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Elizabethtown, New York

Elizabethtown is the gateway to the High Peaks region. Travelers from the south and the east pass through Elizabethtown to reach Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid and points further west. It is the Essex County government seat and the main street is lined with the brick buildings of the government center.

Amenities include a small community hospital, a nine-hole golf course at the foot of Cobble Hill, a paddle tennis court and tennis courts as well as a Kinney Drugs, a Grand Union market, a small public library, and the Adirondack History Center Museum. There are as many auto dealerships as there are churches-three to be precise.

The Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School educates children and youth grades K-12 in one building with a recently completed capital project that included 8 additional classrooms and a new gymnasium and weight room.

Lincoln Pond is a small body of water in the foothills with a combination of private camps and a NYS DEC camping and swimming area. It is located approximately 5 miles south over Fisher Hill and provides a lovely spot to swim, fish, boat, and relax.

The Boquet River runs through Elizabethtown. A few miles south on Rte 9 are a series of cascading waterfalls and swimming holes known as Split Rock Falls, a popular swimming spot on sweltering summer days.

Elizabethtown is ideally situated, 10 minutes from the High Peaks hiking trails, 10 minutes from Westport on Lake Champlain, and 4 minutes from the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) connecting Montreal to Albany.

From Elizabethtown, there are two ways to approach Keene Valley and Keene. Heading south on Rte. 9 you pass New Russia , and come to a confusing intersection (locally dubbed "malfunction junction"). Bearing right on Rte 73 you head north leaving the Boquet River behind, and picking up the Ausable River. Passing chapel pond on the left, a beautiful spot to rock climb and to swim, you descend in to charming Keene Valley, home of the High Peaks.

An alternative route from Elizabethtown is west on Rte9N past the Cobble Hill Golf course. As you crest Spruce Hill and look straight ahead towards the mountains you think you are heaven before you gradually descend to Keene Valley. I drive this route frequently and have never reached the top of Spruce heading west without silently expressing gratitude for the Adirondack Mountains and the surrounding beauty; and affirming my decision to live in the North Country.

Hurricane Mountain
Hurricane Mountain
Cobble Hill Golf Course
Cobble Hill Golf Course
Essex County Museum
Essex County Museum