Head Women’s XC/Track Coach
I have taken my Cross Country team to Rock and River for three years now for our pre-season training week. Rock and River’s beautiful and tranquil setting is unmatched by any in the Adirondacks. With breathtaking mountain views in all directions, rolling fields, beautiful gardens, and a cool river, it is a haven for anyone after a long day on the trails. From wooded trails right out the back door to awesome climbing cliffs a short 10 minute hike away, Rock and River
has it all.
Our team rented the entire climber’s lodge, and from there we ran on the trails daily, dipped in the river afterwards, and relaxed on the decks. We comfortably slept 12-15 people, cooked all of our own meals in the well-stocked kitchen, enjoyed campfires in the lean-to by the river, and took advantage of the incredible guide service. Ed’s guides were amazing and patient with our beginning but eager climbers, yet adaptable for more advanced groups. The staff at Rock and River is incredibly accommodating and helpful, and will do anything to make your stay fantastic.
We plan to return for many more years!
Former President – OLDHAT Club (Ottawa Long Distance Hiking and Touring)
The Rock and River lodge located at the end of a road in a quiet and beautiful valley has been our Shangri La for many years. The accommodations are excellent and the staff treat us royally. With easy access to all the major trailheads in the High Peaks region, it is a treat to return to the lodge after a hard day’s climb. Ed Palen is a superb instructor in technical climbing who gives first priority to safety.
Director of Outdoor Education
Colgate Outdoor Education has been staying at Rock and River for almost 2 decades. The space is PERFECT for large college groups. It is beautiful, absorbs large groups well, provides excellent space to allow for personal and group organization and is convenient to almost every type of adventure of activity one can ask for. Ed and Nancy really allow us to be make ourselves at home! After days out and about, groups can cook and share meals, put their feet up by the fire, climb on the chimney or take advantage of the smaller nooks and crannies for quiet conversation, reflection or reading. Students always comment that an action-packed weekend there feels like a week-long vacation. Staying at Rock and River is a tradition ingrained within our program and I could never imagine changing that tradition!
Daniel and Melissa Eagan
Editors of the 46er Club’s “Peeks Magazine”
I still remember the first time I heard about Rock and River – a fellow hiker here in NYC said, They have the most comfortable rooms, with quilts, and then enormous breakfasts with a ton of fresh-baked foods each morning. That was over ten years ago, and my husband Daniel and I have been happily coming ever since! At first we were in awe of all the hard-core hikers and climbers hanging out downstairs. But they are always helpful with tips about where to go and what to do, no matter what your abilities may be. And if you want to be a sloth, that’s perfectly fine, too. We love the fact that it’s so quiet. Rock and River is one of the best places we know of to stay in the Adirondacks. That’s why we try and return whenever we can. You should check it out, too!
Chair, NY Section American Alpine Club.
Rock and River, beautiful and secluded though very accessible, has been our winter refuge in the High Peaks for over 20 years. Our January winter outing there is one of our most popular outdoor events of the season. And no wonder: first class lodging, an excellent guide service and of course the warm hospitality of Ed Palen, his family and his staff.
Managing Partner, Human Corporation
For the last 15 years Rock and River has been an inseparable partner in my family’s Adirondack experience. My son and I plan on completing or 46 next summer and Rock and River have been with us all along the way. Our rock climbing and back country hiking have been deeply enriched by Rock and River’s world class guides who’s professionalism, skills, knowledge, and love of the Adirondacks are unsurpassed.
Director of Fundraising, Police Athletic League (PAL), New York City
Twenty years ago I took a rock climbing lesson from Ed at Rock and River… and never stopped coming back. I started rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, mountaineering, cross country skiing, and have traveled all over the world with the skills I learned at Rock and River. Now, the Climbers Lodge is the #1 annual family vacation retreat for my nieces and nephews… all who can’t wait to start climbing this year.
New York City HHC (Health and Hospital Corp.)
The physical beauty of the surroundings, the expertise and love of adventure of the guides and staff, and the welcoming spirit of a friendly and accepting community all make Adirondack Rock and River a memorable and special place. Whether you’re climbing high or going for a day hike, when you’re there you’re a part of the Rock and River family and it fees very good. I love Adirondack Rock and River. I have gotten married there and happily finished my 46 on Seward Mountain with a Rock and River guide. Over the years, I thought many times that it would be heaven to own a home in the heart of the high peaks, and then I discovered Rock and River, the one place where the serenity, the thrill, the wildness and the glory of the mountains is always there for me. And the cookies are world-class…
The Montessori School of Syracuse
For over 10 years, our school has been fortunate to partner with Adirondack Rock and River Guide Services for our annual 3rd grade Adirondack trip. Each year, our students return from their trip with a feeling of excitement and accomplishment. It is an experience they remember for years, and they often return to Rock and River to enjoy the area with their families.
The accommodations at the Rock and River Lodge are cozy and welcoming, with plenty to do on site. Owner Ed Palin does a great job arranging for professional rock climbing services for our novice group of climbers and outfits us with everything we need to have a safe and enjoyable experience. His professional guides are expert instructors and are always patient with our students; quietly and confidently encouraging them every step of their climb.
By the end of our stay, a real sense of community has been built among the students, and they leave Rock and River with a new found love of the Adirondacks, as well as a sense of pride in their accomplishments and new skills.
Dr. Robert Harris
I have been going to Rock and River for almost 20 years, shortly after the Guides House opened. I learned to ice climb and lead climb ice and rock thanks to Ed Palen, the owner of Rock and River. Since those first few lessons, I have been back to stay several times every year since. My kids, who came with me to first experience climbing and the mountains, have become regulars themselves.
The lodging has always been very comfortable and breakfast prepared by Nancy and her crew is the best!
Over the years I have spent a lot of time with the guides at Rock and River. They have all been very professional, highly skilled, safety conscious, and fun to spend the day with.
Rock and River is the best place to stay and explore the Adirondacs.
Senior Partner, DeAngelo Insurance – Syracuse, NY
For over 18 years our family has enjoyed ADK Rock and River for family holidays and weekend adventures in the High Peaks. Beautifully nestled in Keene, NY, a short car ride away from Lake Placid and right at the base of the Jackrabbit Trail, Ed, and the staff make you feel like a part of the family. If you are looking for adventure (there are a number of trails right there for hiking, rock climbing, ice climbing, etc) or just relaxing and enjoying the picture perfect view, you will find something to do year round. What started as a wonderful place to take our young children, has become a family gathering place for those same children’s children! 3 generations come together every Thanksgiving to enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks and has become a family tradition that we look forward to every year.
Bradford D Hart
Teacher – Millbrook School
Every February Millbrook School takes a week to offer our students the opportunity to explore something new. One of the offerings is a trip to the Adirondacks to engage in outdoor winter activities like ice climbing, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing. For the past 15 years we have brought a group of 10-12 high school students to Adirondack Rock and River. The facility is both beautiful and reasonably priced, it is well located and provides easy access to the places we want to explore, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The guides make learning a new sport like ice climbing fun and approachable, which is just what you want if you are trying to get kids to try something new. We highly recommend Adirondack Rock and River!
Maria Greco Danaher
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Thank you for creating a unique and wonderful place for our family to get together annually. I don’t think that there are many places for three generations of a family (from as far away as Germany!) to enjoy each other in such a beautiful setting and with such wonderful people. It’s impossible to list all of the things we’ve experienced during our visits there in the past ten years, but we’ve all enjoyed the challenges of the hiking and climbing, and the professional and courteous way that we’re all treated when we get there. We really do count your and your guides as some of our best – and most admired – friends. Thanks again for all of this.
Joseph F. Dadey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the RATE program (Recreation, Adventure, Tourism and Ecotourism)
Paul Smith’s College
Rock and River has long provided safe, professional, and high quality rock and ice climbing instruction to Paul Smith’s College students. The guides at Rock and River are passionate and personable and are able to mix in a lot of fun with a lot of learning. The students at Paul Smith’s College who have taken rock and ice climbing courses through Rock and River have come away with knowledge and skills that serve them well in both their personal and professional lives.
Engineer, NYS DOT (Rochester)
Mount Everest Summiter
When I think back on all my climbing adventures, from the many weekend road trips with friends, to far off journey’s to the Himalaya’s, for me, it all starts and ends at Rock and River Guide Service. Rock and River is where I first learned how to climb rock and ice; where I met my first climbing partners; where I first dreamt of mountaineering challenges to pursue; where I’ve always gone to be with friends. Ed and Teresa and all the folks at Rock and River make it easy to be in the mountains. Whether a visit to relax by the fire, go climbing or hiking, or think of far off adventures, Rock and River Guide Service has been home in the mountains for me.
Group Event Organizer
Founder of MOK Limited
The very first time I ever went to Rock and River, I knew it was someplace special. And now, over twenty years later, I’m still coming back, time after time, year after year, because it’s just one of those places you can’t help but love. It’s a place of deep rustic beauty with just the right amount of modern, where you can go with a big group or just to be alone, where you can go on a high adventure yet feel confident knowing you’re in good hands, and where everyone is professional yet you feel like you’re among family. I love this place and you will too.
As an organizer of group events, I immediately saw the potential of Rock and River, and in no time, I was renting the place out and bringing groups of friends there. It’s big enough to get a nice sized group together, but small enough to keep it personal, which makes it perfect for all types of groups from friends to corporate team building exercises, and even weddings. It’s a place people always want to come back to again and again.
I have been coming up to the Adirondacks for more than 10 years to hike and climb and whenever I’m in the High Peaks I consider the Rock and River my second home. I completed my 46’rs this year in the company of my daughter and Rock and River guide Jenny Mulgrace, who was instrumental in helping me achieve this goal. Jenny is unbelievably knowledgeable and skilled as a guide and always a pleasure to be with. I’ve been fortunate to travel to big mountains throughout the US and climb in the company of some of the world’s best regarded guide services. Rock and River guides ranks with the best of them when it comes to safety, adventure and just plain fun!