Camp Wilderness Sunrise

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2014 Tupperpalooza Warrior Run at Big Tupper

This past weekend my husband and I were first-time participants in the Warrior Run at Big Tupper in Tupper Lake, NY, along with some friends from high school. The Warrior Run is in its third year and this year added a music festival to the day-long event.

We’d both participated in the Warrior Dash at Wyndham Mountain in the past and having grown up in Tupper Lake I was a little “been there, done that” “I know that mountain like the back of my hand” cocky about the whole thing. Well. The Warrior Run kicked my butt in a way the Warrior Dash did not (and the Warrior Dash was extremely difficult!).

Warrior Run 2

The folks that put on the Warrior Run are all volunteers, supported by the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. They have basically no budget. What they do have is creativity and access to other like-minded residents and businesses willing to donate time, materials and equipment to make this thing happen. Unlike the more “overproduced” obstacles at the Warrior Dash (which could be kinda lame at times), these obstacles were scrappy, no joke, and at times, downright brutal.

Warrior Run 3

Tires from logging trucks to climb over and through, scaffolding to climb over old ski lifts, buried drainage pipes (with water and mud running through them!), hitting moving (human!) targets with paintball guns, mazes through the woods, painful ascents up double black diamond trails and rope pulls up rock cliffs–this course featured them all, and then some. A 5K mud run can feel exceptionally long anyway, but when you’re running up and down and up and down and across and up and down an extremely steep mountain the entire time, it’s even longer.

Warrior Run 4

We kept joking about the wave of emotions–Excited! Exhausted. Giddy! Angry. I had a serious case of potty mouth every time we had to go back up hill (again) or when the next obstacle just looked impossible (again). We were so muddy. The fire department hosed down the course and obstacles, the local excavators dug mud ponds, there are natural springs and ponds on the mountain–we went through them all during the course. And it was fun. So, so, SO much fun!

Warrior Run 5

We met people from out of town–other adventure seekers who love the Adirondacks, who just stumbled upon this event while googling “mud run” and “adventure race.” They can’t wait to come back and ski Big Tupper now that they’re intimately familiar with it’s varied and steep terrain. The views throughout the course were breathtaking, and again, I’ve lived there most of my life. The view of the lakes and the mountains in the summer is so different than the view I’m used to up there in the winter. At the end of the race, we were hosed off and jumped in the old snowmaking pond to clean up. It felt like a trip to the spa. We stuck around for Saranac beer, BBQ and some great bands. It was really a perfect weekend and we can’t wait to do it again. See for yourself – I shot the footage below of the race using my GoPro.


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Sweeping Decision Clears Way for Massive Adirondack Club & Resort

The 3rd of July was a good day to be in Tupper Lake, and not just because we were five days into vacation, with a few more days of fun and guests on the horizon.

In a sweeping decision made public that day, the appellate division of New York’s Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit aimed to block the Adirondack Club & Resort project in Tupper Lake. The Orvis-branded four season resort project, already approved by the Adirondack Park Agency after nearly a decade of review, will be located on nearly 6,400 acres behind and around Camp Wilderness Sunrise. It’s slated to include a refurbished Big Tupper Ski Area, marina, fly fishing school, golf course, Adirondack Great Camps, slopeside homes, hotel, spa, equestrian facility, nature preserve, an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, an artist colony and more.

After the decision was announced my Facebook newsfeed blew up with excitement from local (and no longer local) friends and signs were erected around town declaring victory. My mother, daughter and I stopped in Sun Creations gift shop to buy some new accessories for the Camp, then attended a Zumba class at The Studio, a new fitness center and personal training facility located in downtown Tupper Lake. Afterwards we met my husband and niece for lunch in downtown, before stopping by the new location for Well Dressed Food, which is under construction. Local painters were on scaffolding reworking the building’s facade, while local flooring contractors refinished the floors inside. The new, much larger store, will include artisan sandwiches and salads, desserts from Cake Placid, an espresso bar, prepared foods for eating in or taking out, as well as their current selection of gourmet food and ingredients.

The progress and excitement all around us was a very exciting way to begin a long holiday weekend. We hope to see more of the same at this weekend’s Woodsmen Field Days, which we’ve heard have added ESPN-style lumberjack competitions to the traditional events, with the addition of the Stihl Timberworks Show. Log rolling and greased pole? Yes, please.


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Raquette River Brewing – Local ADK Beer in Tupper Lake!

Adirondack microbrewery

If you enjoy microbrews, make sure to plan a trip to Raquette River Brewing on your next trip to Tupper Lake. The small brewery, located at 11 Balsam Street (right across the street from LeRoy’s Auto in the junction), boasts four different brews for sale by the growler. We keep a couple empty growlers in the dining room that you’re welcome to borrow during your stay at Camp Wilderness Sunrise.

Their Blonde Ale is our favorite, but it often sells out quick, so we’ll grab the Pale Ale when that’s the case. I’m not personally an IPA fan, but friends of ours are, and they really enjoyed that one on their last visit to the Camp. The Red Ale has a unique smokiness to it–it tastes a little like a campfire. I want to try it out with some S’mores. We used to stop at Stewart’s on the way to the Camp to buy our beer, but since Raquette River Brewing opened, we’ve been stopping there instead. The owners are great, super friendly and happy to give you a tour, and they have free dog treats made from the spent grain. The beer is also fantastic (and I fancy myself a beer snob).

A second brewery–Big Tupper Brewing–is in the process of renovating a property in downtown Tupper Lake that they will turn into a brew pub. The plan is to add outdoor seating to the property and brew their beer on site. Their first beer, an IPA called “eh” has the catchy slogan “Say it like a Frenchman. Drink it like an Adirondacker.” Looks like it’ll be an exciting summer in Tupper Lake!

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What’s the best place in Tupper Lake for ice cream?

Skyline Ice Cream Tupper Lake NY

Whenever we’re in Tupper Lake, we liked to get ice cream at Skyline Ice Cream on Route 30/Moody Rd. They have the stuff we like (vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles for me, peanut butter sundaes for my husband), and the gross stuff our kids like (sour apple flavor burst soft serve, anyone?). They also have Broaster Chicken, which makes a great, easy dinner. It’s really good fried chicken, if you’ve never had it. When I don’t feel like cooking and cleaning, we get the meal deal (includes fries and a deli salad) and eat it at Skyline under the tent (out of the sun!). The kids can spend a good half hour getting silly pictures taken in the giant Adirondack chair (see image above). When I do feel like cooking we pretend we’re Hollywood celebrities on our way home from a fancy awards ceremony and make chicken and waffles for dinner. Homemade waffles in the Camp’s waffle iron, plus local Tupper Tappers maple syrup from The Wild Center? Heaven! Not healthy! Super delicious!



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Tupper Lake

This was the view this past weekend as my husband and I listed to 90s hip hop and re-purposed some old docks for a new life at Camp Wilderness Sunrise. So pretty! You’d think I’d be over the view by now. I am not.

The weather was perfect and the sunburn on my back will tell you I didn’t apply sunscreen as liberally as I should have, but it was a great weekend to get a water project done. The water is already warm-it was approximately 59 degrees this weekend, according to this fishing website–so standing in it all weekend wasn’t really a big deal.

We’ve always had a staircase and deck built into the hillside at the water, but we’ve been wanting to make more seating down there so it was easier to get the kayaks and canoe into the water and play with the kids. The water in front of the camp is very shallow with a sandy bottom, so it’s a great place for the kids to splash around and play. There is also a resident sunfish, which makes “fishing” with  kids all the more exciting.

Dock Tupper Lake

We installed a new boat ramp, as well as two lower docks in the water. You can sit on the edge of the lower docks and dangle your feet in the water, or sit up above in the Adirondack chairs and observe away from the splashing. We had a picnic here with 3 adults, 3 kids and a lot of tools, sand and water toys this past weekend and there was plenty of room for everyone. You can bring the folding chairs in the laundry room closet (usually used for campfires) down to the docks if you need additional seating.

Dock Tupper Lake Vacation Rental

We added new dock cleats to the front of the docks, as well as some rope, so you can tie up the canoe or kayaks while you’re loading them up, or taking a break to enjoy the sun on land.

Adironack Vacation Rental Kids Docks

We also added some hooks to the deck post to keep towels dry, sand free and out of the way, and some baskets of sand and water toys. We have more sand and water toys in a large bin in the Camp basement, along with kickboards, goggles, boogie boards, noodles, a cooler for picnics, etc. There’s a wagon in the basement as well, which makes it easier to haul stuff to the water.

Dock 2

Happy Summer!



Tupper Lake Recreation Guide – Online Version!

I must admit, I was pretty excited to be scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the other day and realize my son and I were on the cover of the new Tupper Lake Recreation Guide, and that the picture was taken right in front of Camp Wilderness Sunrise!


This literally could be you :). The new guide is a fabulous, comprehensive resource for all things outdoorsy in Tupper Lake. Access the online version here, or pick up a printed copy around town once you arrive.