Between Saratoga Springs and Lake George lies Glens Falls, a town of wide, empty downtown streets, peppered with handsome brick buildings. Nearby flows the Hudson River and a 60-foot-high waterfall that was responsible for turning the town into an early industrial center. An Adirondacks information booth (518/792-2730) is located in Glens Falls between Exits 17 and 18 off I-87 northbound.
The main reason to stop in Glens Falls is to tour the first-class Hyde Collection (161 Warren St., east of the Rte. 9 intersection, 518/792-1761, www.hydecollection.org, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun.), housed in a 1912 mansion styled as a Renaissance villa.
Step inside this long, low-slung building, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by palm trees, balconies, tile floors, fine antiques, and an important collection of Old Masters. Among them are works by Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Botticelli, Tintoretto, Degas, Cézanne, van Gogh, and Picasso. American artists are also well represented, including Eakins, Homer, and Whistler.
The Hyde Collection was amassed by Louis Fiske and Charlotte Pruyn Hyde in the first half of the 20th century. Mrs. Hyde turned the family mansion into a museum in 1952, following her husband’s death.
Chapman Historical Museum
Also worth a stop, especially for photography buffs, is the Chapman Museum (348 Glen St./Rte. 9, at Bacon, 518/793-2826, www.chapmanmuseum.org, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat., adults $2, seniors and students $1, under 12 free), run by the Glens Falls–Queensbury Historical Association. Housed in an 1867 Victorian mansion, complete with several period rooms, the museum showcases an outstanding collection of photographs by Seneca Ray Stoddard.
An artist, writer, cartographer, and surveyor, Stoddard wrote numerous early guidebooks to the Adirondacks and captured the region’s majesty through countless photographs.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition