Experience the Beauty of the Southern Adirondacks Aboard the Saratoga Corinth & Hudson Railway

Tuesday, August 29, 2023
 All Aboard!  Join me as I travel from Corinth to Greenfield Center aboard the Saratoga Corinth & Hudson Railway.....

You may remember that back in December I shared our holiday adventure aboard the Candy Cane Express, our first trip on the Saratoga Corinth & Hudson Railway. (https://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2022/12/enjoying-snowy-adventure-aboard-candy.html)  We had so much fun, despite the snow storm that day, we couldn't wait to experience another ride on this special train.

The Saratoga Corinth & Hudson Railway has been a dream of Hal Raven's for some time. Hal, a longtime railroad man, brought this dream to reality last year thanks to lots of blood, sweat, elbow grease, and support.  It was worth all of that because the scenic train has been met with so much enthusiasm and success.  In fact, USA Today just voted the Saratoga Corinth & Hudson the Readers' Choice 10th best train ride in the U.S.  From a dedicated crew to a long line of passengers anxious to take part in the unique experiences offered....this is one very special attraction.
Conductor Hal

For Mother's Day this year, my sweet hubby presented me with a handmade certificate for one scenic train ride, of my choice, with the company of my choice.  With a gesture so original and generous, I naturally chose him to accompany me.
We waited for a dry forecast before scheduling our ride so we could enjoy the scenic views (minus the snow on our first trip) and as soon as we pulled into the station we realized others had the same idea.  The crowd didn't matter because reservations are made ahead of time online.  Riders have several options.  There's open air seating on the Spirit of the Glen flat car where riders can enjoy the trip as they ride behind the engine, experiencing the sounds and smells of a locomotive and get the most unobstructive views.  Speaking of the engine - the Alco 5 was built by the American Locomotive Company in 1947 at Schenectady NY! Completely original, Alco 5 is an 660hp S-1 locomotive and was the last locomotive to leave the factory in 1989.  (Obviously this text was borrowed from their website since I am totally clueless about what most of that means.)  There's also traditional coach seating which accommodates about 40 passengers, seated first come, first serve.  On both trips we chose first class seating which is in the dining car, with reserved tables and chairs.  Eight seats are available in their rare 1916 Pullman observation car! This is also available for private parties up to 10 people! This car is at the rear of the train and has a view of the tracks directly from the end of the train!  Prices for each of the options are on the business website.

Boarding the train is done in an organized fashion, separate lines formed for each choice of riding options.  First class is seated first, followed by coach then open air.  Everything about this experience has been well thought out and carried out in an efficient and hospitable fashion.  Conductor Cory was the man of the hour today and in addition to punching our tickets, Cory was a master storyteller and host, while Hal was our engineer and Melanie our hostess. Top notch friendly staff every time!   The whole train has been restored and it shows, every surface sparkling and immaculate as if it just rolled off the assembly line.  

Our 90 minute ride took us through several crossings and a variety of scenic views, many only visible from the vantage of the train.  

The entire 90 minute ride was relaxing and entertaining with railroad themed music playing in the background.  We had no idea there were so many songs about trains!  It was a truly enjoyable trip and I know it won't be our last.  Aside from looking forward to a fall scenic ride, the grandkids are already talking about riding the Candy Cane Express again!  
There are themed rides for everyone - including pizza trains, sundae trains, beer and wine trains, dinner trains at the beautiful LaMothe Landing, pumpkin picking trains and so much more.  I hope this encourages you to try something new and different with the family.  Whether you're a train enthusiast or just enjoy fun family or couple adventures, the Saratoga Corinth & Hudson Railway is the venue for you!   

We're big Hal Raven fans in our family, so we decided to make this particular day, a "Hal Raven Day".  We began the day on Hal's train and ended the day on a sunset cruise aboard Hal's Adirondack Cruise and Charter's General Schuyler.  Thanks Hal for your devotion to local history and the people whose stories are part of it.  To read about our sunset cruise, use the link below.  More information about both of these great venues can be found at:
Thanks for allowing me to share this awesome business and entertainment opportunity with you.  If you're new to the blog you may not be aware, but my blog is unsponsored and I do not receive payment for promotions.  I do not take requests for blog coverage because I only share what I sincerely love and support.  If I don't like something, you won't hear about it.  That's just how I roll.  On the other hand, the things I love.....I share over and over again.  That being said, if you missed the Candy Cane Express blog post, check it out and plan your holiday fun early!  

Thanks for stopping by Life As I See It.  For more posts like this one, check out my blog directory:

Cruising Into the Sunset Aboard the General Schuyler on Saratoga Lake

Sunday, August 27, 2023

 While summer is definitely winding down and fall is knocking on our door, we are taking advantage of the lower humidity and less frequent rain to check off more items on the 'summer bucket list'.  One of those included one of our favorite summer activities - a cruise aboard the Adirondack Cruise & Charter's General Schuyler.

Our oldest granddaughter had a 'boat cruise' on her bucket list and 'watching a sunset' so we combined the two and enjoyed a sunset cruise on Saratoga Lake. As some of you know, I grew up living on Saratoga Lake. It's been over ten years since my family lived there so anytime I get the opportunity to get on the lake, it feels a little like going home. Doing it for sunset is extra special and sharing it with family is even better.

Photo from 2018

The General Schuyler is a beautiful 1920’s replica fantail launch that was built in 2003 by Paul Raasoch in Wisconsin. It sailed the Rock River until 2005 then sat unused in a barn for over 10 years. In 2017, Hal Raven brought it to Saratoga Lake and gave the vessel a complete overhaul. We've been enjoying their cruises since the very beginning (I've blogged about it a number of times), but this was our first cruise in a few years.  Every year it seems the 'camps' around the lake get larger, closer together and with it the shoreline gets more congested with docks and boats.  The view is much different than the one I grew up with and the difference makes me a little melancholy for the old days, especially knowing my dad would not be happy with the growth if he were still here.   


Same property (our 'compound'- 1960's)

That being said, nothing can take away from the beauty of Saratoga Lake, especially at sunset on a calm night.  Parts of the lake were so calm they appeared like glass and the Wednesday night sailboat regatta provided an extra picturesque sight.  Captain Dave handled the General Schuyler like a toddler handles a tricycle.  He docked the huge vessel single handedly on the first try and provided his passengers with stories and history of the lake.  While the history lesson is informative and entertaining, the view, the gentle ride and the slow sway atop the waves and the front row seat for the sunset are really what passengers will remember from their cruise.  The same goes for my narrative and my photos - a picture tells a thousand words.  So without further ado....come along as we cruise at sunset.

For more information about cruise schedules and ticket information, or to follow their Facebook page:

Also, to read more about Adirondack Cruise & Charter and my earlier blog posts: 

Cruises run into the fall and the General Schuyler is available for private charter. Water travel isn't Hal Raven's only passion. In fact, his real passion is trains and last year that passion was the driving force behind the Saratoga Corinth & Hudson Railway which provides scenic and specialty rides. We decided to make our day a "Hal Raven" day, and the morning of our sunset cruise we enjoyed a scenic train ride. Come back soon for photos and stories about that fun excursion.

A Wildlife Adventure at the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum

Monday, August 21, 2023

 Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  While that may have been a line from the 'Wizard of Oz', a similar line might be used to describe our latest discovery, the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum.

Located on Route 30, just south of Route 29 in the hamlet of Vail Mills in the town of Mayfield, we first noticed the museum last summer on our visit to the Adirondack Animal Land.  The museum is just a mile down the road from the popular safari venue, which would have made it a great combo adventure had we stopped last year.  We didn't though, and it wasn't until I read a wonderful article in the 'Simply Saratoga' magazine that I realized what we missed.  Our summer bucket list with the grandkids this year included a visit to the Wildlife Museum and today we took that excursion, and all I can say is Wow.  The grands used that same expression and after the littlest made that exclamation, he followed it up with, "and I'm not even kidding".  

The Wildlife Museum is located inside what was once a Grand Union which Bob purchased in 2001. The building itself, though adorned with beautiful wildlife murals, does little to entice passerby or hint at the enormous variety of animals housed in these humble walls, but trust me, walking through the entrance was a little like opening Pandora's Box.  The website mentioned a variety of animals on display, including 160 white tail deer trophy mounts, buffalo, wolves and more, but it's the 'more' that kept us in a constant state of wonder as we wandered the huge display.  As if that weren't impressive enough, an additional 13,000 sq. ft of space has been added to include more North American and African mounts.  This addition doubled the museum's square footage.

How often does a kid (or an adult) get to stand next to an Alaskan Bear, rhino, or lion?  We've all seen these animals on tv and in books, but seeing wild animals up close was impressive and as the kids would say, COOL.  In addition to the animals, there were fish, birds and so much more.

The museum also boasts over 500 artifacts of traps, fishing gear, rifles and more arranged in exhibits throughout the Museum. The traditions and history of hunting, fishing and trapping dating back to colonial times are alive in these items.  There is also a very large gift shop, and chairs scattered throughout for anyone. young or old, who needed a rest during their exploration.  The brainchild of Bob Kazmierski, this museum has “the largest collection of mounted trophies of fish, birds and animals in New York State.”  A taxidermist and owner of a taxidermist supply company, Bob has invested over a million dollars into purchasing the vacant Grand Union and filling it with animals galore.  

The most difficult part of sharing this treasure is choosing 30 of the 200 photos I took.  Consequently, I'll probably post an album of many more photos on my Facebook page in the coming days: (https://www.facebook.com/GAWelter/

For now the museum is open every day through the end of August, 10:30-4:00pm.  Fall/Winter hours are every Saturday 10:30-4:00pm.  To call for information:  (518) 883-4933.  Admission is $10 for adults, 7-17 is $5.00 and 6 and under are free. After visiting today, I think it's the best deal around. What a great place to take the kids, or the sportsman you know! Field trip for the school kids....what a great idea.
And as a special treat, a commentary from a guest blogger, my granddaughter:
"For someone like me, I loved this place. My favorite movie since I was a kid and forever is Disney's 'The Lion King', and I've seen the play three times. I have always been very fascinated with the safari animals and I love collecting the Schleich figurines that were in 'The Lion King'. I was so excited to see the safari animals (mainly the lions) and was amazed to see how tall giraffes are. I was also intrigued by the other animals. There were just so so many deer. I couldn't believe how big the bear and moose were. It was very cool to see some of the animals that I have never seen before and so up close, and I very much enjoyed the experience."  

There you have it! I hope this encourages you to visit the museum before Labor Day or some weekend thereafter. I know you'll love it. We sure did! 
The Wildlife Sports and Education Museum is a non-profit educational institution whose mission it is to promote public understanding and appreciation of the outdoor sports, traditions of hunting, fishing and trapping and to preserve the art, artifacts and memorabilia associated with those traditions for future generations." - museum website (https://wildlifesportsmuseum.com/index.htm) or their Facebook page:

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