Orenda Landscape
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My wife and I learned about Orenda in the NY Times article earlier this year and decided to give it a try. It was a great experience and we look forward to returning.

The staff are all exceptionally helpful. As mentioned in other reviews, John is there to assist and advise on any number of day trips and activities, and of course is available as a guide for hikes and kayak trips. He took us on a kayaking tour of Garnet Lake, and gave us great direction and advice for other hikes and trips that we took during our stay.

The food is first rate. Angie and Nikki definitely know what they are doing in the kitchen, and they are eager to please and accomodate requests. We ate extremely well during our stay.

The tent was comfortable, and the pictures on the website are accurate.

David Webb (owner) obviously cares about customer service and the overall experience as he has recruited a great team who really want you to have a good time.

If you remember camping fondly but aren’t sure you still want all the work that goes with it, this place is ideal.

5 of 5 starsReviewed June 23, 2013 NEW

“Wonderful stay at Orenda”

“Amazing Experience”
Reviewed June 1, 2013 NEW
My wife, two boys (ages 4 and 9) and I visited Camp Orenda for 3 days in early August. We live in the Cayman Islands and wanted to introduce our boys to the beauty of the Adirondacks and to camping. We are not campers, however, and had no ability to bring gear. Orenda was the perfect match. The camp gives you the benefit of a camping experience without the hassles. The food was a complete treat, and it was such a pleasure coming back from a day hiking in the park to a bustling camp kitchen with dinner in the works. David (the owner) and his staff do an outstanding job of providing for your needs without being intrusive. The tent cabins are comfortable and include wood-burning stoves (yes, even in August we lit it on 2 nights). David recommended a great local stable so we could introduce the boys to riding, and the stable owner not only got them riding around the ring on their own but also let us stay to help feed the animals. One evening it rained, but there was more than enough covered common areas to stay dry while relaxing, and our tent cabin had no leaks. Overall, a really special experience, and we will certainly be back.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family

"Amazing Experience"

John’s Dad (John) and I (Ellen) want to thank you so much for letting us enjoy your beautiful Camp Orenda for the night. It was so nice to spend some time with young John and to see where he has been working. You have a truly beautiful camp there and we certainly enjoyed it. Thank you also for taking such good care of our son John, he seems very happy there.

We loved the uniqueness of Camp Orenda! It’s a very comfortable and relaxing place to spend some time. You have fixed it up very nicely and we enjoyed all the ammenities that were offered.

Thank you also for the sandwiches and other food items that you provided. I have attached a picture of John and I after cooking breakfast using the homefries you left for us. Everything was delicious.

I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to meet you, it would have been interesting to talk to you. John gave us a great tour of the place and I can see why people will come back year after year.

Again, thank you for letting us use one of your tents and providing us with a lovely couple of days in the Adirondacks. It was a lot of fun and very enjoyable.

All the best,

Ellen

“Glamping at Orenda: all the fun of camping, with none of the hassle.”
I wanted to do a surprise trip for my hubby for our fourth wedding anniversary. He’s a big outdoors buff, so I knew it had to be something camping related. While I love hiking and don’t mind sleeping in a tent, I’m not a fan of some of the less glamorous aspects of camping. These range from the tolerable rock poking you through the sleeping bag to the abhorrent thought of having to go #2 in the middle of the woods. Furthermore, I knew very little about how to plan a full-on camping trip. Where the heck am I supposed to get a tent? What gear am I supposed to pack? How much food should I bring? Do I need a bear mace? HOLY CRUD, ARE THERE GOING TO BE BEARS!?!? Since this was supposed to be a surprise trip, I couldn’t exactly consult my hubby on these questions.
So I was really excited when I found Orenda, because they pretty much took care of all the pesky details. All we had to do was bring ourselves and workout gear for hiking. We were there for three nights and easily filled it with all sorts of activities, like hiking and archery. Staff cooked us VERY delicious breakfast and dinners, as well as packed us lunches for our hiking excursions. There are five tents on site, all of which are situated a good distance from each other. At worst, you’ll probably share the site with no more than four other couples/families. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the four couples we met while were there were super awesome.
They’ve recently built bathrooms (no more port-a-johns) and the outdoor shower is just fantastic.
But the best part of Orenda really is the owner, David Webb, and his staff. They are super involved, friendly, and ready to help in whatever way they can to make your glamping experience unforgettable. You can tell from all of the details that Dave pours his heart and soul into this place.
Needless to say, I’m hooked on Orenda and will definitely be coming back!
P.S. we did NOT see any bears during our stay nor hikes there :)

We stayed at Camp Orenda last September and had a really amazing time even with the tropical storm that hit us the first day there and our adventure chainsawing the uprooted trees blocking our path back to camp from our shortened canoe adventure. ;) I have very fond memories of that weekend. Thanks again!

I see that Camp Orenda is continuing to grow as it is garnering much acclaim. Congratulations on being voted #21 in NY Times’”46 places to go in 2013.”

Diego
1/18/2013

The Doorway to Another World
We arrived at a rather inauspicious parking area off a curve on a dirt road. We were soon met by an energetic young man who introduced himself as David (the owner of this enterprise) and an employee Angie, who we found out was our angel. Dave had to leave for a few minutes and asked Angie to escort us to our “cabin”. We passed through a portal in the wooded roadside and entered the enchanted land of ORENDA.
A large clearing ascending to the forest above was filled with three buildings: a kitchen; a dining pavilion, and a large covering with a semi circle of chairs that framed the front of the large fireplace that burned incessantly. Angie hefted most of our bags and charged up the hill to our “cabin”. It was a climb but Angie made it seem like a cake walk. Our “cabin” was a canvas covered platform with a porch and on entering you found yourself in a room outfitted with a queen sized bed, two bookcases with assorted paraphernalia to make your stay comfortable, a closet made up of a rope with carabineers attached to it, and a small pot bellied stove. Angie had filled the wood box before we arrived (she wheelbarrows it up the hill for three other cabins as well) and she was quickly on her knees instructing us on how to build the fire and keep it going for extended periods of time.
Once settled in, we ventured down to the kitchen which by that time was a beehive of activity. The lead bee was David; a human dynamo! Three couples stood and sat around a huge island built from logs taken out of the camp by guess who? You are right, David. He built everything in the camp from the rustic beds to the cabins, to the kitchen and other buildings, to campy items throughout the camp.
He was able to multi-task his way through cooking dinner over an open fire, fixing all the ingredients for the meal, telling us about ORENDA, his philosophy, and any other subject you might want to venture into from building to carving to wine to cars to caving to climbing … you name it and he led you through it. Hors d’ouevres were served around the fire and then we moved to the dining pavilion for the main meal and then back to the fire for after dinner drinks and discussion. It was a memorable day and we had only been there a few hours. The ”cabin” glowed from the torches spread through the woods and the pot bellied stove did its work and the cozy tent lulled us to a deep and rejuvenating sleep
Oh, did I tell you it was raining? It did not bother anyone and you really felt that it was just part of everything else, so why not appreciate it?
As a younger man, I did a lot of tent and wilderness camping. I love the Adirondacks, the tents, and, yes, even the weather. But age and other infirmities have taken their toll. However, tent camping was on my bucket list and ORENDA provided the means to do it just once more. ORENDA was living, feeling, breathing, seeing, smelling the marvels of nature. ORENDA nourished the human spirit for a few hours and guided us back to an earlier time when the woods supported us and we supported the woods.
Thank you David and Angie for these hours of reCREATION and sharing your dream of ORENDA with us.
Sue and Jim

Jim Speegle

It definitely was an adjustment coming from Manhattan, but being at one with nature in today’s world is without doubt a real treat and very rewarding.David, the owner, host and fireside chef was very accommodating. With this land having been in his family for years, it’s easy to tell that Orenda is what makes his heart happy. He is passionately committed to introducing families like ours to the serenity of his mountain property beautifully located in the Adirondacks region.
It can’t be easy to cater for the various types of people that stumble upon this camp experience, but the delicious food is probably what we appreciated most in the wild woods and so I’ll focus this – the first of a few camp experience blog posts – on the grub!
David made a huge effort to provide locally sourced, healthy food almost entirely prepared over the flame – quite an achievement!
Our first dinner was a hit – homemade pizza with delicious toppings…
If you ask Caitlin now what her favourite thing about camping was, she’ll tell you the S’mores (as in ‘want some more?’)! Marshmallows melted over the fire squashed between Graham Crackers with Hersheys chocolate bars thrown in! Need I say more…Another memorable plate of fresh produce was the caprese salad… here Stacia is drizzling the plate with maple syrup (tapped from local trees) combined with balsamic vinegar and reduced to make a tasty glaze!
Breakfast didn’t disappoint either… fresh berry pancakes cooked by David were a hit, again served with local maple syrup!But what good is great food without superb wine to match? Lucky for us, we were given a bottle of one of my favourite SA wines just before we left New York… what a fabulous setting to savour it in!
Together with his two eager little helpers, Caitlin and Jess, Murray enjoyed keeping the communal fire going all day… a happy dry area in the damp forest – very useful for drying wet hair of course! And as I sit here typing in our New York apartment I can smell that smokey fire smell synonymous with camping as loads of washing start to make their way through our machine! Fond memories indeed.

We took a short trip to Camp Orenda on September 7th for a two night getaway that was much needed. Having read just a few newspaper articles about the “glamping” experience, we were unsure of what to expect, and were more or less looking for a relaxing weekend without the unforeseen harshness of camping in September in the Adirondacks.

What we enjoyed was so much more than glamping. The weekend was nothing short of perfect.

When you first arrive at Orenda, the camp literally jumps out of the middle of nowhere, with a random custom sign hanging along a road traveled by very few. Stepping out of the car you are greeted immediately by the unforgettable smell of campfire. If you only get one chance to make a first impression, Orenda hit a home run. With only two couples staying that night, it would’ve been easy to let something like the campfire go until later.

Let it be known that Orenda is not snobbish camping as the name glamping may indicate. We were met at the car by Angie who informed us our tent was at the hill, and we were better off grabbing our bags now because the tent was at the top of the hill. Indeed it was. But worth the walk, as we walked into the tent and it was nothing like you’ve seen if you have been camping, or ever even visualized camping. A queen size bed, wood stove, carpets, lanterns, sitting chairs, and a strong canvas tent tells you that you are in for a different kind of experience.

The grounds and surrounding activities at Orenda are enough to keep you busy for days. Hiking or kayaking are all around you. Archery is on site, and as someone who has never fired a bow, that was fun. The crew will set up a number of different off site activities if you are up for something a little more exciting. Relaxation was our game this weekend.

The grounds of Orenda are beautiful and welcoming. I don’t need to say more. Simply stunning.

The price of camping at Orenda includes three meals a day, none of which disappoint. Two mornings of breakfast included pancakes with blackberries, and eggs and bacon. Lunch is sandwiches of different varieties. And then there is dinner. Mmmmmm dinner. The first night was pork that was purchased locally two days fresh. The second night was free range chicken that was delivered that day. The appetizers were all over the map- pizza, stuffed mushrooms, amazing potatoes- all of it locally grown and purchased. We had five meals at Orenda, and each was unique and delicious. What wasn’t unique, but overly satisfying was popping the S’more’s, roasting sticks included, into your mouth after dinner.

Orenda recently added an outdoor shower that pours hot water down on you as you stare up at pine trees overhead. An amazing feeling, and one not to be missed.

That leads us to the best part of Orenda: Dave. The guy who decided to switch up his life a few years ago and pour his heart and soul into something he loves. It shows all over the place. Where he sees things still missing, we saw perfection. Each acre of Orenda has been massaged, built, cared for, and developed by Dave, his friends, his parents (who spent the weekend there as well) and others. You can tell they love it, and you will see it when you stay there. No one is at Orenda to make a quick buck, send the money up to the shareholders and move on. Each minute you spend there is a minute that Dave and his staff make sure you are relaxed and having fun. We will surely go back again, and likely in the very near future.

Know that there is little electricity at Orenda, the bathroom facilities are porta-johns, and despite the luxury that is all around you, you will have a rough it a bit. But boy is it worth it. A job well done, and the best of luck to Dave. He has a great idea, but what is more important is ability to execute it to an even greater level.

J and M

Jeff & Michelle

We spend two wonderful days here. The location was perfectly nested in a small valley so the weather was very nice but still sunshine and the time of year we went was perfect because the temperatures ranged from low 80s in the day to low 60s at night. The accommodation were as ideal as anyone could ask for for someone who is not an avid camper and simply wants to experience the wilderness without the hassles that usually come along with it. Great food was provided the whole time, everything was very clean, the fire in the fire pit was always burning, and the flowing creek going through the campsite makes a perfect background noise for some relaxation. The kayaking and mountain climbing adventures were spectacular and very much worth the time. This is an experience I would definitely recommend to anyone and I hope I can return myself sometime in the future.

Megan & Bennet 8/26/2012

From the moment my girlfriend and I arrived at Orenda , we could tell it was a unique and mystical place. We were given a tent right on the edge of a trickling stream. The tent was cozy, clean, and had nuanced charm like a cast-iron stove, hand-carved wooden furniture, a small porch w Adirondak chairs, along w/ bedside tree limb candle holders. Creator and proprietor David Webb has manifested a very balanced environment that allows visitors of Orenda to feel like they are “roughing it” in the wilderness while simultaneously not being overwhelmed w/ the tasks, know-how and preparation needed for more “advanced” camping. Every detail seems meticulously thought out. The open kitchen w/ cast iron skillets dangling all around the wooden bar with log stools, the candle-lit gazebo dining area, the tree-strung hammocks, and stone bonfire all blend in with the woodland environment to feel as if they had always been there. David was very helpful in arranging any activities we were interested in doing: From planning a white water rafting excursion, trying to find the best fly-fishing guides, and planning a kayaking and hiking trip on a beautiful and serene lake with packed lunch included. He and his staff were always available but never encroaching.
The food is prepared as well as any top NYC restaurant but every dish evokes the feel of a rustic cookout rather than a fancy night on the town. All the ingredients are local and of the highest quality and the cast iron skillets and outdoor grill give a smoky flavor that is impossible to re-create elsewhere. The apple wood smoked bacon burgers, grilled homemade pizza, free range chicken with wild rice, and grilled corn on the cob were all amazing.
Orenda is probably not for everyone, and the term ‘glamping’ has its various connotations for everyone who has heard the phrase. But the bottom line is that nothing special and original really ever is something that everyone likes. If you are someone looking to experience nature in a raw form without having to buy thousands of dollars of your own gear and prepare every detail yourself, this is probably the place for you. Call it ‘glamping’ or whatever you want, but its a great way to relax and truly connect with nature if that is your goal.
The night-time was actually our favorite time at Orenda, as this is when you fully realize how removed from your daily life you are. The stars flicker brightly above, the forest makes its symphony of subtle noises, the stream flows soothingly (or maybe that was the bottle of wine) , and the bonfire crackles and smokes. David and his crew even supply the smores to bring you back to that childlike state of mind where there are no thoughts of tomorrow’s troubles and no burdens beyond kindling your tent’s stove to a fierce and self-sustaining roar before crawling contently into bed.

Aaron & Ashley 8/16/2012
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