Old-style Adirondacks retreat offers place to unplug, unwind – New York News

“Is it like ‘Dirty Dancing’?”


That’s the question I’m inevitably asked when I tell people where I’m headed for summer vacation. Timberlock is an old-fashioned camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, so remote that there is no connectivity. There’s also no electricity in the 23 simple, comfortable cabins that dot the shoreline of 11-mile-long Indian Lake. That’s what attracted my family for the first time back in 2007. This year marked our ninth return.

We let our kids binge on technology on the drive, knowing they will be devoid of it for the following week. At about 15 miles out — just when we spy the familiar, painted “pig rock” — the signal drops and the anticipation rises. We all welcome the right turn onto the gravel driveway with the precipitous drop. This is home away from home for us.

A fire burns in a stone fireplace in Timberlock’s library building; each cabin also has a wood-burning stove. (Nancie Battaglia/For The Washington Post)

When we pull up in front of the main lodge, we are greeted by our hosts, Bruce and Holly Catlin, a couple of friendly dogs, and staff members in green John Deere “gators.” We deposit our belongings into one and the staff totes it off to our cabin for the week. By this stage, my kids have already scattered: my 12-year-old daughter to the nearby rope swing and my 16-year-old son to the wooden dock over the lake. He’s a devoted bass fisherman, and spending a week on freshwater is pretty close to nirvana for him.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Timberlock so special to my family because the reasons are as varied as the activities at hand. For me, it’s…

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