Lake Kora Invites You to Camp Like a Vanderbilt Near Westchester

Photos Courtesy of Lake Kora/Kindra Clineff Photography

For a getaway in driving distance from White Plains, retreat to Adirondack Great Camp Lake Kora, where you’ll be treated like Gilded Age royalty.

About a century ago, high-powered New York families like the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Morgans used to escape their fast-paced and luxurious lifestyles by retreating upstate to bask in the great outdoors and recharge.

You can now experience what it was like to live like those Gilded Age giants and “stay where the world can’t find you” by taking a trip to Lake Kora, a Great Camp nestled in the Adirondacks. An inclusive lakefront property set on 1,000 private acres with a 500-acre lake, Lake Kora is equal parts rustic and extravagant — and an ultimate getaway for the whole family.

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Island cabin at Lake Kora
Island cabin at Lake Kora

Lake Kora is about a five-hour drive from White Plains, but if you’re going to live like a Rockefeller, you might as well arrive in style by renting a seaplane. Fly the Whale will fly you directly from the East River to the lake for an unforgettable experience.

As you get off the plane, you’ll be whisked away to the property via boat. Staff might cordially greet you on the dock with a glass of bubbly.

Arrival by sea plane at Lake Kora
Arrival by sea plane at Lake Kora

Enjoy family-style lunch dockside at the Boathouse overlooking the grand lake and the fleet of boats (sailing and wooden electric), canoes, and kayaks, all for your exclusive use, like everything else on the property.

When booking, guests must reserve the entirety of Lake Kora, allowing exclusive use of the grounds, control over dining menus, and an ultra-private getaway.

Lake Kora's boat docks
Lake Kora’s boat docks

The property features 16 guest rooms in six separate structures and accommodates 24 guests. Additional accommodations are available for another 11 people.

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The property was designed by the Great Camp architect William West Durant in 1898 for Timothy Woodruff, the lieutenant governor of New York. Now owned by a private family in New Zealand, the camp, which features décor inspired by its surroundings, has been preserved to include many original furnishings and details (the Tree House guest house bedroom has looked almost identical for about 100 years). The property has updated modern amenities (Wi-Fi and large-screen TVs throughout the property). Oversized fireplaces, vintage soaking tubs, and plush bedding in the guest rooms all lend to a relaxing weekend.

Dining room with a fire place at Lake Kora
Dining room with a fire place at Lake Kora

While you may choose to simply revel in the picturesque backdrop of the property, which includes lush trees and glistening lake, there are plenty of activities to keep you and your entire family entertained. In addition to boating, you can engage in archery, hiking/walking trails, fly-fishing, mountain biking, and water skiing. The Playhouse offers bowling lanes built more than a decade ago, a squash court, and ping pong tables.

A wellness building features a gym and sauna.

Lake Kora's vintage bowling alley
Lake Kora’s vintage bowling alley

Dining at Lake Kora is an experience in itself. There is a cocktail hour each evening before dinner, and passed canapés are served. Menus for farm-to-table meals are completely customizable and can be several courses.

Meals might include tender venison, refreshing poblano soup, steak frites, salmon, local rainbow trout, fresh salads, and decadent desserts. Non-alcoholic beverages are included. Alcohol packages can be purchased (during cocktail hour, alcoholic beverages are complimentary). While meals are typically relished at a 20-foot-long dining table in the Great Hall Dining Room, they can be arranged in other settings on premises.

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Pavlova with local Adirondack blueberries
Pavlova with local Adirondack blueberries

After dinner, s’mores, drinks, and other late-night snacks are available to end evenings.

Due to the nature of the accommodations and reservations, Lake Kora is perfect for multigenerational family-and-friends gatherings and celebrations, including weddings (there is a chapel on premises). The property is pet-friendly.

Chapel interior
Chapel interior

Open seasonally from July 1-October 31, Lake Kora is available by exclusive reservation. After Labor Day, there is a 3-night minimum stay. The cost to reserve the entire camp is $21,980 per night based on 16 bedrooms for 24 persons, inclusive of children.


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