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Inlet: An Overlooked Treasure in the Adirondacks

A Quaint Treasure in Hamilton County

The sign at Arrowhead Park in Inlet, NYThere’s a large mosaic in Arrowhead Park of Inlet, NY that reads, “Take nothing but memories. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints.” That about sums it up for all of the Adirondacks, but for some of us, there is just something about Inlet.

As of the 2010 Census Report, the population for Inlet, NY was 333 – an appropriate figure for a quaint little town in the Adirondacks. Nestled on the shores of Fourth Lake, just ten miles past Old Forge and a few miles south of Blue Mountain Lake, Inlet has its fair share of North Country wilderness.

It seems as though many people merely pass through this little village during their travels and view it as simply a stop along the way. I’ve found it to be more of a destination, but one with a more subdued and warm welcome than some of its larger cousins. Indeed, the town center of Inlet is small and at first glance, has maybe a few options. However, with very little investigation, it becomes obvious there is so much more.

Like many municipalities in the North Country, some of the businesses are seasonal, but those that stay open year round here are enough to sustain the local economy. Inlet is a fantastic place to visit, no matter what time of year. It has a fair selection of lodging and dining options and a nice mix of retailers to cater to most anyone’s Upstate shopping needs.

Although technically an Ace Hardware, the Inlet Department Store is open year round and could be considered one-stop shopping. Groceries, souvenirs, apparel, and household goods can all be found under one roof. Book lovers can fulfill their needs at the Adirondack Reader, a charming little book shop next to Arrowhead Park. The finest seasonal retailer is Mary’s Gift Shop, which in addition to a super selection of goodies, also sells homemade fudge in many flavors. When it’s open, it’s almost a necessity to stop in.

There are numerous opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts in all four seasons. Hikers have several options with varying degrees of ability. From relatively level jaunts throughout Moose River Plains to moderate excursions on Rocky Point and Black Bear Mountain, nature junkies can easily get their fix. In winter months, the same trails are ideal for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. CNY Hiking provides detailed descriptions for most of these hikes, which can sometimes be more helpful than just a map. A breakdown of Black Bear Mountain is available at, along with many others in the vicinity.

Speaking of the white stuff, the snowmobile trails are well traveled through Inlet and make it easy to navigate to the neighboring villages of Eagle Bay and Raquette Lake. It’s quite common to see several of these machines parked in front of The Old Barn on Limekiln Lake Road when conditions are favorable.

Inlet, NY. Photo Courtesy of www.carbonelawyer.comThe Old Barn also happens to be a favorite among hunters, especially during bear season. It’s a popular bar and restaurant that offers casual dining, or just a place to wet your whistle.

During warmer weather, Inlet is bustling with vacationers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Those searching for the comforts of a state campground may choose Limekiln Lake. More primitive accommodations can be found within Moose River Recreation Area. There are several vacation rentals in the area for anyone wanting the comforts of home, and cabins are easy to find as well. Of course, Inlet has its share of other lodging facilities such as motels, hotels, and B&Bs.

Speaking of lodging, The Woods Inn is a remarkable facility with 23 cozy rooms, each having its own personality. Built in 1894 and restored in more recent years, it is conveniently located at the edge of the village on the shore of Fourth Lake. Guests can enjoy a drink at the Laughing Loons Tavern, a fabulous meal in the dining room, or just relax in the homey feel of the common area. The Woods Inn is open year round. See more at

Inlet has a few events throughout the year, which gives visitors another reason to stick around for a spell. Annual festivities include the Fall Festival at Fern Park, Frozen Fire and Lights in February, and Arts in the Park in July.  More of these happenings can be found at

There is so much about Inlet that makes it the perfect spot for an Adirondack getaway. It’s easy to get to and even easier to settle in. Next time you’re planning a trip across the Blue Line, stop in and say hello. You might just find it difficult to say goodbye.

Babette Puzey is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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