Adriondack 46ers & More - NY,  Hikes

ADK – Grace Camp – Review!

There will be a future post about the actual hike experience, particularly because we took two new backpackers on this trip. I figured people would like a review with pictures, which was something I wasn’t able to find when booking this trip to the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Grace Camp!

The easiest way to access Grace Camp is by parking in the Garden Parking Lot in Keene, NY. The Garden Parking lot does have a fee to park there, and is relativity small, so if you plan on heading up there, try to get there early!

The garden parking lot is in the upper right hand side of this map. Grace Camp is near the center of the map, by the Johns Brook Lodge (ADK) marked by the little house! – As you can see, there are MANY options for peaks or hikes from this area of the ADK’s. –

My Garmin fenix 5S’s tracking of the hike in. (We took a few slight detours to check some things out, so it was a little longer than the 3.5 mi.

The hike in is pretty straight forward. Not too much room for error.  There is a relatively flat ~3.5 mi hike to get to the John Brooks Lodge area, where Grace Camp is located. (To be exact, it is about 900′ of elevation gain over the course of the 3.5 miles).
This bridge is the turn you take towards Grace Camp/Camp Peggy O’Brian.

As you approach the cabin you wind up hiking over a few smaller bridges over some streams. Once you are close, you make a left turn up and over a bridge heading towards Grace Camp/Camp Peggy O’Brian.
After the bridge you are less than a 1/4 mile from Grace Camp. (Camp Peggy O’Brian is a little further along the trail).img_20181104_091149.jpg
The trail is pretty well marked, but I always enjoying seeing how less foot traffic drastic effects the trails!
You know you are almost at Grace Camp when you see this sign!MVIMG_20181103_130622
IMG_20181103_130650This was the gang of us who took this trip to the cabin, happy that we could see Grace Camp, and get out of our wet boots and into something dry!
We hiked over a pretty decent stream (seen in the photo above with the Grace Camp sign), so we knew there would be easy access to water we could filter.
Our first view of Grace Camp! (You can see the snow coming down in this shot)

White door is the privy, green door to the left is the entrance to Grace Camp.

As we got up on the porch we were all delighted to see that Grace Camp has a privy ON THE PORCH! This was huge to us, it meant that we didn’t have to put our wet boots on, and could go to the bathroom in our socks! … It really is the little things in life…
We got into the cabin and were all SHOCKED at how beautiful it was, and how spacious. I hadn’t been able to find any photo of Grace Camp before this trip (hence this post).
The interior of the cabin has two stacks of triple bunks, a large dining room table with benches on either side, and 6 cubbies/hanging areas, one for each bunk. The cabin also had hangers and two lines going across the center to dry out your clothes!
Two stacks of triple bunks, and 6 cubbies, with hanging space, and two massive storage areas above.

Large dining room table, perfect for board games & spacious kitchen. YOU CAN NOT USE THE FRIDGE.

Humans for scale!

The cabin is pretty bare bones, but as someone who is typically in a tent, I was thrilled to have heat, and be able to sit up at a table to hang out with friends.

Grace Camp had the following in it:

  • Kitchen: Some pots, pans, strainers, cups and utensils to make basic meals.
    • The fridge has a sign that states it is for the ADK staff only.
  • “Living/Dining Room”: A few decks of cards, some poker chips, a binder of helpful information, and a metal chest with PLENTY of information on the area such as trail guides safe, bird books etc.
  • Sleeping: The beds are all quite comfortable, but be warned, if you turn the heat on, the upper bunks are SIGNIFICANTLY warmer than the bottom bunks.
    • One girl described the top bunk next to the heater as “Georgia in the summer”.

Tricks & Tips to Grace Camp

  • Book Early!!!! All of the space at the ADK Cabins/Lodges seemed to book up MONTHS in advanced!
  • When you book Grace Camp through the Adirondack Mountain Club they will send you a list of instructions. Follow them!
    • The instructions include things like how to light the propane lights, turn on the heater, etc.
  • Make sure you get the pin-code to get into the cabin before you start your hike in! (You don’t want to be stuck outside the cabin because you have no service!

Packing Tips:

  • Lighting the lights can be tricky, bringing a grill lighter instead of matches or a cigarette lighter will save your fingers and some frustration!
  • Bring a water filter!!!
    • There is only a spring to drink from and you should ALWAYS filter your water in the back country!
    • We used Sawyer Mini’s which meant we had to squeeze water, it is NOT the end of the world, but there are easier, gravity methods, that you can use as well!
  • Bring some biodegradable soap for washing your dishes!
  • Bring Toilet Paper – don’t want to be without that!
  • Bring a board game!
    • We hiked in with 3 or 4 small and light board games and were thrilled we did since we decided to spend the afternoon in the cabin enjoying each others company and the warm dry cabin!
  • Bring an extra zip-block or shopping bag, pack out all of your trash!
    • This is NOT a hotel, and you should follow leave no trace!

Overall: Grace Camp was a DELIGHT to stay in. We welcomed having heat and a wonderful place to hang out and play board games. It made the perfect experience for new backpackers, to not scare them away completely while getting some sense of it! I will definitely be headed back there, or to another one of the ADK Mnt. Club’s cabins or lodging options in the future!MVIMG_20181104_090605
*Thought I should mention, this was in no way sponsored or prompted by the ADK Mountain Club. I just had no idea what the cabin looked like inside when I booked it and wanted to share the photos. I also just had a great time and wanted to give people another option when considering the Adirondacks!


  • Rory Rinaldi

    I just booked Grace Camp and I would like to thank you for this writeup. We usually take our chances with finding a lean-to, it will be nice to know we have a place to stay after a long day on the trail!

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