Scaroon Manor to once again offer camping

CHESTER - The state campground named for the historic resort Scaroon Manor will be open to public camping beginning this summer, a state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) employee recently told Adirondack officials.

The sprawling former luxury resort on the shores of Schroon Lake is being upgraded with new facilities to convert it from a state day-use destination to accommodate overnight camping - with 62 campsites. June 24 is the target date for the opening of the upgraded facilities.

On Jan. 26, DEC Region 5 Operations Director Jim McEnaney told members of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board that his agency has made a range of changes that include making the Scaroon Manor Campground and Day Use Area one of the most accommodating facilities of its kind to those with mobility disabilities.

Scaroon Manor's rest rooms, showers, beaches, docks and buildings will all have unobstructed access, McEnaney said. Even some trails on the 241-acre campground will be paved, he added.

"We're excited about the project and what it will offer campers," he said, noting it will offer the most barrier-free access of any facility of its kind across the state, if not the nation. "It will be a beautiful facility."

Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe welcomed the announcement.

"This is very good news, and it will be a boost to the economy in northern Warren County," he said.

During 2011, half of the campsites will be available to the first campers who arrive on-site. The other half will be offered only by prior reservations.

Scaroon Manor was a grand, exclusive resort that dates back to the 1880s. It closed in 1962 and was purchased i8n 1967 by the state, which had many of the buildings burned down, while some cabins were moved to Pottersville. Remains of a 500-seat amphitheater, where vaudeville shows and world-class shows were presented, remains on the property. Scaroon Manor was chosen as the setting for the classic movie "Marjorie Morningstar," which starred Gene Kelly and Natalie Wood.

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