Candlelight Cottages: Lakeside Fun in the Adirondacks by Christine Lynn Harvey

If you're looking for Adirondack-style accommodations on Lake George (see article this issue), Candlelight Cottages in Bolton Landing is one of the few lakeside cottage resorts that's reminiscent of a by-gone era. Several years ago, the original owners of cottages in the area have retired and sold the land to real estate developers who bulldozed the cottages to make way for newer priced homes.

     The land at Candlelight Cottages was originally owned by Earl Woodward, the real estate tycoon who bought and developed thousands of acres in the Lake George area and made it affordable for blue collar workers to enjoy vacationing in the stomping grounds of the rich. In the late 1940's, the main house and lodge at Candlelight Cottages was built. In the 1950's, Helen and Stanley Zenda built up the docks, retaining wall and added additional cottages. Stanley Zenda also created the landmark propane-run candle which was lit by the 1980 Winter Olympics torch when it passed by the cottages on its way to Lake Placid. Between 1975 and 1999, Hedwig and Wolfgang Neuffer, immigrants from Stuttgart, Germany owned the Candlelight. They summered at Lake George years before and when they discovered this beloved vacation place was for sale, they bought it. Now their daughter Heidi Hess, and her husband Mark Hess, own and operate it.

     "The family dynamics have changed. A piece of history is slowly being taken away. History is fading," says Heidi. "We're very lucky to have had two previous owners - the Zendas and my parents who love Candlelight and who spent many years running the business and continually investing in it with upgrades and improvements. We've continued the tradition and try to surprise our guests with something new or improved every year."

     Candlelight Cottages has 300 feet of wide-open lakefront property for boating, swimming and fishing. Many people return every year at the same time in the season looking forward to rekindling special family friendships that began here. Families who like the feeling of a home away from home enjoy cooking on charcoal grills or in the fully equipped kitchen in each cottage.

     There are one, two and three bedroom cottages rented weekly in season from June 24-September 3 and daily in the off season (May 1-June 23 and September 3-October 9). The cottages are closed during the cold winter months. Dock charges vary according to size of boat. All units have color TV, heat, kitchen and appliances (stove, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, utensils and dishware) living room, picture view, picnic table, sundeck, BBQ, bathroom/shower and in-room phone. There is also a communal fire pit in front of the lake. Our guests get a true Adirondack experience," says Heidi Hess. "Many guests enjoy relaxing on the outdoor decks or by the beach at night, watching the stars and listening to the sounds of nature."    

     Bolton Landing is a small resort community on Lake George which offers a wonderful vacation destination. Visitors can spend endless hours exploring over 100 islands on the lake in a motor-powered boat, canoe or kayak. The fall season delivers an astonishing reflection of colors on the lake from the view of one of Candlelight's lakeside cottages. Down the road, two public parks on the lake feature beaches, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, boat docking and summertime concerts.

     There are plenty of places for hiking around the lake from Prospect Mountain 12 miles south of the cottages in the village of Lake George, to 5 miles north of the cottages where Clay Meadows have a 12 mile network of trails that traverse the Tongue Mountain range; both hiking areas offer spectacular views of the lake. Lake George is famous for its clear water qualities and forest-lined shores. The area serves as a central base from which you can plan an activity-packed vacation - boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, parasailing, horseback riding, amusement parks, miniature golf, dinner, theater and more - you will never grow bored.

     For more info on Candlelight Cottages (9N/Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing, NY), please visit: www.candlelightcottages.com or call 518-644 3321. See ad on New Living's website here