Breanna Wilson, Katherine Englishman
*As each state and county across America continues to approach COVID differently, be mindful that traveling increases your risk and the risk of those around you. Please observe local COVID-19 restrictions, stock up on supplies and fuel close to home, wash your hands, WEAR A MASK, and practice social distancing with locals. Your safest bet: bookmark this article for 2021.
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Even before social distancing was required, we welcomed an off-the-grid kind of adventure. No people. No email. No news. Just us and Mother Nature. Now that COVID measures seem clear to drag well into 2021, the idea of escaping to a nearby cabin to wait it all out is becoming hard to shake.
North of New York City, a few hours past the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, the Adirondack Mountains are a perfect place for outdoor lovers to really connect with nature. Home to the Adirondack Park, a 5,000-square-mile preserve that's more than half the size of Vermont, the 'Dacks offer truly world class hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, fly fishing, boating and more. Our West Coast friends may scoff at such a statement, but one day spent in pursuing of a 46'er summit and you'll be quick to agree—the Adirondacks aren't for the faint of heart.
Beyond the many mountains to climb and explore, the region's charming small towns are worth a (socially distanced and respectful) visit as well. Just besure to visit The Mountaineer in Keenve Valley—a pilgrimage for any self respecting Northeast outdoorist—while exploring the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Northeast United States (shout out all the angry Mainers reading this).
Oh, it's also home to some seriously spot-on cabins too, of course. Below are our six picks of the best Airbnb mountain cabin rentals in the Adirondack region.
Vibe: That Good, Good Kind of Cabin in the Woods
A riverside 1800s guesthouse turned modern cabin in the woods? Say less. This cabin was modernized without losing its charm, thanks to owners who kept the original exposed beams and hardwood floors, added a wood-burning stove, and seamlessly updated the décor to give off all the right hunting-chic vibes. This place isn’t just easy on the eyes though, it’s easy on the soul and body as well—the beautiful cedar barrel-built sauna out back is perfect for sweating out all the bad energy you’ve been holding onto these last few months. A short drive to both Whiteface Ski Resort and Lake Placid there's no shortage of outdoor activities to partake in as well.
Vibe: Throughly Thoreau
A one-bedroom cabin inspirational enough to write something like Walden? Yep, that pretty much sums this cozy cabin up. With a handcrafted river rock fireplace to warm your toes and keep you comfortable and all the fresh country air you can handle to clear your mind and soul, you never know what you’ll be inspired to write out here – just don’t forget to bring your own notebook and pen.
Vibe: One S’more Night
A peaceful escape that involves sleeping under the stars? Sign us up. A peaceful escape that involves sleeping under the stars in a motorized roll-out kingw-size bed? Take all our money. While our love for sleeping bags and mattress pads runs deep, it doesn’t quite run deep enough to choose sleeping on the ground over sleeping on a comfortable, plush mattress (adulting, amiright?). This Evergreen A-Frame sleeps four adults comfortably and has a fire pit ideal for making s’mores, which I think we can all agree is the perfect pre-stargazing snack.
Vibe: Tiny Timber, Big World
There’s nothing particularly fancy about this setup – but what did you expect from a tiny timber cabin not much larger than that 2-person tent that’s collecting dust in your closet? Really putting the tiny in Tiny Cabin (try not to get lost in its 10x12’ vastness) and surrounded by 200 acres of New York’s finest woodland, this humble little abode will make you step back and note the great big world around it.
Vibe: Babbling Brook Bliss
With 38,000 acres of public lands and hiking trails nearby this cabin to explore at will, take a few inhales of your new pine-scented surroundings and ease back into your long-missed favorite state of being – the one where you’re at peace with the world. This cabin, a spacious and cozy mountain home with hints of modern updates throughout (wifi for WFH), is a place where nights are best spent stargazing from the above ground deck and days are best spent dipping into the brook just downhill – there’s no denying the therapeutic surroundings of water and forest. For daytime activities, spend time lakeside and rent some kayaks at nearby Schroon Lake or Lake George.
Vibe: Easy A
True to its name, this renovated A-Frame has a modern style with pops of blue that extend from the kitchen all the way up to the rafters. The open-concept living and dining area makes for an inviting communal space, which is perfect for crashing after a long day of hiking, skiing, or exploring all things Adirondacks.
Vibe: Livin' Lodge
This log home takes full advantage of its hilltop perch to bask in the stunning views of the Whiteface Mountain through floor-to-ceiling windows. From the large stone fireplace to the birch accents and an oversized wood pendant light, the home’s rustic decor runs top to bottom. Kick it on the wraparound porch and for aprés, don’t miss that jacuzzi.
Vibe: Rustic on the Ridge
Stay at the Timber-Frame Retreat and, in 20 minutes or less, you could find yourself at Whiteface Mountain or some of the area’s best hiking and mountain biking trails. Indoors, it’s the epitome of cabin life: a cozy living room plus fireplace, taxidermy deer heads mounted on the wall, and a vaulted ceiling with wooden beams. In addition to the cabin, there’s also a lean-to right outside, so you can choose your own adventure.
Vibe: A Restored Repose
This historic hideout blends old with new and style with function in the scenic High Peaks regions of the Adirondacks. The half-cedar shake and half-stone exterior shows its age (in a good way) while the interior has handcut, locally-sourced hardwood floors and a fully-updated kitchen. The cherry on top is how easy it is to access popular spots like Lake Placide, Keene Valley, and Whiteface.
Vibe: Mountainside Digs
A clean and simple cabin with rustic decor that evokes all sorts of cozy feelings, this Lake Placid retreat has plenty of room for one, two, or a few guests who want to spread out. Stoke a roaring fire either inside, or out, but especially outside where you can enjoy a clear and starry night sky. Enjoy your solitude or downtown Lake Placid, which is a just a short walk from the home.
Vibe: Unplug + Unwind
Despite its sparse decor and rugged vibe, this down-to-earth cabin is primed and ready for guests to bring the warmth and cozy it up. Whether you fancy indoor tranquility (there’s no Wi-Fi) or an outdoor oasis, this modest getaway has ample opportunities to do just that. From the trails and nearby brook, to the fire pit and grill, it’s an easy spot to get back to nature.
Vibe: Old School Charm
Head up to Moyra’s place for a scenic stay that’s tucked away in a thick buffer of pines with mountain views of those beautiful Adirondacks. It has plenty of charm and opportunities to get cozy indoors, with a retro feel for those who appreciate the vintage vibes of its dark brown and red exterior. Check out the adjacent stream and outdoor firepit for some fresh air.
Vibe: Brand Spankin’ New
Right in the heart of the ‘dacks, with two lakes both within walking distance, this cabin is perfect if you’re looking for a place that’s centrally located. Modern furnishings and a to-the-point rustic aesthetic fill the tiny footprint of this dwelling (coffee snobs, beware the Keurig and BYO Chemex). Juniper Hill might be pretty micro, but there’s no shortage of room to roam right outside the door.