by the Rafferty family, Adirondack Rafting Company lets guests experience the scenic and wild Hudson River Gorge through the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. It may be about an hour’s drive from central Old Forge, but it promises to be a thrilling adventure for the family.

Adirondack Rafting Company

Address: 100 W Main St, 12842 Indian Lake, NY

Website: Adirondack Rafting Company

9. Check out their local brewery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Come swing by to try a taste of the city’s very own local beers. The Fulton Chain Craft Brewery was founded by Justin Staskiewicz and Richard Mathy in 2014 with a goal of using locally sourced ingredients in its brews. Using hops and grains from New York State, the brewery has up to 10 beers on tap, where you’re pretty much guaranteed to walk away having at least one amaze you.

Fulton Chain Craft Brewery

Address: 127 North St, 13420 Old Forge, NY

Website: Fulton Chain Craft Brewery

10. Go camping around Old Forge

Old Forge Moose River 2, June 2016
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Guitarbogus

If you’d like to truly be removed from society and be one with nature for a few days, then visiting a campground is one of the best places to do so. Being one of the busiest camping areas in the US because of beautiful scenery, there’s easy access to a variety of activities as well as opportunities for bear sightings (if you wish!). There are multiple campgrounds in the vicinity of Old Forge including Nick’s Lake, Singing Waters, and Old Forge Campin Resort. Every campground offers different amenities, so be sure to check out each one and find the location that makes for your ideal camping experience. There are also cabin rentals in the area, some are even pet-friendly ones, to complete that ultimate adventure with nature.

Nick's Lake

Address: 278 Bisby Rd, Old Forge, NY 13420, United States

Website: Nick’s Lake

Singing Waters

Address: 1334 NY-28, Old Forge, NY 13420, United States

Website: Singing Waters

Old Forge Camping Resort

Address: 3347 NY-28, 13420 Old Forge, NY

Website: Old Forge Camping Resort

11. Visit New York’s largest water theme park

ENCHANTED FOREST
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Anne LaBastille used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The Enchanted Forest Water Safari is New York’s largest water theme park and it’s a perennial favorite every summer vacation. Admission gives visitors unlimited access to over 50 attractions, including 32 water rides and all shows. There are thrilling ones like Raging Rapids, Killermanjaro, and The Curse of the Silverback. This Old Forge attraction isn’t all about the water though. The park has other amusement rides on land that guarantee just as much fun.

Enchanted Forest Water Safari

Address: 3183 New York 28, 13420 Old Forge, NY

Website: Enchanted Forest Water Safari

12. Tour the skies and waters

Seaplane
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Experience the countryside in both the skies and waters in a seaplane. Payne’s Seaplane Rides & Air Service allows you to do just that. Once you’re high above the trees, you’ll be able to see for miles across the Adirondacks. This provides stunning views of the countryside. The company offers both short loop and long loop flights, so you’ll get to take in the views without feeling entirely uncomfortable.

Payne’s Seaplane Rides & Air Service

Address: 431 NY-28, 13360 Inlet, NY

Website: Payne’s Seaplane Rides & Air Service

13. Family fun mini-golf at Nutty Putty

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Nutty Putty is a place to spend a few fun-filled family hours. It’s an attractive place with lots of flowers. It may sound like a throwback sort of thing to do, but with friendly staff and the kids enjoying themselves, you are bound to have fun. It’s a quirky little mini-golf course and unlike those you normally find.

The pine trees keep players cool as they navigate the tricky course. Some of the holes even have moving features so you won’t be bored trying to get around the blind corners.

Nutty Putty

Address: 2933 Rt. 28, Old Forge, NY

14. Step back in time and watch a movie at the Strand Theatre

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Rainy days could see you stuck for something to do, but the Strand Theatre comes to the rescue. A combination of museum and shows, if you love cinema, this is a great place. Modern day digital quality features happen as well. Popcorn is available, and it’s an original machine! Delicious ice creams are also for sale.

You can also pick up some original posters of movies, so that’s a good find for movie buffs. The 1920s art-deco style takes you back to another era. There are four theaters in the property, with choices of what to watch. The whole family will enjoy it on a rainy, or a lazy day.

The Strand Theatre

Address: Route 28 Main Street, Old Forge, NY

Website: The Strand Theatre

15. Dine at The Sky Bar at Tony Harper's

Pizza
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Visit Tony Harper’s, also known as Tony Harper’s Pizza & Clam Shack, and try their delicious homemade pizza. Afterward, head up to the Sky Bar and enjoy a few beers or cocktails. With five high-definition televisions, customers will surely have a great time. Want some live music while you savor your refreshing beverages? The bar has occasional live performances from local artists for your enjoyment. If you get hungry, you can also order other appetizing food such as their signature Whisky Wings and their famous “Raquette Cheesesteak”.

The Sky Bar at Tony Harper's

Address: 3062 NY-28, Old Forge, NY 13420, United States

Website: The Sky Bar at Tony Harper’s

Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)

Fun to be found everywhere

Old Forge is a dream vacation destination, regardless of the season, with its many great places to stay and tourist spots to visit. While it may be marketed more as a summer vacation, there are things to do even in winter, especially when McCauley Mountain becomes a ski resort. If you’re booking your next trip here, you’ll know that you’ll be in for a fun-filled holiday.

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Old Forge, New York

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Old Forge?

You’ve made the right choice visiting the beautiful town of Old Forge. Its top must-visit attractions are Strand Theatre, Enchanted Forest Water Safari, and McCauley Mountain Ski Center. For a nearby attraction, check out Adirondack Scenic Railroad in Utica.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Old Forge?

Hiking and exploring Bald Mountain, spending a day at Old Forge Public Beach, taking a relaxing cruise with Old Forge Lake Cruises, and white water rafting with Adirondack Rafting Company are some of the best outdoor activities in and around Old Forge.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Old Forge with kids?

Old Forge is a place that has exciting things to do for visitors of all ages, especially kids. If your little ones are tagging along, take them for a nice picnic at Old Forge Public Beach or ride the attractions at Enchanted Forest Water Safari.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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