A 'Rustic' Hideaway

The sprawling Rocky Point Camp in the depths of the Adironack Mountains is up for sale.
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It's getting harder to find vast tracts of land to call your home any more.

But deep in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York lies a private landowner's organization that owns 53,000 acres of rustic wilderness with beautiful lakes and endless hunting opportunities.

Listed for sale at $4.3 million is Rocky Point Camp, an 18.7 acre "family camp" located within that site, which is considered one of the largest privately owned hunting and fishing reserves east of the Mississippi River.

Lately, the inventory of homes for sale across the country has been spiking, which is hurting profits at new homebuilders like

Toll Brothers

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and

Pulte

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.

But a property such as this, which rarely comes on the market, represents a truly unique opportunity for a vacation retreat.

The Rock Point property, which sits on a peninsula that jettisons into Little Moose Lake, was settled in 1890 by a group of prominent St. Louis businessmen.

Ownership then passed through two other families; the current family purchased the property in 1946.

The current owners, through the listing broker, declined to comment, and the name could not be determined from property records.

Not Your Kid's Summer Camp

The property features seemingly endless shoreline, perfect for swimming and fishing.

"It's a huge, old funky camp. It's different. There are not a lot of properties like this around," says Vincent McClelland, a broker with LandVest, which has the listing.

The word "camp" as it is used in the Adirondacks, is a bit confusing. It doesn't refer to just a summer camp for children.

In this context, rather, it is considered a large parcel of property where wealthy people such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts have brought their families over the past century to enjoy nature, hunt deer and fish on the numerous lakes.

The Rocky Point property includes a summer lodge totaling 6,100 square feet, which houses full-timbered ceilings, half-timbered walls with bead board paneling and hardwood floors.

The lodge also features a 60-foot-long living room and a lakeside wraparound porch.

The property also includes a winter lodge, boathouse and outbuildings.

First, however, whoever wants to buy the property must be approved for membership in the Adirondack League Club, which owns the 53,000 acres outside Old Forge, N.Y.

Founded in 1890, the 415-member club has had some famous members, including former President Warren G. Harding and, currently, actor Kevin Bacon.

"This is a private club that people belong to for its hunting, fishing, hiking and recreational assets," says club president Wilbur Rice. He says the club was started by the leaders of industry in New York City over a hundred years ago, and major titans from Wall Street, the electrical industry and oil industry have belonged over time. "There were some Rockefellers. I don't think there are any right now," he says. (Rice's great-grandfather was an executive with General Electric.)

The club recently found itself in the local news after a series of mysterious, still unsolved, arsons occurred on its property. The last fire was in September, and the club says it has since increased patrols and taken additional security measures. No private residences were ever harmed. Six arsons occurred since 2000, destroying several historic communal cabins.

The arsonist is likely "someone who has a beef with the club, a personal beef

or a perceived injustice," says John Winslow of AMRIC Associates, a security consulting firm assisting the police with the investigation.

Even if the fires have added a bit of mystery to the club, they haven't taken away any of the natural beauty of the vast nature preserve, Winslow says. He compares it to paintings from Winslow Homer, the 19th century artist known for his realistic portraits of the American wilderness. "It's almost like he painted it right there," he says.

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