Tucked into the Adirondacks just north of Lake George there’s a small town called Warrensburg. Warrensburg is home to a fantastic little dude ranch called Ridin’ Hy Ranch.
Ridin’ Hy was first opened in 1940 and has continued to blossom and grow into what it is today. My mom fondly remembers working hard to earn trips to Ridin’ Hy when she was young. After we moved to New York she decided to share her love of Ridin’ Hy with me.
Growing up I had the pleasure of enjoying all that Ridin’ Hy has to offer, but let’s face it, I was ALL about the horses. I still remember our first trip like it was yesterday…and the year later, and the year after that. I had the opportunity to see it grow more and more and experience everything there while I was still a kid.
I looked forward to our trip year after year. For financial reasons we stopped going when I was 16 but it has always been my mission to get back there. If I ever have kids I dream of sharing the little piece of heaven with them, too.
Back in 2017 I had the opportunity to finally share Ridin’ Hy with Zac. I wasn’t sure what he would think since he’s not into horses. As it turns out he LOVED it!
I also found one of my favorite childhood horses, Redfeather. I know think he does much riding anymore but I was so happy to see him still doing so well.
Many people criticize the tourist “trail-ride” attractions but I can honestly say these horses are well cared for. They have great body scores and are in great shape.
What’s truly magical about the place is how peaceful and serene it is. The ranch is located not far off the highway but far enough to drown out all noise and light pollution. Sherman Lake is a small body of water and very private. The feeling of peace and tranquility washes over you as you arrive.
Though Zac isn’t a horse person he enjoyed some rides (2 per day) and really enjoyed the other features the ranch has to offer. To name a few:
- Pontoon Rides
- Fishing Trips
- Waterskiing lessons
- Swimming in the pool or lake (plus the hot tub)
- Kid’s playground
- Softball tournaments
- Lawn Games
- Nightly Bingo with prizes
- Guest Rodeo (Barrel Racing)
In the winter they offer snowmobiling and skiing.
Not to mention there always seems to be an abundance of food.
- Breakfast every morning
- Lunch with Desserts
- Dinner (I’m particularly a fan of their steak on the chuck wagon)
- Evening Activity (Hot dog roast, smore’s, ice cream social, cocktail hour)
The ranch also offers activities throughout the day. An activities coordinator makes sure there’s always something going on. You can do your own thing or join the group. During our brief visit Zac and I really enjoyed the hammocks by the lake!
During our 2017 visit, I was amazed by how much has changed. A large building was constructed near the entrance that houses a spa and a gymnasium. I also noticed the addition of paddleboards, a banana boat, and a lovely quad of hammocks. Beyond that, however, the important things were all the same.
We also had enjoyed the nightlife. The company is good, the drinks are cheap, and everything you need is right in one place. We met some friends while playing “Musical Barstools.”
A few weeks after our stay my heart sank as I watch a video of fire crews working hard to put out a blazing fire that took the main lodge. So many happy memories in this building came back to me in that moment and I was flooded by sadness to see it all up in flames.
This wasn’t the first time the lodge has burned down. In 1982 the lodge was lost to a fire as well.
With temporary buildings constructed the ranch was able to open again shortly after the fire. Construction through 2018 led to a beautiful new lodge.
This year we were unable to go back. Due to training at work and not having a suitable pet sitter lined up we simply couldn’t find a way to get there for an overnight stay. We are blessed in a way, however. Blessed because Ridin’ Hy Ranch is not too far away. When our friends came to town we decided to take a Friday night and visit for a few hours, have a few drinks, and a few more laughs. We left from work and went up after dinner. We got to see the animals and sit by the lake. We met up with our friends and laughed over drinks for a couple hours, then finally returned home.
This was also our first time getting to see the new lodge. I was nervous at first because the plans shown seemed to make the building look…..gaudy. There is a rustic charm about the ranch that I hope the owners never lose sight of. I loved our creaky screen door and the old sled on the porch. I loved the old-time feel of everything there.
My worries were swept away as we pulled up that Friday night last month. The new lodge is absolutely breathtaking. Anyone else would have made this lodge look too touristy but the owners did a phenomenal job of keeping the “Ridin Hy” spirit alive. Some of the old decor was salvaged. They even used large wooden beams and posts that were acquired right on the property. Though I have to admit I will really miss the porch with the sled and ping pong table. It provided a nice gathering place.
We entered the front doors and were blown away by the double staircase.
Before the fire you would walk in through the doors turn left to get to the bar or turn right to the dining area. Upstairs were a few motel style rooms.
In the new building when you walk in and turn to the left you get to the check-in desk, and along the wall is the chalkboard of daily activities. I remember getting up early, getting my morning ride done, then coming in to check the board and get breakfast. The board lists all of the day’s activities and I’m so happy to see it still being used. It may be a small old-fashioned thing to do but the small things are what make Ridin’ Hy stand apart from the rest.
Ridin’ Hy is known for its resident black labs. There have always been one or two wandering about through-out the years. Overfed, happy, and adored labs. Around the side of the staircase we found a cute wooden greeter.
Towards the back you find the arcade. There are a number of fun arcade games for kids to enjoy there.
There is also a beautiful coffee area that always has hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and coffee cake available.
In today’s new building when you walk in and turn to the right you find the bar and a large open gathering area.
Upstairs there are no longer any motel rooms. Instead, it has transformed into an open dining area with a buffet overlooking the lake.
Needless to say I am very eagerly waiting for the day we can actually return and stay as guests.
For more information about my favorite vacation spot, check out https://www.ridinhy.com/