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Learn about Fourpeaks? CLICK HERE to start.
Explore Fourpeaks 700-acre private Vacation/Getaway!
Learn about Fourpeaks? CLICK HERE to start.
  • Meet Your Host
  • 7 Backcountry Cabins
  • 4-Season Activities
  • Private hiking trails
  • Romantic getaway?
  • Pet-friendly vacation
  • Meet Our Guests!
  • Rental Rates/Prices
  • AvailabilityCalendar
    CLICK for a prompt detailed response to your vacation Inquiry.E-Z Inquiry Form
  • Email Us
  • Phone our Help Desk
  • Join our Mailing List
  • Maps & Directions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Safety First!  and Guest Information
  • Adirondack Photos
  • Adirondack Poetry
  • An Adirondack Miscellany
  • Personal Potpourri
  • The Fourpeaks Story 1968-present
  • Select Link Pages
  • Your Adirondack Vacation: What's New!What's New!
  • CLICK HERE for bigger picture. Martin Schwalbaum
    (Your Adirondack Guide)
    Stonehouse Road
    P.O. Box 76
    JAY  NY  12941
    Phone 518-524-6726
    or CLICK HERE for Toll-free calling any time.

    Dear Visitor,

    Think of me as Your Adirondack Guide. I'm from the city, so I know where you're coming from. And what you're looking for.

    Adirondack Guide finds a High Peaks view at Rattlesnake Knob. I came to my Adirondacks 40 years ago. Here, in a backcountry mountain valley, I discovered the woods, fields and homesites of the pioneer settlers who made their way from New England in the 1700's. All abandoned for an easier life in town when electricity got here in the 20's. I loved their place for the history and the life in nature, so I set about to preserve it, to keep it open. "Off the grid," I found a way of spending time away from my work in the city that was better, totally different.

    Jim Melvin, Adirondack Guide Jim Melvin, an Adirondack Guide from right here in Jay, sold me his hunting cabin. Over the years I built more cabins to share my experience with a few friends, clients and employees. Today (retired from business in the city) I'm renting them to select vacationers who appreciate quiet, seclusion, and real comfort in a natural place. There are seven Fourpeaks Backcountry Cabins to choose from. CLICK HERE for Backcountry Cabins. Each one is architecturally unique, authentically Adirondacks, with all natural building materials, tucked away in its own secluded wilderness setting with lots of open space all around. Functional housekeeping with complete kitchen, fireplace, comfortable old furniture and rugs.

    Adirondack Park development restrictions (in place since the early 70's) and my own bent for preservation make Fourpeaks a genuine Ecotourism vacation experience. Not for everybody. CLICK HERE for Backcountry Cabins.Gas lights, no electricity. Hand pumps, no running water. An outhouse, not a flush toilet. A wood stove, not central heating. But I'll be your Your Adirondack Guide and show you how--the fun, the Quiet and the beauty which living close to nature "Off The Grid" brings with it, even if you stay just a week or a weekend. Living green, the lifestyle of the pioneers.

    I hope you'll visit soon. There's a lot to like. Right at your doorstep are miles of woods roads and trails for exploring Fourpeaks hidden valley and four mountains. CLICK HERE for Adirondack Hiking Trails. The AuSable River, prettiest stream in New York, is at the bottom of the hill by the old covered bridge. And it's far enough away from Lake Placid so there's no tourism to spoil your view.

    Check the Four Seasons Availability Calendar. Pick some dates.  For a free, no obligation, personal email response geared to your interests, experience and budget, use the Easy Inquiry Form. Or phone right now and I'll tell you about it-- 518-524-6726. Thanks.

                            Sincerely yours,

                            Martin Schwalbaum
                           (Your Adirondack Guide)

    Encls. (From my mailbag.) A few emails about my Adirondack Guide hosting talents and more.
    P.S. More about Adirondack Guides? Lots of history there, look at http://www.adirondackhistory.org/newguides/
    P.P.S. For visitors who are not "onto" Ecotourism, CLICK HERE for some help (from Wikopedia):

    Encls. Selected weblinks with/about your Adirondack Guide.
    [CLICK on photo/image for more.]
    CLICK HERE for your Adirondack Guide and George sightseeing on the Tex-Mex borderland. CLICK HERE for George at home, at work and just playing. Adirondack Summer: Becky and Adirondack Guide Exploring Taylor Pond and more. CLICK HERE for 8 pages with over 100 photos! CLICK HERE for Adirondack Guide and Noah Rondeau. Meet Murray and Iza They will some day operate the rental business and care for the Fourpeaks property into the future.
    (L. ro R.)   (1) CLICK HERE for Road Trips with George. A Gentleman's Travel Notes.
    (2) CLICK HERE for George (your Fourpeaks Canine Host) at home, at work and just playing.
    (3) CLICK HERE for Adirondack Summer: Becky and Me Exploring Taylor Pond and more. 8 pages with over 100 photos!
    (4) CLICK HERE for Me and Noah Rondeau.
    (6) Meet Murray and Iza.They will some day operate the rental business and care for the Fourpeaks property into the future.

    (From my mailbag.)   Guest #1083 "Thanks Martin for the wonderful time - you are the greatest host . . . ."    Guest #1846 "and you were the perfect host - friendly, available but not intrusive . . ."    Guest #0020 "Only a nut like you would build a camp on that ridge . . ."    Guest #1467 "Are you working on those memoirs yet?"    "To be honest, your website is a mess."  

    Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
    Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    The Spotlight, or Prime Location, puts the spotlight on those sites that are so compelling that even jaded web site reviewers bookmark them for frequent reference! CLICK HERE if you're buying a home or planning to. Website awards (you all must know) are something of an Internet gimmick. What website hasn't got a bunch of awards? Here's ours.
    The IRED.com award is as close as one gets to a real commendation. We're really impressed to be grouped along with some of the other Spotlight Prime Location awardees.
    CLICK HERE for links to the exceptionally attractive and informative worldwide webpages at IRED.com. Thank you Betty Swann and IRED reviewers for this coveted award!


    #1083 "Thanks Martin for the wonderful time - you are the greatest host . . . ."
    Subject: Guestbook Entry
    Date: 10/23/2003 - 12:30 AM
    Name: Karen I*** & Frances T****
    Email: kareni****@hotmail.com
    Location: NY, NY,
    Comments:
    Wolf's Nest will always seem like a home away from home to
    us. we were only there a few days but it was so restful and
    serene and inviting that it felt like our own secret place.
    and there was even a pump shower! what fun! we also spent
    one night at Gypsy, which was beautiful...Mars was at its
    closest point ever and we watched it all night as it
    traversed the sky. it is incredible to know that such a
    special place exists only 5 hours from Manhattan. thanks
    Martin for the wonderful time - you are the greatest host.
    xoxo k & f

    #1846 "and you were the perfect host - friendly, available but not intrusive . . ."
    Date: Tue, 29 May 2001
    From: linda g*** lg****@cd101.emmis.com
    To: VisitUs@4peaks.com
    we just wanted to tell you that the three of us enjoyed ourselves enormously at fourpeaks - we did everything we wanted, we hiked, we slept, we played in the grass, we relaxed, we enjoyed new barn and you were the perfect host - friendly, available but not intrusive...we will definitely return...thank you for a great experience - you are blessed to live in a beautiful area...it was hard coming back to the city noises and pollution - oh well - see you soon

    #0020"Only a nut like you would build a camp on that ridge . . ."
    Subject: Hello Martin
    Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002
    From: PaulG***@aol.com
    To: VisitUs@4peaks.com
    Dear Martin,
    I meant to write soonerbut I've been pretty busy. We all
    had a good time at Ridge Camp last weekend. We stopped at Camp Barn to say
    goodbye, but you weren't home. Only a nut like you would build a camp on
    that ridge and only nuts like my friends and I would backpack on snowshoes
    up to that ridge. It was definitely a worthwhile experience, it forces you to
    appreciate the things that you really need to have more appreciation for and
    makes you stop worrying about things that really aren't important. The
    River Story was very good, thanks. Keep in touch.
    Paul H***
    More about this. Keep reading.More about this. (Keep reading.)
    Subject: Re: Thanks
    Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003
    From: PaulG***@aol.com
    To: VisitUs@4peaks.com
    Martin,
    I don't think Bill has an e-mail address but I will definitely pass
    your regards. Bill & I also enjoyed our visit with you, I've been wanting to
    do something like that with you for a while. There's nothing better that a
    few drinks and a stimulating conversation.
    I'll be in touch,
    Paul

    August 7, 2013 "To be honest, your website is a mess."
    Subject: Website Feedback
    From: marie****@yahoo.com
    Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 01:51:45 -0700
    To: martin@4peaks.com
    Hi, I am not actually a potential customer. I just came across your website. Reading on I know that you are offering something great and your place is really wonderful.
    But the thing is, to be honest, your website is a mess. I think it's about time that you invest in your website since the internet world does not somewhat find your website pleasing and you may be losing a lot of potential customer because they might lose interest in your lodge because your website content is messy. Just a tip sir. Good luck on your business.

    Subject: But the thing is, to be honest, your website is a mess.
    From: "Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)"
    Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 07:33:02 -0400
    To: marie****@yahoo.com
    Dear Mai,
    Thanks for your email (copy below) proving valuable feedback on my webpage www.4peaks.com
    I put this page up March 1997 and have been rewriting and adding to it ever since. As a result it's a bit of an antique, like an old book. This fits well with our backcountry style of vacationing, living like folks did that settled the land here 200 years ago. The webpage offers lots to read and learn about. Not flashy with graphic tricks like something by a recent graduate of "How to Build a Webpage."
    Besides, it's too fragile and complex to fix.
    Trash it, and start over? Not on your life. Folk looking for what I have to offer--a private getaway in a place of great natural beauty. "A vacation away from it all . . ." They find it! And that keeps Fourpeaks a (small but happy) going business.
    Visit here one day yourself and discover the quiet and seclusion of the Adirondack wilderness. To help out, your feedback has earned you a 25% discount off listed rates. Save this email and let me know when and where. CLICK http://4peaks.com/finquiry.htm
    Thanks again for your feedback. Best wishes,
    Martin


    Wikipedia Affiliate Button Wikipedia Affiliate Button For webpage visitors (and potential guests) who are not "onto" Ecotourism, and it is in fact relatively new coinage, here is some help(from Wikopedia, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotourism):

    Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is a form of tourism that appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals. Generally speaking, ecotourism focuses on personal growth, and learning new ways to live on the planet. It typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions.

    Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, an integral part of ecotourism is the promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, and creation of economic opportunities for the local communities.

    Criteria
    According to the definition and principles of ecotourism established by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990, ecotourism is "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990). Those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:
  • minimize impact
  • build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
  • provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
  • provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
  • raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate

    Ideally, ecotourism should satisfy several criteria, such as:
  • conservation of biological diversity and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection
  • promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations
  • sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous people by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises
  • tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern.
  • minimization of tourism's own environmental impact
  • affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury
  • local culture, flora and fauna being the main attractions

    For many countries, ecotourism is not simply a marginal activity to finance protection of the environment but is a major industry of the national economy. For example, in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nepal, Kenya, Madagascar, and Antarctica, ecotourism represents a significant portion of the gross domestic product and economic activity.

    The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood, and in practice is often used as a marketing tool to promote tourism which is related to nature. This is an especially frequent malpractice in the realm of Jungle tourism. Critics claim that these greenwashing practices carried out in the name of ecotourism often consist of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem. According to them, ecotourism must above all sensitize people to the beauty and the fragility of nature. They condemn some operators as greenwashing their operations: using the labels of "green" and "eco-friendly”, while behaving in environmentally irresponsible ways.

    Although academics disagree about who can be classified as an ecotourist[6] and there is precious little statistical data, some estimate that more than five million ecotourists - the majority of the ecotourist population - come from the United States, with others from Western Europe, Canada, and Australia.

    Currently there are various moves to create national and international ecotourism accreditaion programs[7], although the process is also controversial. National ecotourism certification programs have been put in place in countries such as Costa Rica, Australia, Kenya and Sweden.

    History
    Ecotourism, responsible tourism, jungle tourism and sustainable development have become prevalent concepts since the late 1980s, and ecotourism has experienced arguably the fastest growth of all sub-sectors in the tourism industry. The popularity represents a change in tourist perceptions, increased environmental awareness, and a desire to explore natural environments. Such changes have become as much a statement affirming one's social identity, educational sophistication, and disposable income as it has about preserving the Amazon rainforest or the Caribbean reef for posterity.

    CLICK HERE to meet Your Adirondack Guide.Like anything else in our modern human experience, Ecotourism has it's shady side, commercialization, exploitation and just plain more of ruining our little planet. Here at Fourpeaks I offer the good side of it--just you, your dog, your lover, your family, and a pretty cabin to share some time together in a natural place.

    For the bad side of ecotourism look at www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotourism to hear about Ecotourism criticism, Greenwashing, the negative impact of tourism, some direct environmental impacts, environmental hazards, the displacement of people, threats to indigenous cultures, mismanagement, tour operators, travel agencies and retailers and more on the negative side of Ecotourism.

    "Are you working on those memoirs yet?" (An Email Exchange.)

    Subject: Claire P***** wrote on your Wall...
    From: Facebook
    Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2009 22:06:52 -0700
    To: Martin Schwalbaum
    Claire wrote on your Wall:
    "Martin--Are you working on those memoirs yet?"
    Claire--
    "Are you working on those memoirs yet?"
    Yes. I figure it's about time.
    I'm collecting it all on my Fourpeaks webpage. You can see what I've done so far.

    Adirondack Poetry at Fourpeaks. I've made a poem or a short prose poem about every memorable event of my life. I think you must have a copy of my "Poems For My Kids," published in '95. If not I'll give you a copy next time you're here.

    A Personal Potpourri. 14 pages, including about me and Irene, me and Becky, the best 2 GF's I ever had, after Louise kicked me out.

    The Fourpeaks Story: 1967 to Today. 40 years of building and fixing my wilderness place. How it all happened.

    A Gentleman's Travel Notes. 10 pages, including the one about my last try to get back with Louise, or at least take her out for dinner, theater, music--whatever.

    How I got George. I still have to write about how he got dognapped by an evil dogcatcher for ransom.

    More pets. Tramp and Floppy, our family pets before the divorce. There's a lot about Albert my fave pet (a mini schnauzer who sang, 14 years, Louise adopted him when Joni kicked him out, how he got dognapped and Louise put an ad in the paper and found him in a flat in Hell's Kitchen) but I have to collect it and write it better. I'm not saying anything about Salt and Pepper, 2 mini schnau bitches we got after Albert. We got rid of Salt, a runaway. Pepper got loose and run over at the Stone House.

    My son Murray, his new wife, Iza, and their chicken, Carmalita. They live in Brooklyn so I don't get to see them a lot. But he helps me with computer stuff and says he'll run the place when I'm dead. She's an artist.

    My daughter Maggie, and our fun vacation together with hippies in SF. She lives in nearby Burlington so I get to see her for hiking and shopping.

    The '98 Ice Storm. How 100-year freeze just snapped the trees above us in the Stone House. Changed the forest foe a long time.

    I'm adding stuff as I get time and inspiration. Murray says I should get a video camera and put it all on YouTube. Iza could help. But I'd rather write about it. Thanks for asking.
    Love,
    Martin

    A Personal Potpourri. A Personal Potpourri.
    Old photos, letters, clippings, greeting cards and other stuff too precious to discard. A Personal Potpourri is your Adirondack Guide's eclectic photo and writing place for stuff that just doesn't fit elsewhere in Fourpeaks Adirondack Backcountry Camps webpages. CLICK HERE for more Personal Potpourri.  CLICK HERE to meet Your Adirondack Guide.