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Outdoor Recreation

A School at Home in the Adirondacks


Northwood School's location in The Adirondack Park and just across Mirror Lake from Lake Placid's Main Street, put the school and its community members at the heart of one of the most popular outdoor recreation destinations in the country. Northwood has a long history of utilizing the outdoors as a place for personal growth and exploration and a place for meaningful first-hand learning experiences. The school believes strongly in the transformative role outdoor education can play in its students development and how that closeness with the natural world allows our students to become leaders and stewards of wilderness areas for generations to come.

The entire Northwood community takes part in Mountain Day each year. Usually taking place early in the school year, this is a day when Northwood teachers and students take a break from classes and in small groups, hike area peaks as a way to connect with each other and with the Adirondacks.  Additional student opportunities for outdoor recreation might come while participating in Northwood's co-curricular offerings in mountain biking, rock climbing, or white-water kayaking. It could be as part of a project for class exploring the geology of the nearby mountains or collaborating with local researchers to examine the phenology of local lakes and ponds. Outdoor recreation might come during students' down time with a hike around Echo Lake or up Cobble Hill. Further afield, students might join a weekend camping trip with Mr. Dingle or head out for an afternoon of ice climbing with Mr. Mellor. In the colder months students have the opportunity to ski at Whiteface or on local cross-country trails. Pond hockey, snow tubing, sledding and skating around Mirror Lake are popular activities during the winter.

Northwood's L.E.A.P. program, focused on experiential learning, also offers a number of courses with an emphasis on outdoor recreation. In recent years these have included a canoe trip on the Raquette River, a course on marine biology to the Caribbean, a course on geothermal energy to Iceland, and a week-long course on the art & science of fly-fishing in the Adirondacks.

With the High Peaks region and the AuSable River nearby, Northwood students have an unparalleled level of access to outdoor recreational opportunities. We hope they bring with them a passion to explore themselves and these wild places during their time at Northwood. It is one element which makes the Northwood educational experience truly unique.