2014 Annual Guide to the Great Outdoors
Picnics in the Park
Where to go, what to buy
by Elizabeth Folwell
Provisions: Dave’s Market
8660 Sagamore Road, (518) 644-5441
Near the bridge to the palatial Sagamore Resort is this bite-size deli that makes tasty carry-out food: pizza, giant Italian subs and sandwiches. For dessert try a homemade lemon bar.
Destination: Rogers Memorial Park
In the heart of Bolton, along Lake Shore Drive, this favorite Lake George beach provides sun, shade and swimming, plus lots of picnic tables.
Provisions: Main Street Ice Cream Parlor
6339 Main Street, (518) 494-7940
This perky yellow schoolhouse is a study in fine sandwichery, including the Lumberjack Club (corned beef, turkey, cheddar and tomato on rye with basil-garlic mayo) or Packbasket (turkey, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, cheese and cranberry mayo on a hard roll).
Destination: Palmer Pond
You’ll pass a huge beaver dam on the two-mile round trip to pretty Palmer Pond. The trailhead is at the end of Palmer Pond Road, off Route 8 one mile west of the Routes 8 and 9 intersection in Chestertown.
Provisions: Kalil’s Grocery
169 Route 28, (315) 357-3603
Authentic Lebanese fare—tabbouleh and hummus—is made daily in the deli and big rounds of Middle Eastern bread are on top of the cold-cut case. Augment your nomadic meal with sharp North Country cheddar and classic black-and-white cookies.
Destination: Arrowhead Park
Kitty-corner across Route 28 is the town park and beach. Shaded by tall pines, the channel between Fourth and Fifth Lakes is the local version of Venice, where from a bench you can watch a stately procession of vessels.
Provisions: ADK Trading Post
1601 Route 30, (518) 624-2357, www.adktradingpost.com
Swing by this rustic roadside shop for a tasty panini, like the Rondeau (roast beef, roasted red pepper, mozzarella, horseradish mayo) or Big Brook Big Bite (turkey, caramelized onions, cheddar, sundried tomato pesto).
Destination: John Dillon Park
2150 Route 30, (518) 524-6226
Just over a mile from the trading post, this spot has nice lean-tos, picnic tables and coaster wagons for taking overflowing baskets to pretty overlooks. At its heart is 255-acre Grampus Lake, where you can watch loons and ospreys catch some lunch of their own.
Provisions: Izzy’s Market and Deli
282 Main Street, (518) 251-3000
Amid gourmet groceries and antique kitchenware, you’ll find hearty sandwiches on great homemade bread, everything from juicy pulled pork to hummus and shredded beets to an authentic Cubano.
Destination: Gore Mountain
793 Peaceful Valley Road, (518) 251-2411, www.goremountain.com
Lounge on the slopeside sun deck with your bag lunch or ride the gondola to the mountaintop for amazing vistas.
Provisions: Klippels’ Kozy Korner Cafe
221 Bridge Street, (518) 863-8550
Try the Greek wrap (grilled chicken, feta, black olives, tomato and tangy vinaigrette) or an antipasto salad with provolone, veggies, salami and peperoncini on romaine, perfect to share.
Destination: Waterfront Park
At this Main Street park, you can settle in next to little Northville Lake, which flows into Great Sacandaga. New this June is a beautiful rustic arch commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 132-mile Northville-Placid Trail.
Provisions: Fusion Market
111 River Street, (518) 891-2095
Black-pepper peas and other spicy snacks are in racks near the counter, where you can order a walking taco, burger and more. On Thursdays Indian meals like chicken tikka are served.
Destination: Lake Flower carves a lovely arc beside the busy village, and picnic tables under the evergreens near the boat launch on River Street (Route 86) offer a peaceful setting. Even closer to the water, there are belvederes near the sidewalk with broad benches ideal for a sunny day.
Provisions: Libby’s Bakery Café
92 Montcalm Street, (518) 558-1522
Order tuna salad with Craisins and Swiss cheese on fresh-baked bread or stack just about anything atop one of Libby’s homemade English muffins.
Destination: Mount Defiance
72 Mount Defiance Street
The one-mile walk on a paved path has plenty of switchbacks to break up the climb. The reward for your effort is an eagle-eye view of Lake Champlain and Fort Ticonderoga.
Provisions: Village Meat Market
3609 Essex Road, (518) 963-8612
Grab cut-from-the-bone white-meat turkey with sharp cheddar on a homemade honey-wheat roll or roast beef, provolone and the works on a sub roll with a side of slaw.
Destination: Willsboro Point
The point’s very tip gives vast, breezy views of Lake Champlain. Take Point Road to its end at the parking area, walk through the woods and spread out your blanket on the rock.