The Jackrabbit Trail winds through New York?s Adirondack Mountains along the path of an 1880s? stage coach road. At the trailhead near Keene (NY) is the Rock and River Lodge, one of the niftiest outdoor sports lodges in the country. From the lodge, the trail twists past Lake Placid, and ends up near the village of Saranac Lake, New York. In the fall, the trail affords a backdoor view of some of the prettiest foliage on the continent. If your visit coincides with a snowstorm, strap on a pair of cross-country skis or snowshoes.
Rock and River Lodge is a converted 1820s' homestead that offers bed and breakfast styled lodging with a twist. An artificial ice-climbing tower, plus an indoor rock-climbing wall hewn from local stone, are on-site. Guests can sign up for first-rate rock- and ice-climbing courses (using both the lodge's facilities plus the bountiful climbs that make the Adirondack State Park one of the top rock- and ice-climbing destinations in the country), or venture out alone onto the thousands of acres of wilderness that surround the lodge.
The Climber's Lodge is a renovated barn with three private rooms, a bunk room, large fireplace, kitchen and indoor stone-climbing wall. Rates start at $30 per night/per person; the entire lodge rents for $300 per night for groups up to 12. The Guide's Lodge has four private rooms and a dining room, plus it houses the instruction and guiding operation. A streamside Adirondack lean-to with a fireplace sleeps five; cost per person is $15 per night.
Guests can use the rock- and ice-climbing structures for $10 per day, or sign up for classes ($80 per day, for a two-day course) or private guiding ($100 per person/per day for groups of two or more). Rental gear is available; equipment use is free for courses and guided trips. Call 518-576-2041 for information and reservations. The web address is www.rockandriver.com.