KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. – The Johns Brook Lodge (JBL), a hikers’ oasis in the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks, is opening for its regular season on June 24 with a fresh look and enhanced services.
JBL, which was built by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) in 1925, is 3.5 miles from the nearest road and provides access to some of the best hiking in the Northeast. This spring, ADK volunteers, under the leadership of expert craftsmen Rich Preis, gave the lodge’s two main bunk rooms a major facelift.
“Both bunk rooms were insulated and paneled with knotty pine tongue-and-groove paneling,” said Nathan Stokes, who chairs ADK’s JBL committee. “Transom windows were installed that provide much-needed light without adding to the energy footprint of this backcountry facility. The upgrades transformed the bunk rooms into light and airy spaces even on a dreary, rainy day.”
The improvements were made in the fourth year of a five-year project to rejuvenate the lodge and improve the visitor experience. Over the past few years, the JBL great room has been insulated and paneled, the kitchen has been renovated, windows have been replaced, the family bunk rooms have been upgraded, and the staff cabin has been expanded.
Service at JBL is also getting an upgrade thanks to a new volunteer host program. On weekends this summer, trained volunteer hosts will greet and direct arriving guests, explain services, operate the JBL store, and provide hikers with information about ADK and the surrounding backcountry. Volunteers will take meals with guests to continue their interactions and will assist staff in a variety of ways.
With two, four-bunk family rooms and two larger bunk rooms, JBL can accommodate up to 28 guests. During the summer, accommodations include hearty meals prepared by ADK staff. JBL is also open during the spring and fall, but guests must pack in their own food during the “caretaker” seasons.
JBL is located in an inholding in the eastern High Peak Wilderness Area, along the Phelps Trail. The lodge is 5.6 miles from the summit of Mount Marcy, New York’s highest peak, and is also in close proximity to other high peaks (peaks over 4,000 feet), including Gothics, Armstrong Mountain, Big Slide Mountain and Upper and Lower Wolf Jaw. Most JBL guests hike in from the Garden parking lot in Keene Valley.
ADK also operates the Adirondak Loj and a wilderness campground at the end of Adirondack Loj Road, about 8 miles south of Lake Placid. For reservations at ADK’s lodges or campground, call (518) 523-3441 daily between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the protection of New York’s Forest Preserve. ADK is a nonprofit membership organization that helps protect the Forest Preserve, state parks and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education and responsible recreation.