Lake Durant is where we* go camping annually and have been lucky enough to snag some of the great lake-side sites over the past few years. It’s one of my favorite state camp grounds for a variety of reasons, namely: the Northville-Lake Placid trail runs through it and it’s generally quiet, with somewhat more secluded-feeling sites. And, if you grab a lake-side one, you can put your canoe or kayak in right in front of your tent.

I’ve gotten to know this lake pretty well over the years and regularly see loons and beavers. It’s a great little lake to watch the sun rise and set on as well. My Hornbeck’s maiden voyage happened here this year and I found I could easily fit my boat and a kayak on a J-rack on top of my little car.

*”We” is my child and co-parent/ex-husband. Yes, we are functional enough to continue to have a yearly family camping trip. I know. It’s weird. It’s fine.

SIDE TRIP

Over the 4th of July weekend, I also got to visit the newly opened Chef Darrell’s Mountain Diner. If you are like me and travel through the area regularly, you’ll have watched this structure take shape over the past five years on Rt. 30, just outside “downtown” Blue Mountain Lake. You’ll probably also know that the dining options are very limited in that immediate area so the Diner has been welcomed with open arms by all accounts.

And a great little diner it is! I knew I wanted to check out this place after watching it and wondering over the years and a rainy evening while camping provided a prime opportunity. I opted for breakfast-for-dinner, along with one of my companions and the other chose the pot roast dinner. Everything was good, solid, tasty diner fare. I am also extremely opinionated on the subject of homefries. Chef Darrell’s are larger than I usually prefer, but the choice of a more waxy yellow potato and making sure they were extra crisp meant they were tender and flavorful and the only reason I didn’t finish them was because the portion size was way too generous.

The blue and white interior is clean, minimal, and inviting and the service was fast and friendly. I’m sure Chef Darrell’s Mountain Diner will do well, serving both locals and visitors who have been craving a place like this to frequent regularly.

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