Nestled in a glade near Lake Champlain, the village of Keeseville, New York shares in the peaceful beauty found within the Adirondack Park. Spanning some six million acres, the Adirondack Park is not only the largest park in the contiguous United States, but also the largest National Historic Landmark. Lush deciduous woodland frames rivers, gorges and pristine Lake Champlain alike and shelters little villages nearly unchanged for a century.
Keeseville is a quiet town of just 2,000 residents, but is situated in the perfect location to use as a base for exploring the surrounding attractions. Lake Champlain is minutes away and offers visitors plenty of water-based activities such as kayaking, swimming and boating. Ferries depart regularly for an excursion across the lake to Burlington, Vermont. An international airport is just fifteen miles north in Plattsburgh, New York.
Though small, Keeseville welcomes visitors with open arms, offering several motels to fit any price range, most of them recalling the roadside Americana charm of decades past. There's no chance of going hungry in town. In addition to a delicatessen, various ice cream shops and a pizzeria, several restaurants in Keeseville include a range of choices to suit any taste and focus their menus on classic American fare for the whole family.
Keeseville has a historic district that closely follows the Ausable River as it winds its way directly through the middle of the village. Many of the buildings in Keeseville are on the National Register of Historic Places, most notable of which is the house of Richard Keese, for whom the town is named. Other listed buildings showcase residential, industrial and commercial buildings from the 1820s-1890s. Architects of the time favored Italianate, Greek Revivel and Gothic themes. Many historic buildings in town feature sandstone materials cut from the local rock formations near the village. Keeseville is an excellent example of a Victorian-era mill town that derived its main source of power from the local river.
Just to the north of Keeseville lies the Ausable Chasm. Called by some “the Grand Canyon of the East,” Ausable Chasm is a section of the Ausable River forced through narrow sandstone walls to dramatic effect. A stunning series of waterfalls is visible from a bridge that spans the chasm, or visitors can pull into a designated parking lot to explore the area on foot. Self-guided trails give visitors an opportunity to view Adirondack wildlife and vegetation in addition to enjoying the spectacular geological formations. There are viewing platforms strategically located to take in a perfect view of the waterfalls.
A Welcome Center is located near the Ausable Chasm offering information, tours, a gift shop, gemstone mining and more. There are guided raft tours through the chasm, providing unparalleled views from the water to the towering cliffs overhead. The more adventurous can opt to travel the river on individual inner tubes. All tours and boating or tubing are available from the Welcome Center located next to the Ausable Chasm. There is even a lantern tour at night, where guests are supplied individual lanterns and led by a tour guide for an entirely different experience of the Chasm.
Nearby campgrounds offer accommodation and even mountain bike rental for those who wish to explore the many trails that surround the area. While small in size, Keeseville compensates by offering visitors a unique and memorable Adirondacks experience.